HOW DID THE SHOW GO LAST NIGHT? / by Bo Gerard

Your answer to this question can say a lot about the relationship you have with your audience.  Which one of these are you?

THE OPPONENT:  He responds with the traditional, yet violent, images, like “I killed last night”, or “I murdered ‘em”, or “I was on fire!!!”  And if it went badly, “I died!” or “I bombed”.  These phrases suggest an adversarial relationship with the audience.

THE MARKETER:  To this performer, every show went fabulously well.  They use the word GREAT a lot, and aren’t shy about telling you if they got a standing ovation.  Also, thy are happy to tell you about all their GREAT upcoming shows.  They are always selling!

THE EGOIST: (Not to be confused with egotist”.)  He responds by describing the event in terms of how it went for them, like “It was a good show”, or “I did alright” or “it went off without a hitch”.

THE COMPLAINER:  He responds by pointing out deficiencies, like “The lighting/sound/intro/seating arrangement could have been better.”  Maybe this is an attempt to commiserating with the questioner, rather than discuss their success (or lack thereof).

THE APPRECIATOR:   He invariably responds with praise for the audience, like “The audience was really having fun”, or “They were a great group”.  I have noticed that I usually respond in this way.  And I think I FINALLY get why.   Since I perform so often, and have been performing for so long, I am really confident about my material and presentation.  And I work hard to arrange, or provide, the best AV possible, so the audience can see and hear me really well.  I know I am always going to give them 100% of myself, so I know I am going to offer them a great show.  The only variant is THE AUDIENCE.

I usually attribute a successful show to the willingness of that particular audience to engage with the show, and embrace the idea that we are all in it together. This quality in an audience is what gives performers like me the courage and strength to offer ourselves up to the altar of “The Stage”.