Your Attention Please

You know the moment I’m talking about.  When the orchestra is playing or the choir is singing, they come to the end of a movement, the conductor holds the baton in the air, the audience holds its collective breath, and just as it’s time for the music to continue into the next movement, some poor soul begins to clap.  Then the unsure decide they should also applaud.  Then those who feel bad for the ones who are clapping join in – so as to make them feel better.  Others sit silently, begging for the moment to pass.  The musicians stay at the ready.  The maestro is, no doubt, frowning and rolling his eyes.  The applause is feeble, and the whole place is just longing for a do-over!

I experienced it a couple of times this holiday season.  I’ll bet several of you did too.  Really pretty funny.  No harm done.  But if this is going to make its way into the “Ranting and Raving” category, I’ve got to get onto the soap box.

What in the Sam Hill is wrong with these people who show up at concerts and talk through the whole performance?  This season I’ve heard terrible stories of inebriated folks destroying the joy of festive concerts with their loud non-stop banter.  Or obnoxious talkers during little children’s school programs.  I thought I might come unglued at a high school performance when some of the singers themselves couldn’t keep from stealing the show – when it wasn’t their turn on the stage – with their loud conversations.  I don’t mind an occasional whisper… but good grief!  When common courtesy is absolutely trampled upon, that’s a hard pill to swallow.

Can’t we all try to be a little more polite?  The performers deserve everyone’s kind attention whether they are seasoned professionals or five year old ballerinas.  Audience members deserve a pleasant environment whether they’ve paid $50 dollars for a ticket or they’re listening to their eight year old grandson sing his first solo in a grade school cafeteria.

I know all my readers are good as gold… so I’m preaching to the choir!  Thanks for letting me vent.


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14 Responses to “Your Attention Please”

  1. Sandy says:

    Special thanks to my sweet little friend Kenzie for letting me put her photo on my blog! You’re a beautiful ballerina, and I hope you’ll always have wonderful people in your audience!

  2. Glenda Powell says:

    Oh, preach it, Sandy! I agree with you 100%!!! Apparently, common courtesy is no longer common. Therefore, we are left with a dilemna: quietly suggest to the offenders to please let us enjoy the “_________” and risk a confrontation OR seethe in silence. When you find a solution, do share with the rest of us.

  3. Jany Warnica says:

    I’ve noticed one element missing from young people, they seem not to have been told “It’s not ABOUT YOU!”

  4. Sandy says:

    And sadly… it’s not just a generational problem we’ve got going on. Some of the worst offenders are adults. We’re in an “all about me” culture, and I hope we can return to a kinder, gentler path somehow!

  5. Marcea Clive says:

    Let’s face it. It is the “ME” generation and I am not just referring to kids, either. Sandy, I think you just did everyone a favor. It is kinda like the people who listen Rush Limbaugh because he says what lots of people are thinking, but don’t say. Thanks for being our mouthpiece……….
    It doesn’t have to be a live performance. Nothing worse than going to a movie and having to strain to hear what is being said because some dope can’t keep his mouth shut.

  6. kristi says:

    Graduations are the worst around here. People coming and going, talking, only paying attention when the person they are there to watch is doing something. Annoying!

  7. Jana says:

    People have even talked throigh the last few weddings that I have been to. It is inbelievable. Now along with the announcement to turn cell phones off maybe we should add, ”and no talking!”

  8. Sharon says:

    I paid $85 each for tickets in Lubbock and had the evening ruined by a couple of drunks in the row behind me, six people away, when I finally had had it and turned around to glare them down, it was women from Clovis…and I knew them. Saw one of them in Dillards the other day and I wanted to trip her. Prominant figure, heard she text messaged through an entire presentation of awards while she sat on the stage with the honorees. HAHA, manners down the drain.

  9. Jane says:

    I thought I was just unlucky in choosing a seat!

  10. Cheryl says:

    AMEN & AMEN! I’m always amazed by this…or maybe dumbstruck is a better word. We sat in front of a group of senior citizens at one concert who thought a whisper was the volume of normal talking. And they had something to say during the ENTIRE concert. Didn’t make it any less annoying, but what a blessing the concert was free. And as annoying as talking is the person who constantly looks at their phone while the house lights are down and we’re trying to really listen to the music. It’s like a blue (in this case) strobe light keeps going off. Maybe electronics need to be dropped in a vat by the door! The inappropriate clapping seems to ALWAYS happen to us at free concerts. Not so much when we’re at Jones Hall.:)

  11. Sandy says:

    I really say “bless the hearts” of the inappropriate applauders. They’re really trying to be polite and show their appreciation. But people know GOOD AND WELL not to talk during a performance.. and I’m not blessing their hearts today! =)

  12. Mary Anne says:

    Unfortunately it is everywhere. Teachers are the worst at trainings. I have been so embarrassed when there is a speaker talking to teachers. Sometimes there is just a low roar in the room. They wouldn’t like this in their classroom. Once when I moved from one school where the student audience was controlled to another where the students talked all through performances, I just couldn’t stand to attend performances. The principal didn’t do anything about it. Then came change of administration and things changed. Programs were stopped if they were not courteous. Things were much better.
    Thanks for preaching.

  13. Robin Green says:

    I was so embarrassed once when I opened a cough drop at a concert – the paper made a crackling sound which was much better than a coughing fit, but the people near me weren’t happy.
    It’s a kindness to ask someone, politely, to turn off the phone or stop talking. But sometimes they’re sitting too far away!

  14. Sandy says:

    Robin! That was YOU making all that crackling paper sound?? Hee hee!

    Mary Anne, I know what you mean about teachers… When I was a teacher, I could never believe how rude we could be as a collective group when being spoken to! Yikes!

    This one has certainly hit a resounding note! It received many, many clicks the day I posted it. Please feel free to continue spreading the word. We’ll change the world one polite message at a time.

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