I just saw a production of Hamlet here in Washington, D.C., where esteemed director Michael Kahn rearranged the opening scenes. “Now, the furious outpouring of Hamlet’s heart in the ‘O that this too solid flesh would melt’ speech opens the play,” wrote The Washington Post’s Peter Marks.
In today's 2-seconds-to-engage, attention-jumping landscape, beginnings are crucial—so much so that a famous director didn’t quite trust even Shakespeare to engage us quickly enough. That could be overthinking things, but it also shows our awareness of today's audiences.
"Unless you gain the prospect's attention, he or she won't read any of your copy," writes Bob Bly, one of the leading copywriters in the country and the speaker for the March 21 SIPA webinar: The World's Best-Kept Copywriting Secrets. (Register here.) "And if the prospect doesn't read your copy, he or she won't receive the persuasive message you've so carefu ...
"Cleverness is overrated, and heart is underrated," wrote comedian and filmmaker Mike Birbiglia in an article in The New York Times last week titled 6 Tips for Making It Small in Hollywood. Or Anywhere. Birbiglia became widely known for a fun film a few years ago called Sleepwalk With Me, and has an interesting film out now called Don't Think Twice.
I once saw the great actor Sir Ian McKellen decipher the famous "Tomorrow" speech from Macbeth in a one-man show. "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow," he began, sitting on the front edge of the stage looking at the audience. "Is everyone with me so far?"