The Permission Scream.

I’m finally surfacing again after doing a full-time job at the same time as producing The Just So Stories for the last couple of months.

There’ll be a full update about me-me-me shortly, but in the meantime, why not feast your eyes upon the new trailer for upcoming British horror flick Stormhouse:

Stormhouse is written by the lovely Jason Arnopp, directed by the lovely Dan Turner, and has music by the lovely Sam Watts.

It’s entirely probable that everyone else who worked on the film is lovely too, but I can’t speak to that.

I was lucky enough recently to attend the test screening of the film. You can read more about what happened that night over at Arnopp’s gaff, but there’s one moment I want to talk about in particular.

About five or ten minutes into the film, there’s a big scare. It’s the first of many, but this is the one I want to concentrate on.

It made me jump in my seat, and it made the woman sitting behind me let out a loud scream.

Now, if you’re ever doing standup comedy – and especially if you’re the first act on or you’re doing the whole thing yourself – one of the first things you need to do is to get a laugh out of the audience.

It’s called the Permission Laugh.

The first laugh tells everyone: it’s OK. You’re here to be entertained, and this person can do it. You don’t have to just sit there and smile wryly at the gags. It’s OK to laugh out loud. You’re in safe hands.

Once you’ve got the Permission Laugh, all of the others are easier.

So as I fell back onto my seat and heard the woman behind me let out a loud scream, I thought:

It’s OK.

I’m in safe hands.

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