Actors and the Audience

Actors and the Audience

Actors and the Audience: I once took in a show at a comedy club in San Francisco. There was a young comedian performing who was relentlessly

Actors and the Audience: I once took in a show at a comedy club in San Francisco. There was a young comedian
performing who was relentlessly being heckled by an audience member. At first the heckling
was cute, but as the routine progressed and the heckling continued it was obvious to everyone in
the audience that comedian was being negatively affected. He would stumble on his words and
began to sweat. During this performance I was very aware of the relationship between the
audience and the performer. Eventually the heckler was thrown out and the comedian got a
restart. With the fresh start, the young man was able to perform his routine uninterrupted. His
jokes were funny and the audience laughed and with this his confidence increased. On this night
I witnessed the highs and lows an audience has on a live performance and I was made aware of
how “presentational performers directly and continuously acknowledge the presence of audience
members by singing to them; dancing for them; joking with them; and responding openly to their
applause, laughter, requests, and heckling” (Cohen & Sherman, 2017, p. 15).  When the heckler
was in the audience things weren’t fun, if anything the atmosphere was uncomfortable. Once
gone, and the performer could concentrate on his work things were fun. You can’t get this type
of experience from television or film. The unexpected keeps things interesting.
 
Cohen, R. & Sherman, D. (2017). Theatre, Brief, 11th Edition. [Yuzu]. Retrieved
from  https://reader.yuzu.com/#/books/undefined/

I have been working in the restaurant industry for 20 years until recently, and if any of you have
ever waitressed or tended bar, you will probably understand what I am about to say. 
There was one manager I had over the years, that in every " pre-shift " we did, she would kindly
remind us to put on our best acting face and hit the floor running. Something serious could have
happened that day, good or bad, but it is required that any issues are left at the door. It all
becomes smiles.
The people that sit at your tables or bar rail are basically renting your real estate. You are trying
to make their experience inviting and enjoyable with you and at your establishment so that they
have repeat visits. You and your customer feed off of each others moods.  If your server or
bartender is outgoing, funny and having a good time, the customers feel the energy. If there is a

group of friends out celebrating a birthday or just having a night out, the ambiance and what you
and the establishment has to offer plays a huge role in how their evening will pan out. 
I feel like the same experience as I tried to explain above goes for a live theater performance. If
the actors are energized and outgoing, if they appear to be having fun, the audience can feel it
and they each feed off of each others emotions. To me that differs from watching a T.V. show or
movie. To me its a completely different experience. Live theater is much more intimate. 

Answer preview for Actors and the Audience: I once took in a show at a comedy club in San Francisco. There was a young comedian performing who was relentlessly

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