You know that thing where you are onstage and you look out over the audience and there’s one person who clearly does not want to be there?
That one person with a deep set frown, arms crossed, glaring at the stage?
Or even the one person who is sound asleep? (It happens. I’ve seen it.)
Well, don’t worry about them.
Don’t let it throw you.
It often happens (and I’ve been there too), when the show is over, that person glaring at you comes up to tell you how much they loved the show/your performance.
It’s baffling. I have no explanation.
I just know that you cannot gauge how much someone is enjoying the show by their body language or facial expression.
Many people go into “TV mode”. They simply glaze over like when they are watching TV.
It’s a habit.
And it has nothing to do with how much they are or are not enjoying the performance.
Maybe it’s an indication of how well you have sucked them into the magic of the theater.
The first year with the Fischer Troupe in Frankenmuth, there was this crabby old guy sitting on the aisle. So when I went out into the audience during one number, I sat in his lap and planted a kiss on the top of his bald old head.
Turns out he was the reviewer for the Saginaw newspaper and the director was horrified that I did this because the guy was known for writing bad reviews.
We got raves. We got raves every year; and I made a habit of sitting on his lap and planting a kiss on his bald old head.
Don’t get me wrong. It was a good show, but I’m sure the lap sitting and smooches didn’t hurt.
The lesson is, don’t let these people scare you. What’s the worst they can do? Ask for their money back? Let me get my purse.
And as for the people who are sound asleep?
You got their money (or rather, the theater company did) and if they want to spend it sleeping, it’s no skin off your butt (or at least, it shouldn’t be).
Well, as long as they aren’t snoring.