Standing O

I just got back from watching “Footloose” (the musical… sorry, there was no Kevin Bacon) at one of the local high schools. During the show I was a bit annoyed by people in the audience who would clap for everything, even scene changes… Now, being an avid theatre-buff (and thespian), I understand applauding, but it can get tiring when the clapping doesn’t cease. But then I thought about it. Would a show, or any type of performance, be worth giving if there was no applause? No noises from the audience at all? Even if there was a full house every night, would it still be meaningful? The answer is no. Applause is the audience’s way of telling the actors (and techies) that they have succeeded, completed their goals, and conveyed their message to the audience, possibly evoking some sort of emotion along the way. Without it one would feel like the whole thing was worthless. What would happen if people applauded for others during everyday activities? Would life become more worthwhile? Suppose that you walking down the sidewalk and you notice that your shoe is untied, so you stop to tie it, being met by applause from a few of your fellow pedestrians. Although it may sound patronizing, I think that it actually would feel quite comforting to know that people care about even the little things. If we as people took the time to congratulate total strangers on a job well done I think that it would make even the hardest of days more tolerable… after all aren’t actors strangers too? This idea gave a whole knew meaning to the line: “all the world’s a stage and [we] are merely players” (William Shakespeare, if you didn’t know) I think I’ll start giving my fellow players the applause they deserve.

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