Should I ask the Big 3 Things questions in the past tense if the story happened in the past?
Scott asked: I have a potential client in mind that I want to pitch. It's a company that basically helps leaders/executive's turn their stress into strength through personal coaching. My assumption would be that it would be good to pre-interview past clients to see if they would be a good Heart.
My question is, when it comes to the Desire questions, for the pre-interview suggested in the recap, would you re-word them to take the person back to before they started the program? For example, instead of 'What is your big dream?', wording it like 'What was your big dream when you started on this journey?', or for 'What was the one thing that you'd never done but had always dreamed of doing before you started the process/coaching?'. Would putting those questions especially in a tense that takes them back to before they started their process make sense? Or even asking them those questions in past and present tense, to compare where their mindset was at, and where it's at now?
I'd start by taking a step back from the The Big 3 Things, and looking at the bigger, broader picture of why we identify these things, and why we spend all this time to listen and pre-interview in the first place:
We want to get to know who are people are. It sounds super simple—and it actually is when we step back from all the details of the storytelling process. From its most basic and fundamental level, Muse is simply about helping your audience connect to who your characters are, and really feeling their human experience as a unique person in our world.
When we approach these questions with this mindset then, we may see that if we only ask about what a person's big dream was during a specific slice of time in their past, we'll only get a specific slice of who they are. And if we only understand a small slice of who that person is, we risk missing out on essential insights to our story that are also incredibly valuable to our viewer.
So, it's totally worth hearing what Desire drew these clients to the company and to seek help with stress in the first place, but I also wouldn't limit the conversation to just that moment in time. I'd look to explore deeper, to draw connections to how they've grown as a person, and how that desire fits in with who they are today as well. For example, it wouldn't be unrealistic to imagine that a client's current Desire still connects to being happy, healthy, and the best versions of themselves for their family and their team. Or perhaps their current Desire has something to do with inspiring others, and you could then see how the desire to turn stress into strength for themselves, would empower them to continue with that greater Desire today. Don't hesitate to use your perspective as the storyteller here to listen, and draw connections.