Saturday, August 1, 2009

The show must go on

Once a show is underway, the saying "the show must go on" is as real as it could be.

I once read of performing on the street: plan and prepare for your show; and during the show, be prepared to throw away your plan. This is certainly a very practical approach.

Years ago, I attended a Cirque du Soleil show twice. I watched Saltimbanco on 2 different nights. During a particular act in the show, a performer invited the audience to volunteer for a fun segment. On the first night I watched the show, getting volunteers was a smooth affair. However, it was a different thing altogether during my second visit to the show. A member of the audience, a lady, was persuaded by that same performer to step into the ring. Then, something unexpected happened. This lady kind of broke down and refused quite vehemently to be in the spotlight. She stormed back to her seat. So the performer had work harder to look for someone else and proceed with the act. Now that's a "live" show for you!

Tonight, I performed at a convention dinner held in a hotel. It was the kind of audience that requires persuasion skills to invite volunteers on stage. I gave them "the red-carpet treatment" and this seemed to work. During the show, while trying to getting volunteers on stage, I picked out 2 people sitting next to each other at the same dinner table.

It was a judgement call.
Choose 1 of them only and risk more resistance and delay; or choose both of them so that they both know that they can mutually support each other and can feel comfortable as a pair on stage to play a juggling game they have never played before in their lives.

So I decided to invite both of them to come up on stage together. Both of them joined me on stage fairly readily. Phew!

The show must go on.

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