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A message to the ‘shy’ guests

01/05/2016

On Monday I met an old tutor of mine for lunch. He told me two months ago he found himself at an event hosted by the Korean Embassy, suddenly expected to perform Karaoke. Perhaps it was the heady mix of rice wine and mood lighting, but to his own amazement he caught himself seizing the microphone and belting out, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. In sixty years he had never known he had it in him.

Every Murder Mystery I take part in, I watch and witness among certain guests a similar moment of self-discovery. I see them, albeit at first hesitantly, let their mask of self-consciousness slip to unveil an uninhibited version of themselves they hadn’t encountered until now. Look at me - I’m doing this - and what’s more - I’m enjoying it!

The night always begins the same way…We actors (in costume and character) mingle with the guests over drinks. Invariably, it’s always the same pattern. Cue immediate banter with the lively and outgoing and a mental note of who is going to need a little warming up. I observe these ‘shy’ guests knowingly. These are the ones I’m interested in - the ones who will delight and surprise those around them - and themselves - before the night is out.

You see, these nights are not about us actors. We merely act as facilitators for you. Don’t get me wrong, I accept we’re not all performers. In the same way, I accept I’m not a doctor or a lawyer or an IT consultant. But we all - without exception - were once children who played effortlessly in a liberating world of make-believe. There’s an innate playfulness within every guest and sometimes it just needs a little coaxing to bring it out. And when it does, you can be sure it brings with it (contrary to what the Rolling Stones might say)…enormous satisfaction.