The Fourth Wall

I’m flat out writing a book about Untold Stories- The Power of Authentic Narrative in Leadership.

I’m just loving researching it, and every day strike a rich vein through searching on Google or browsing in my local library.( I love both hard and soft copies of stuff!)
So this morning I was trawling around stories online about a favourite TV Show of mine, Boston Legal. It’s ended now, but I loved its stories, and I really liked how one of the main characters, Denny, the actor William Shatner, had lines that referred to his old character in Star Trek, Captain Kirk. In one episode his cellphone rang, it had the same ring tone as his phone in Star Trek, which was very futuristic in its time, and long before we even had cellphones.
What I like about this is not simply is it funny, but it is honest in the way it reminds us in what you might call a ‘post modern’ way that fact and fiction blur all over the place, and that Shatner is simply playing a character in a drama and none of it is real.
In theatre this is called breaking the fourth wall. In other words, the drama is not totally enclosed in four walls of fiction, one wall is open to the audience, and for interaction between the players and the audience.
I think this allows for real authenticity and interaction. We all know its a story and fiction is fun, but we also know that we are really all playing around and it allows performers to be real and interact in a real way with audiences.
This is where the true power of great story lies. They take us some place else, but well told they allow us to reflect back on our own realities and lives. Fact and fiction merge to increase our understanding.

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