Stories From Past Events
Pre-dinner drinks – I noticed this group of health professionals’ body language and group dynamics rather different to the usual. I was not unduly concerned as no two groups are the same. The event proceeded and as usual there was much laughter and interaction, albeit on the quieter side. They all joined in and my initial qualms were forgotten.
As the Murder Party ended, the organiser thanked me profusely. She remarked how surprised she was that it went so well. She further revealed that this group had some major issues. Many did not speak to each other and some had lodged official complaints against these very co-workers. I am not surprised she did not tell me this during our pre-event consultation. She was dumbfounded to see her colleagues laughing together so freely, supporting each other’s characters and attempts at speaking in French accents but sounding Russian (this was in fact very normal!).
It seemed, for a while, these very special people had been able to put aside their difficulties by escaping into an adventure together. The magic of creativity and non-threatening communication is so beneficial to human dynamics. I think the costumes helped a lot too!
The Manager is in Drag!
There was a problem, we had too many men. I gingerly put it to the client of this male dominated company, that perhaps some men could come in drag. To my surprise and delight they loved the idea. The laughter and energy in this meeting went up 10 notches.
I had to admire my shopping handiwork as I gazed at 35 men adorned with dresses, wigs, jewellery and event bras. The atmosphere was electric, but we couldn’t start. Where was the Managing Director? He was still in his hotel room, he did not like his dress. Luckily, I had another beautiful red dress to offer. A certain song springs to mind here….
We can guess it wasn’t the dress really, it was the vulnerability. He was alone in his hotel room and could not see the party laughing at their outfits below. He made a spectacular entrance, feather boa in hand and strutted he stuff. Like all good managers, he put aside the risk. The perfect example of exceptional leadership. As we knew it would, the night was a huge success and one that company will long remember.
The lesson learned is a certain amount of vulnerability and risk makes for a richer life, for fun adventures and bonding with friends and colleagues.
A blow up doll, a plastic gun, handcuffs & customs
Thank goodness Hong Kong customs didn’t open my luggage because it housed a toy gun, prop handcuffs and a blow up doll. Why the blow up doll you ask? This is a Murder Mystery Party you run, correct? My lovely handmade, stuffed, life size handmade “dead body” would not fit into my suitcase. I needed an alternative and a friend lent me her sex doll (I ask no questions of my benefactors). Viola problem solved.
At the Murder party, the dead body (covered in a satin sheet and dressed to keep her plastic modesty in place) was reverently brought in and placed centre stage. 20 mins or so later, one of the guests exclaimed that the body was shrinking. Yes, indeed it was deflating. It must have had a small leak. Ever quick witted, I informed the guests that the body was in fact decomposing. You see, when you enter the world of make believe, the mind can accept most things. Remember as a child mud pies were delicious, you were a superhero and make believe was part of your everyday.
This is the joy of creativity – it’s all about play! So much is possible if you believe it to be so.
Creativity & Self-esteem
Channel 7 did a piece at one of my Murder & Mystery parties a few years ago. One of the guests was a young lady, the quintessential “blonde beauty”. Her legs came up to my armpits, or so it seemed. Let’s call her “Jenny”.
Anyway, the night was a huge success, I got through my interview without embarrassing myself. But the surprise of the night was a comment made by “Jenny”. Confiding the night had a huge impact on her. She suffered with low self-esteem (as many do of course) and the act of playing a character, connecting with people had given her confidence in herself. She said she felt fantastic.
Our Murder Parties are so successful with extroverts and introverts alike finding a pathway to joy. Our program stands out above the rest. It’s the psychology and, you may say, we use “the little grey cells” in our preparations. We carefully choose characters to ensure everybody’s experience is as positive as possible.
Creativity and fun do indeed nourish the soul and can provide long term benefits to our lives.