14.8.17

Culture Vulturing, kind of ranty

Since moving two years ago, there have been a whole lot of non-work related cultural events I've attended (work related = concerts and plays that are not quite Must Attend but really kind of are).  A short list:

Dance: BoSoma Dance, Dorrance Dance, Pacific Northwest Ballet
Music: Coeur de Pirate, Cyndi Lauper/Boy George, Sybarite5, Bryan Ferry, Duran Duran, Jethro Tull Opera, Sinatra celebration, Bruno Mars
Plays: Hamilton, Elf, Once

Here's the problem: I hate audiences.  Terry has a great way to suggest to audiences that they put away their phones (which, duh) but it's not that - although seriously, people, stop.  That crappy video or photo can just wait.  Be in the moment, enjoy the show.

No, for me it's audience behavior.  Not when I'm at a show like Elf, which has a definite younger audience skew and is going to be filled with squealing children.  I accept that.  It's the older folks, the ones who should know better and who still, somehow, for some reason behave really badly.

Example?  The group of six friends (female) sitting in front of my row who did not stop talking and laughing throughout the concert.  There was no song they listened to, no moment they focused on, it was all talk and laughing all the time.  Until close to the end, when Thing One said "will you please just shut up for one song?" and they looked shocked.  Even more shocking, everyone in my row made it clear that yes, shutting up for a short while would be a very nice thing for the rest of us trying to enjoy a concert we'd paid money for.

Example?  The two women who insisted on standing and dancing during a concert, despite complaints from a wide swath of people who could not see the stage.  The ushers should have moved them but for whatever reason, they didn't (when approached, the women argued and refused to move).  By 30 minutes, everyone in that area was moving.  By intermission, it looked as though a huge number of seats hadn't been sold and people either were standing on the sides or leaving.  All because two people decided they were more important than everyone else's enjoyment.

Neither of those was a "those young'uns" moment.  They were all close to my age, if not older.

I don't have a ton of discretionary income.  But I do like going to things, I do like music and dance and theatre, and when selfish audience members interrupt that good time?  It makes me less likely to want to spend my money on those events.  It's ruining the enjoyment for younger people in addition to teaching them bad habits when in a public space.  Which, of course, feeds on itself.

No comments: