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Help: performance and applause

Indy Lass 08 Mar 01 - 02:37 PM
mousethief 08 Mar 01 - 02:51 PM
Justa Picker 08 Mar 01 - 02:55 PM
mousethief 08 Mar 01 - 02:57 PM
MichaelM 08 Mar 01 - 03:01 PM
Indy Lass 08 Mar 01 - 03:05 PM
Hollowfox 08 Mar 01 - 03:11 PM
Jacob B 08 Mar 01 - 03:11 PM
mousethief 08 Mar 01 - 03:53 PM
MMario 08 Mar 01 - 04:10 PM
katlaughing 08 Mar 01 - 04:29 PM
Uncle_DaveO 08 Mar 01 - 04:57 PM
Indy Lass 08 Mar 01 - 04:59 PM
ddw 08 Mar 01 - 07:23 PM
Extra Stout 08 Mar 01 - 08:27 PM
Lonesome EJ 08 Mar 01 - 08:54 PM
InOBU 08 Mar 01 - 09:32 PM
Marion 09 Mar 01 - 08:21 AM
Marion 09 Mar 01 - 08:32 AM
Naemanson 09 Mar 01 - 09:00 AM
Whistle Stop 09 Mar 01 - 01:18 PM
katlaughing 09 Mar 01 - 02:12 PM
Clinton Hammond 09 Mar 01 - 02:30 PM
Maryrrf 09 Mar 01 - 03:47 PM
Maryrrf 09 Mar 01 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,MichaelM 09 Mar 01 - 09:05 PM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Mar 01 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Mar 01 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Mar 01 - 11:40 AM
wysiwyg 10 Mar 01 - 11:48 AM
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Subject: performance and applause
From: Indy Lass
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 02:37 PM

In past performances at a bookstore, I've wondered if I should ask people to hold their applause-for two reasons: because of the quietness the atmosphere of a bookstore requires, and because it makes me uncomfortable for some reason to put people in a position where they have to respond with good manners to something I've done, be it good or mediocre. I just think I would like to just play one song after another without haveing the audience have to respond. Now, would people think this was a weird request?


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: mousethief
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 02:51 PM

Yes. If they like what you've done they should be allowed to respond.

If they don't like it the applause will be brief and quiet. If they like it a lot it will be louder and longer.

But appluase is an important way that an audience gets to participate in the performance. I wouldn't try to cut it off.

Just my 2 bits' worth.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: Justa Picker
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 02:55 PM

Agree with M.T.
You'll also draw more attention to yourself by asking them to refrain from applauding.


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: mousethief
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 02:57 PM

PS what's wrong with good manners?


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: MichaelM
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 03:01 PM

I spent a very frustating evening seeing the Anonymous 4 in concert. They instructed the audience to hold their applause until the intermission. They were (they said)avoiding losing their focus. They did a varied repertoire with several obvious breaks,stopped to change their position on stage and stopped to adjust their pitch. They spent 45 minutes singing to each other and shut the audience completely out of their performance.

I have performed in classical choirs before where we grouped pieces together thematically. The audience got to respond every third song or so.

When I've played in bookstores before I've asked the audience to also express their appreciation to the management and to buy books.


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: Indy Lass
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 03:05 PM

Nothing's wrong with good manners, but I don't want people to clap because they think they'll hurt my feelings if they don't. Some folks would sit and look at a book in the lounge section of the bookstore where I played and not respond and I understood they're into the book, perhaps. This "no applause please" request would allow them to feel like they don't have to clap their hands with a book on their lap.


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: Hollowfox
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 03:11 PM

If the boookstore is too quiet, it's not good because therre aren't enough customers. One of the reasons bookstores have musicians is to attract customers with good taste, and re-enforce their desire to come back. If you keep things too quiet (no laughter, no applause), the customers might think you're just a nice recording. The applause calls attention to the fact that you're a live act, shows how classy the store is to have you there, and helps business.*g*


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: Jacob B
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 03:11 PM

Why not just tell the audience that they don't have to applaud if they are reading? That way you will give them permission to either applaud or not, whichever they are more comfortable with, without making them feel that they have to refrain from applauding even if they want to.


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: mousethief
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 03:53 PM

Why not just assume they're big boys and girls and will applaud if they choose to, and not applaud if they choose not to? If I'm in a bookstore for a performance, I'll applaud the numbers. If I'm in a bookstore looking for a book and there happens to be a performer there, I'll only applaud if I really like the song(s). If the singer said, "you don't have to applaud if you don't want to" I would take it as being condescending/patronizing.

Maybe I'm weird.


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: MMario
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 04:10 PM

MT - I'm with you.

Additionally - there is nothing more frustrating then wanting to applaud and having been told to hold your applause. In some concert performances it is obvious that certain songs are grouped, and applause for all go at the appropriate spot - but in a bookstore?

