Lead Performer Emma Smart ignites visitors’ imaginations using one of the most powerful tools of communication: storytelling. Here, she tells us her own story.
"One of the things that makes us human is the ability to tell stories. We’ve been doing it since we first sat around a fire. When people engage with a story their minds open – in turn opening up all sorts of possibilities.
You can make people laugh or cry with a story, you can make an audience feel like a community with a story; it is the most powerful tool to help people understand complex ideas.
“It’s a hugely satisfying thing to have given visitors a lasting memory.”
I’ve always loved telling and writing stories and to be able to master my craft at Eden has been a real privilege. We have a bounty of stories to tell here, and in leading a team of performers, tour guides and animators, it’s been an honour to shape the way in which we engage with and inspire our visitors.
As a performer, one day you could be standing amidst the grapevines and Bacchanalian artwork in the Mediterranean Biome recounting the legend of Dionysus... and the next day be beside our giant Infinity Blue sculpture – which pays homage to one of the world's smallest but most important organisms – telling the story you’ve created about the beginnings of the world.
I’ve experienced some real ‘shiver down the spine’ moments – when you suddenly feel the audience lean in and engage fully with you, listening to every word. It’s an incredible feeling. Visitors will come up and talk to you after a performance, wanting to know more about the subject. It’s a hugely satisfying thing to have given them a lasting memory. Eden is a place that invites people to come on a journey, inspiring them to ask questions and to find new answers. It’s an incredibly hopeful place."