This blog brought to you by Brandon Lewis, Live Raptor Program Assistant for the Draper Natural History Museum
Melissa and I are currently in the process of designing our summer program. It will be seen by thousands of people from around the globe as they pass through the Buffalo Bill Center of the West on their way to or from Yellowstone National Park. One of the joys of creating such a program is that we only have to fill one half of an hour. Of that, five minutes each are devoted to our opening and closing, with the remaining twenty for our birds.
In order for the program to flow well and make it easy on our guests, we choose an overall theme. We try to make that theme short and contained in one sentence, so it is easy to remember. All of the information that we will tell the guests in the program must support the theme.
We also want to keep the audience’s attention throughout the program. (Nobody likes to receive a lecture when they’re on vacation, right?) This is accomplished by adding in a few trained behaviors of the birds that they would normally exhibit in the wild, as well as a few audience participation demonstrations.
Although we would love to tell you everything we know about each bird, their personal stories, and even more amazing raptor stories, we must compress the most important facts into approximately four minutes per bird. Usually our program highlights five different species of birds. The remaining minute of time is used for transitions, moving one bird off stage while moving the next one on.
When everything is put together, the result is a well-scripted symphony of feathers and facts.
Stop by this summer to see the script Melissa and I came up with—we look forward to presenting for you!