Believe me, if they don't want to, they won't. And why deny yourself the appluase from those who want to applaud you?


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 04:29 PM

The one time my brother and I performed in a bookstore in West Hartford, we hated it. It was hard to tell who was listening and who was not, plus the people who were eating (small coffehouse attached in one room) talked, as if we were interlude music. There were really nice people who sat and listened and if they had not had the allowance to applaud, we would have both been devastated. As it was, we knew we were reaching a few real music lovers and sold several tapes and books afterwards, so all in all, I would have to agree with MT, let them choose, and after all...don't you deserve it? Whether you think what you did was good or mediocre, it still takes courage and effort to get up there and perform and that alone is worthy of applause!

kat


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 04:57 PM

A bunch of people in the presence of a performer do not constitute an audience. You have to "polarize the audience"--that is, get them lined up together, so that they FEEL like an audience. Applause is a big part of that. That's why touring groups so often have opening acts--to get the audience FEELING like an audience, so that when the main act comes on everything booms!

This is not just for the benefit of the performer. A great deal of the pleasure of attending a good performance is joining with others in expressing pleasure. You do a good thing for the listeners by MAKING them an audience which feels together. If all they wanted was to HEAR music, they could stay at home and listen to records.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: Indy Lass
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 04:59 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions! I like knowing how other musicians are thinking! Yeah, bookstores are sort of a different kind of venue but I like them because they are relaxing; quiet and laid back, and there are no smokers or overly inebriated people there. I hope to play more in the future. Thanks again :-D


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: ddw
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 07:23 PM

I.Lass —

I can't imagine playing for an audience who couldn't applaud what they liked and not applaude what they don't like. It would leave me wondering if the liked anything I was doing.

Maybe I'm just insecure, but I want to know when they're pleased and when they're not so I can adjust what I'm doing. But then, I've always worked on the maxim that a performance is never about the performer, it's about the audience.

If I'm an audience member, I would consider it pretty presumptuous of the performer to tell me NOT to applaud — the inherent message being "I know you'll think I'm great, so I'll ask you ahead of time not to tell me so."

I'd probably walk out.

david


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: Extra Stout
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 08:27 PM

I wouldn't worry. If the manager wanted a quiet store, you wouldn't be there in the first place, and people who don't enjoy your music won't feel any pressure to applaud, they'll ignore you. Good luck.


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 08:54 PM

Dave O, you make a very good point. I'd never considered that, but it's true.


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: InOBU
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 09:32 PM

Reminds me of a funny thing that used to happen playing in pubs... When we do concerts in halls or festivals, you get used to applause, however, sometimes in bars, folks treat you like a jutbox. I cure this by waiting a moment in the silence, and saying, "Thanks for holding your applause till our break, we have a ton of music to get through..." at which time folks laugh and applaud, and keep clapping after each tune. Wake's em up, reminds them that your live.
Cheers
Larry


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: Marion
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 08:21 AM

Am I the only one who often wishes it were good manners to applaud in church, or to stand on your chair and cheer in a coffeehouse?

Indy, please don't ask the audience not to applaud. If you were listening to a performance you really liked, wouldn't you find it frustrating? And if you were listening to something you didn't like but felt obligated to clap your hands 8 times periodically, would you feel it was that terrible an imposition?

Marion


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: Marion
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 08:32 AM

While we're on the topic of applause, what do we think of applause in the middle of a song/tune?

I once played a song at an open mic with two verses, a solo, then a third verse. In the middle of my solo there was applause, and I assumed that the audience thought I was winding up and I said, "No, no, there's more!" I was really embarrassed, and wondered if they thought I SHOULD be winding up, and I made a total mess of the rest of the solo.

It was a month later when I suddenly realized that sometimes people clap in the middle of a piece to show extra appreciation, and that that was probably what had happened. So I felt honoured in retrospect, like I had crossed some milestone in my career, and I realized that I should really have my material down well enough that a distraction won't throw me off.

But still... if applause in the middle of a performance is likely to distract the performer and takes away from the continuity of a song, is it worth the extra appreciation?

Marion


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: Naemanson
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 09:00 AM

I agree with the general opinion that you need to let the audience (those people who consider themselves part of the audience) applaud when they want. I have been to a few performances where the performers asked the audience to hold their applause and it seemed to work but there was a definite connection between the numbers that held it all together. Applause would definitely have interrupted that.

The year before last we produced Tommy at the Chocolate Church. We deliberately ran the first act so fast that the audience had no opportunity to applaud. When the act wrapped up with the big number in the pool hall and the music crashed to an end the audience, who had been held back for the whole time, literally exploded into applause and cheers. If you think you can manage something like that then you should go for it.


