Curiosity of WHY an audience positively reacts and connects to something can be among the really helpful tools you employ when you are creating something for an audience (whether it be collaborators, the public or a panel of judges)

As a teen I ushered at a movie theatre playing SUPERMAN and would stand under the screen and watch the audience dozens of times to observe their reactions to the film. 

I was mesmerized by how they responded.  I took note of how a big laugh would set up an even bigger one that followed once they were primed.  I observed how and when they sat up in their chairs to focus more.  I kept track of when they were most likely to grow restless and head to the restroom.  

I found audience reactions to be fascinating.  Years later I took a friend who wrote musical theatre and hated PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (“too derivative, too simplistic, too repetitive”) to see the show again… but this time facing backwards in her seat so she could observe how the audience was responding.  Watching it with curiosity instead of judgement lead to her appreciating the show from that perspective.  And I think it impacted her own writing in positive ways.  

Curiosity without judgement is a gift that can really broaden horizons.