1. Do not leave your cell phone on during a performance. (The woman across the aisle from me received two calls during the show.)
2. Do not put your phone on vibrate. Your fellow audience members can hear that sound. So can the actors. (A man to my left had a vibrating phone. Thankfully, he left at intermission.)
3. Do not text or check your phone for new emails, texts, etc. during a performance. That blue glow is clearly visible. Besides, it’s rude. You’re either present or you’re not. If your phone is more important, leave.
4. SHUT IT OFF.
5. Do not bring your laptop to the theater and continue to work on it until the lights have gone down, then close it and lay your head on it because you’re bored. Is your work that important? Are you the President? (Again, it happened last night.)
6. Do not unwrap throat lozenges or candies during the show. I can assure you, after years of working in theater both onstage and off, we can hear that sound. It’s annoying. If you think you’re going to need a cough drop, unwrap it ahead of time.
7. And my biggest pet peeve: The performers onstage have worked long and hard to entertain you. You have been given the gift of a live performance. That particular performance will never happen again. It’s something you’ve shared for a moment in time with the actors on stage. When the actors come out for a curtain call, please do not miss it because you have already left your seat so you can be the first person out to the parking lot. Really? You’re not going to acknowledge those actors, show them that you appreciate their work, their talent? You’ve managed to stay in the theater through the end of the show and you can’t wait for the 3 minutes more it will take to clap your hands? If I’m an actor onstage, I can see you leaving. It’s disheartening. If I’m in the audience and you’re up and on your way out, thereby blocking my view of the stage, I’m going to be pissed off. The other night, a woman got up, I could see it coming, and I shouted out (under cover of applause) “Applaud!” I don’t think she knew who said it, but she stopped – for a moment – and applauded.
Think twice before you do that. By not remaining to applaud the actors, you’ve not taken part in the whole experience. And you’ve been rude to the actors, or musicians, or performers. It’s not right.
End of memo.
On another note. You know those moments when you have a doubt or misgiving about what you wrote in a post? I had that last night. I have a quirky sense of humor and it has kept me sane over the years. My dad is a wonderful guy who is going through his own particular hell right now. He does the best he can in the face of tremendous heartbreak. I love him dearly and do everything I can to help him through this. Since I am far away, I call him every day. We talk a lot. Lately, he’s been haunted by World War II. He’s been having nightmares. So we’ve been talking about the war. He’s also been sharing memories of his childhood. I remember that my grandmother did the same thing. As she neared the end of her life, she needed to talk about things that had happened long ago.
I know my dad’s situation is sad. Many of you remarked on that. It’s more than sad, it’s depressing, it’s heartbreaking, it’s never out of my mind. Nor is my mother’s. In the face of all of that, along with a host of other worries, like how do I pay the bills next month, I have to find any glimmer of humor that I can. So does my sister. Our sense of humor has carried us through a lot of heartbreak.
Anyway, if you read this blog regularly, you’ve witnessed my sense of the absurd many times. I hope you didn’t take what I wrote in the wrong way. (I get worried about things like this.) I’m actually rather proud of my sense of humor. My husband is the funniest person I know (a sense of humor was my most important requirement in a husband) and I can make him laugh. Can’t help it – I go for funny. It’s in my DNA.
Oh, and when I spoke of Drumsticks yesterday, I meant the ice cream cones.
Thanks for listening.