Many of my stories are entertaining, but it doesn’t mean that I always try to make people laugh. My facial expression, how I say it, or the phrase I use – whatever it is, people often laugh without my intention.
The other day, I challenged myself – I told a folktale. Don’t get me wrong. I love reading folktales, but reading and telling are two different things. I tried different stories and rewrote them with my own words, but it was hard for me to feel a tale that I didn’t write myself.
How can I connect with a story?
I kept asking myself. Then, it hit me. I need to implement Miyo-ism. If a story doesn’t work, I need to tell the audience why it’s not working for me. I picked a famous Japanese folktale “Urashima Taro” that I couldn’t relate at all.
“Urashima Taro” is a classic folktale with a tragic ending. The moral of the story is “Never be disobedient. Disobedience is the beginning of all the miseries and sorrows of life.” which sounds ridiculous to me. So I wrote my own moral of the story.
While I was telling the story, I was amused by the audience’s reaction. They were eager to know what would happen next with their eyes sparkled. The room was quiet. I got some chuckles when I told the original moral of the story. When I told MY moral of the story, I got more laughs. Then when I told the last sentence, the room suddenly erupted. What happened? What made them crack up? My timing, delivery, or phrase? Whatever it is, the laughs lasted for more than 30 seconds and it was one of the biggest reactions in the eight-year-old group.
I need to explore what makes people laugh.
If you’re curious, here is my moral of the story:
Life is not fair. Don’t expect good deeds always save you. But remember, whatever you do, listen to women!