Audience Interaction Sucks!

Categories: Advice

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With rare exceptions, I've always felt that forced audience interaction is a lazy device designed to get paying customers more involved in the show.

I came to see the show.

I want to be entertained, not be the entertainment, and if these stars dazzled the way they should, no such encouragement would be needed.

Yes, I would have loved to be a big stage star myself, but since that didn't work out, I'm content watching other people do it, without them urging me to be part of the act for free.

This desperate dynamic had led to some very awkward moments.

I vaguely remember cast members from Cats coming down the aisle with paws outstretched as I developed a sudden case of hives. I'm allergic!

Other times, performers seem to know where the press are seated and clearly have been warned to leave them alone, but not some avant-garde singer who dragged me onstage during her cabaret act last year to kneel at her feet, take orders ("Hold out your arms"), and basically look horrified.

Once I blushingly straggled back to my seat, I assumed that was the end of it, but later, the chantoozy floozy barreled through the crowd and singled me out again, demanding that I zip her into her bodice. (I declined and looked away. By then, I felt I deserved overtime.)

But at least she was kitschily fun in the way she broke barriers and made the audience another character.

The worst is when some generic performer pleads with you to clap along, sing along, and do anything along.

They put the lyrics up on a big screen and ask you to be the star.

Imagine if you went to see Andrea Bocelli in concert and friends asked, "How was he?" "Not sure," you replied. "I'm the one who did the singing."

So leave me alone, performers.

Don't worry, I love what I'm seeing up there -- especially the fourth wall.



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6 comments
Southern Dave
Southern Dave

The actors' place is on the stage.

The audience pays bug bucks to see them from a seat in the theater.

And never the twain shall meet.

Unless they want to compensate US for our contribution.

I know a theatergoer who will not sit in an aisle seat "because they can getcha easier that way."

Gregorama
Gregorama

No shit...and never, ever sit in the first five rows of at a comedy club unless you actually want to be mortified and made fodder for some joker's "routine".

Findingnamo
Findingnamo

I thought it worked well in "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee".

Parva
Parva

"I'm allergic." Ha!

By the way, skip Hair or Godspell if you don't want people in your face.

Bwaybill
Bwaybill

LOL!! I'm in total agreement!!

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