When you love someone, you want the best for them. You want them to be happy and fulfilled. You want them to have a good life. Well, that’s exactly how I feel about my audience. I want to help them enjoy their lives and I want to be a part of their happiness. I love them.
It’s not an intimate love, but it is love none-the-less. And like “true” love, I don’t necessarily need them to love me. My love for them is a gift, with no expectation of reciprocation. I do, hoevwer, hope that they love the experience I bring to them. I just may have been put on this earth to give this very gift to them, and I am blessed to have been able to give it for over 40 years.
I realize now that this "gift" is the reason I was attracted to performing in the first place. The first time I felt my audience gasp, or heard them laugh, I was hooked! Not because I want their adulation, but because I felt I was making a difference in their lives, if only temporarily. And I hope my love affair with my audience is no secret, but that it is obvious and taken in the spirit that I intend.
While my intimate and familial relationships continue to be strong and vital, I have met many a performer who had some trouble with intimacy in relationships, while at the same time excelling at building a relationship with their audience. In fact, the great comedian Richard Lewis once said, “I have intimacy issues with women. The most intimate thing I can say is ‘I love you… Ladies and Gentlemen’.”
This affair with my audience has been the perfect affair. No sneaking around, or cheap motels. And any sense of danger I desire is easily fulfilled each time I take the stage in front of an audience of strangers.
But, they won’t be strangers for long.