Last weekend Jekyll and Hyde was to open and open we did, though 2 of our three performances were then cancelled due to floods! It put a bit of a damper on things but this weekend we got to run all three nights. It felt great to finally have everything up and running full force. No more stop and go and stop again!
We had three really wonderful performances. The feedback and kudos after were all wonderful and touched on everything from the smallest moments to the big! The sets, cotumes, vocals, and acting….all of it, I was told, was fabulous!
Our first night we had a rather small audience but they had such a great energy and they were fun and involved. Performers will totally feed off of that! We had one performance, however, where the audience was lifeless. We can (and did) still perform well to that but it’s like walking against the wind. It just makes it that more difficult and it can be a little deflating. After several years of performing now, I’ve come to realize that some people don’t know what being a Good Audience Member is.
Let me help you!
How To Be A Good Audience:
When something is funny, don’t bother stifling your laughter. Let it out! Burst if you must, but please laugh! This lets us know that we’ve delivered that line well. It’s funny how you can say the same thing, the same way and one night you get an explosion of laughter and another night you get nothing. Literally NOTHING.
Oh my lands! Please use those things at the end of your arms to make some noise! When someone is on stage singing their little heart out to you, applaud you turkeys!!! If you loved it, clap loudly and maybe even give a hoot, or a yeah! Let us know you like it. Sometimes a song is…dark or sad…it’s not the song you are applauding but the performance. It’s OK to clap. I performed a duet last night and I thought, Yes! We NAILED that! Woo hoo! and the song ended to crickets in the audience. Seriously. I went back stage thinking, what the hell do they want from us?! We were killer. So, what ever people.
Yeah. You can talk to us. Not conversational or anything major but you can say, “Oh no!” if something is scary or BRAVO when you like it. We’ve gotten a couple of Bravos and love it! You can cat call to the hot girlies. My word, ESPECIALLY if a woman is on stage working her stuff…let her know she’s doing it right. It is super uncomfortable and difficult for me to try to show this sultry side of myself and then it is to dead silence. We performed for the high school and the boys were…quite vocal and their faces…lit up. It was not something I was particularly comfortable with but right now I miss those little boogers. At least I knew they were enjoying themselves. I am getting used to the fact that the audience, i.e. the women, do not like Lucy in the beginning. As they get to know her I see them soften towards her and start to care for her and I’m thrilled for that! Yea! So gents, I know your wife is sitting right there and she is shooting daggers at me with her eyes…if you could sneak in a smile or a wink…that would help. Eek! Seriosuly ladies, loosen up. It’s a part. And you can admit that you think the Red Rat ladies are hot too. You can hoot and whistle too! Back up your girlfriends!
Be a Leading Man or Lady:
If you feel like you are wanting to applaud or hoot or gasp but are worried that no one else will, chances are others in the audience are feeling that too. Take the lead and get the ball rolling. Be the party starter! Clap if you liked it and to hell with the rest if they don’t but 9 times out of 10 others are just waiting to add their applause and reactions as well.
The Bad Audience:
When something not even remotely funny is going on and someone in the audience is laughing, it is not cool. Are they laughing at me? Is the set falling behind me? More than likely they are laughing at something their neighbor is saying. Just tell them to shush. You are there to watch our performance and you don’t need the side show.
Food wrappers crinkling while you are singing about a broken heart or a dream unfulfilled SUCKS. Eat during intermission. You’ll make it. Whispering…shut up. CELL PHONES! Seriously? Seriously?! At the very least, set it to vibrate. The kids are fine, you can check on them during intermission as well. Are you on call? Fine. Put it on vibrate. Babies or children fussing, crying. It happens. I’m a mom, I know and remember this. Sadly, parent, you will have to miss a bit of the show. Take your little bundle of joy out of the theater until they are ready to return. Kthanks.
Why? Why are you talking now? It is super rude. Your thoughts can wait until the end. If you think you might forget them bring a little note pad and right down, “lovely set,” “oof, she missed that note,” “the lady in front of me has the biggest hair,” or whatever it is that you must say to your companion. Then you can share your notes with them in intermission or after but for the love of all that his holy, SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE!!!
Sunday Matinee audiences are notoriously sleepy and quiet. If you ever find yourself at a Sunday show, do your best to be a good audience member. We aren’t just doing this to put on costumes and sing some songs. We are wanting to ENTERTAIN. Let us know that we have done our job. I can’t tell you how many Matinees I’ve done where I thought, well, I guess they just don’t like this show. And then I walk out into the lobby to raves and accolades. What the what? I thought for sure you people were asleep… So be participatory! Enjoy the show! Play with us! It will only improve your theater experience!