Friday, April 7, 2006

I'm stuck on Okuni's questions about the responsibilities that audience members have. In the NYT this morning there was an article about how concert halls in New York are denying entry to late audience members until a break in the action. Most of these halls have a room that these late people can sit in and listen to the piped in concert or watch it on a video screen. This arrangement is an acknowledgement that some people are late due to things out of their control. But often people are late because they figure it isn't that important to get to a performance on time.
Movies, radios, TV are all media that we can use as background noise. We don't have to pay attention to those things. The performers are all so far away; we can tape the show and watch it later; we have other things on our all-important personal agendas; we have to take this cell phone call. Paying attention loses its appeal when we have to pay attention to someone else.
I'm glad the concert halls in New York are making latecomers wait outside. One of the responsibilities of an audience member is to be present and on time. Another responsibility is to Pay Attention.
Last night, Shadow Dragon and I went to see "Beauty and the Beast" at a local high school. I love live performances. I got swept up in the pageantry and the music, the dancing, the acting, the special effects. Because most of the audience were there to see someone they loved perform, they paid attention. I'm not sure they were as carried away by the romance as I was, but they behaved respectfully.
That's another responsibility of an audience. It is possible that an audience member cannot appreciate what is offered even if she pays attention. Well, then, unless the performance is a competition judged by the audience's response, she should treat the performance with respect and make her escape as unobtrusively as she can. It happens.
So, there you have it, class - bookkm's rules of audience responsibilities
Be on time
Be present
Pay attention
Behave respectfully
Oh, I forgot! How could I forget!
Show your appreciation!

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