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 01:18 PM

Marion, applauding in the middle of a tune to show extra appreciation is common in some contexts -- jazz performances, for instance, where the musicians take turns soloing. It's the audience's prerogative, and it can give the performers a boost if taken in the proper spirit, so I wouldn't be inclined to stifle it.

If you find applause distracting, the solution is not to try to stifle the applause -- the solution is to learn to accept the tribute without losing your focus. It's a performance skill, just like all the others (sequencing your material, making smooth transitions from one song to the next, speaking to the audience, tuning on the fly, etc.). The more you do it, the better you will get at it.


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 02:12 PM

Unless of corse you are at a classical concert and then it is de rigueur to be expected to hold applause and very bad manners to applaud during anything!**BG**

I still say you have feel worthy of applause, i.e. self-confident, otherwise it is going to make you uncomfortable.


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 02:30 PM

Lemme throw in my 0.02...

The regualr matinee Iplay onsaturday usually goes as follows... I set up... and get started around 3... I'll blast through the first 3 songs or so mostly as sound check... If the audience is applauding ad the end of each song forinstance, after the 3rd or 4th, I'll invited them to put an end to that.. to not feel obligated... Most of them are likely in there for a late lunch or early dinner and so have better things to do with their hands... Some folk though will ahv no truck with that and will continue to applaud... I'll treat them as if they were the front row in that case.. they've shown their willingness to praticipate and Imake damn sure they do...

If after the first 3 or 4 songs, NO ONE (this rarely if ever happens) is applauding, then I'll thank them in InOBUs manner above...

;-)


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: Maryrrf
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 03:47 PM

I play at my local Borders sometimes (I have a performance scheduled for Sunday). In my experience the audience applauds but they're not inebriated, they know people are also in there browsing and reading, and as several pointed out it is a very laid back atmosphere. There isn't any danger of them applauding so furiously that they will disturb the whole bookstore - at least I've never provoked such a response! I love playing at bookstores. The audience is more sensitive, educated, appreciative and I can do a lot of songs that would never be appreciated in a pub.


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: Maryrrf
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 03:47 PM

I play at my local Borders sometimes (I have a performance scheduled for Sunday). In my experience the audience applauds but they're not inebriated, they know people are also in there browsing and reading, and as several pointed out it is a very laid back atmosphere. There isn't any danger of them applauding so furiously that they will disturb the whole bookstore - at least I've never provoked such a response! I love playing at bookstores. The audience is more sensitive, educated, appreciative and I can do a lot of songs that would never be appreciated in a pub.


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: GUEST,MichaelM
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 09:05 PM

Two notes:

During a performance in a local Chapters bookstore my wife wandered around to gauge the sound level and balance. She said there were a substantial number of people sitting just out of sight in the shelves, apparently content to enjoy what we were playing without becoming part of an "audience".

As to the taboo on applause during classical performance there is a famous recording of E. Power Biggs playing Bach in a infectious rhythm. The audience started to clap along vigorously and in time. It is exhilarating to listen to.

Michael


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 11:34 AM

Yes, Indy Lass, allow applause.

1. It's never going to be very loud.


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 11:34 AM

Yes, Indy Lass, allow applause.

1. It's never going to be very loud.


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 11:40 AM

Yes, Indy Lass, allow applause.

1. It's never going to be very loud.

2. How many times would you have to repeat a request for no applause? Too many.

3. Applause will attract new listeners. -------- The posting above about the Anonymous 4 singing for 45 minutes touched a chord in me. That's ridiculous! People cannot be totally silent for 45 minutes, because from time to time somebody needs to cough, if only just once.

I attended a concert of medieval music where we were requested to hold applause (and not move) for one hour. Every piece sequeged seamlessly into the next for about 30 minutes, until finally there came a moment when we could cough. There was a lot of chuckling too, because we were very much aware of the organizer's anti-coughing obsession.

Don't ever set up a concert or show this way.


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Subject: RE: Help: performance and applause
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 11:48 AM

Marion, you come shout in our church if you like.

IL, what you want to do is set a tone and then let it all go from there, and work with whatever develops. It will probably be different every time anyway, and it ought to be!

You can try to be more firm, but people are just going to rebel! For instance, bookstore wandering is one of our favorite day-off activities. I'm in a pretty silly mood, usually, because days off are pretty rare, and Hardi and I egg each other on. So we'd be the ones at the far end of the place perusing cookbooks, hollering out an occasional "Wha-HOOO!" if we were asked not to applaud. But we'd also be the ones that would come up after, tell you how great you were, and get to know you and invite you to jam sometime. We might even have our axes out in the car, as we often do in nice weather for picking in the park. (Might buy lunch too, you never know with us!)

Just focus on the music once you've got things rolling-- it will be what it will be, and when you've had more experience doing this, you'll have your own way of starting and leading the experience. You don't have to know all about this ahead of time-- let it unfold, and have fun seeing where it goes.

And dang! You get PAID? Cool!

~Susan


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