Audience Turns Into Snoring Contest

Matinees always suck. The energy is weird. The audience is weird. You have to comp old age homes to get people in the seats. One matinee, there was an elderly couple asleep in the front row throughout the whole show. Front and center, you couldn’t miss them. The man let out an occasional snore. Really made you feel good about what you were doing. One of the actors in the show kept pacing backstage and saying, “ What I want to know is…if they are BOTH sleeping, whose idea was it to GO OUT? Huh? Whose idea was it to GO OUT?”

At another matinee, I was working on an experimental theater piece where the main character dragged herself around the stage and drooled the entire show. I remember watching spit strings the were lit up by the stage lights slowly coming out of her mouth and stringing themselves down to the floor. I heard shuffling in the audience and a bunch of EXCUSE ME, EXCUSE ME, EXCUSE MES, as some people left while the show was in progress. While other audience members were shushing them for making a commotion as they left. They were once again front and center. WHY WHY WHY? Inspiring, huh? Can you imagine doing that? I recently sat through a musical written by a non-musical playwright that was scary bad and my friend and I wouldn’t leave DURING INTERMISSION because we were in the first row center and we wouldn’t do that to the actors. We would never leave those two seats front row empty for the world, and especially the actors to see.

So, anyway, after the show, I met a couple of friends for a bite to eat down the block. When I walked in, two elderly women looked at me and said. “OH. YOU WERE IN THAT SHOW!” I answered, “Ah, yea.” “OH HONEY,” THEY SAID, “WE HAD TO LEAVE. WE’RE SQUEAMISH. BUT YOU WERE GOOD. YEA, WE LIKED YOU. BUT WE COULDN’T STAY. WE CAN’T WATCH SOMETHING LIKE THAT.”

Now my question is, why did they even tell me? Wouldn’t it have been better not to bring it up?   Did they have to bring it up? I wouldn’t have recognized THEM.

1 Response to “Audience Turns Into Snoring Contest”

  1. 1 Senior Pathwords Partner December 14, 2008 at 3:28 am

    To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from matinee to matinee
    To the last dribble of oozing saliva,
    And all our stage hands have lighted drool
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, old couple!
    Life’s but an experimental play, a poor player
    That drags and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is seen no more: it is a play
    watched by idiots, full of sounds of snoring,
    Signifying old age. “

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