okay, what kind of narrative?

Discussion of the art and craft of improvisation.

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Postby Spots » August 22nd, 2012, 2:15 am

Chico! in regards to Neal & Dan Grimm's mentioning Joseph Campbell and his cross-referencing of cultural mythology, the promise you speak of is the Call To Adventure in the Hero's Journey.


Practically every mainstream story we are inundated with, from Pixar to the Godfather to Being John Malcovich, follows the mythical archetype of our tribal forefathers. Every character & every turn of events is a reflection of the Ego. [Hollywood execs use the Hero's Journey as a form letter, which can get pretty gross]

World of Common Day
Call To Adventure
Refusal of the Call
Crossing the First Threshold
etc
etc.

But it's worth mentioning that some cultures resent the Hero's Journey. They are afraid of the hero.

Australians avoid the archetype because Great Britain exploited them with propaganda to "become heroes" and fight their wars for them. So you end up with Mad Max, the most resentful & avoidant hero if you can even consider him one.

Germans avoid the archetype altogether while they take a cultural breath to find their identity post WWII.

These cultures move away from the archetype since they once fell victim to it. Or at least they do not seek to be the hero to the extent that we do. And their stories reflect that.

The hero is a very strong archetype that we make synonymous with "story." You can naturally have stories with NO hero but the archetype is so deeply ingrained in our culture we consider these "weak narratives" in our current culture. It's something to experiment with to find the next evolution of storytelling. (which is great about improv as a form) Consider that Seinfeld's A,B,C game, A,B,C game structure grew out of the Harold.

But yeah the Hero archetype is what this debate all boils down to.


This is the essence of what Ratliff is looking for on his own Hero's Journey. Despite some Threshold Guardians!
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