there are many different kinds of people that attend musicals. and during the run of this show i've been playing for the past six weeks, fiddler on the roof, i've been able to do some prime people watching. especially since the "pit" for this show is actually not a pit at all, it's audience-level. here is what i've observed:
you don't want to be the parent of the kid that yells "hey mom, what happened?!" at the most exposed moment of the show. it's not welcomed when tevye has just yelled the most heart-wrenching line in the whole show, "get off my land!" and a kid is loudly yelling to his mother.
"i noticed you shifted right up into 4th position a few times there. nice. i played violin in 3rd grade so i know what i'm talking about." yeah, i shifted all over the violin and none of the positions i used were 4th...
#3 seat stealers
i encountered a lady during this show that seemed to be quite adamant about sitting in the front row. as i was setting up my instrument, i noticed her puttering about with a concerned look on her face. she finally called out to me from half way across the room (not an usher that actually works for the theatre.) and says "hey, you! is anyone sitting in the front row?" after i realized she was shouting to me, i said "ma'am, i'm just a musician, i don't know anything about seating except that each seat is ticketed, so someone probably has a ticketed seat for the front row." she gave me a very sour look. she apparently did not like the answer i gave her, and she promptly began to yell the same question to the musician next to me. of course, they gave her the same answer. she sighed, grumbled to her friend, and plopped herself in a front row seat, dead center.
#4 pit climbers
at one of the latest shows, a very pushy mom who was toting around a few small children, surprised me by entering the pit, climbing over the double bass on the ground and the drum set to get my attention. (i was sound checking before the show.) she said "hey! how long is this show?!"
really?! is that so important that you had to invade our space and endanger our expensive instruments?
oh, loudies. just don't talk during a show, guys. you never know when the music or dialogue will stop, leaving a silent moment where we can hear you loudly trying to communicate with the person next to you. don't be that person.
so far, i've heard "wiggle-wiggle-wiggle", "ice-ice baby", and the every popular verizon default ringtone. you know, the one that starts soft and crescendos as it repeats? those are the worst.
the best story by far has been the night that the old lady didn't know how to work her iphone. it's the opening announcements where the director tells everyone to silence their phones, and an old lady in the front row pulls out her phone to do just that. she hits the wrong button and sets off siri. siri starts to say "i'm sorry, i cannot help you right now..." and the lady starts to scream "noooooo" into the phone's microphone, rather than pressing any buttons.
iphone users are groaning right now.
#7 side-eye no-smiler
there was a lady who sat right in front of me for a whole show and never smiled once. not once! it's fiddler on the roof, lady! not sweeney todd! and every time i looked up from my music, she was side-eyeing me. straight up evil eyes! she didn't laugh at any of the jokes, applaud, or even change her facial expression. such a weird people-watching experience.
you always have a few sleepers and occasionally some snorers in a musical. there's nothing worse as a performer to hear a snore during a silent moment in the show. come on.
joe: "i'm in the lincoln seat. let's hope i don't get shot."
life update: i'm finally done with this never-ending show and i'm looking forward to getting back to my normal weekends. now i'll actually have time to go *gasp* grocery shopping! god forbid i have a spare moment to put food in ma belly!
happy mid-week slump! i'm currently sick as a dog and still trying to work. hope your week is going much better, and pass the ricola!