Being An Audience Member From Our Perspective
Going to the theatre is always a fun event. The whole evening is a treat, usually you grab a nice dinner, get a bit dressed up and maybe you’re even celebrating a special occasion. Watching a show is one of my favorite ways to treat myself and I am lucky enough to live very close to NYC and can pop into the city to catch a Broadway show whenever I’d like. Some people might think that being in a show could ruin some of the magic of theatre but in essence it has made it even more of a fun experience for me.
When we are backstage in Riverdance before the show begins we have a certain routine. We have rotations an hour before the show, warm up at half hour call and as soon as five minute call hits we all go change, get ready and aren’t allowed to tap/make noise side stage anymore. Because I know we have this routine I can imagine what other performers in other shows are doing in the same time frame. Obviously every show is different, a musical theatre show or a ballet probably have a completely different routine than we do but it is still fun to imagine. I will be sitting in the audience of a show and at five minutes to when it begins I know that it’s very likely that someone is running around looking for help to zip up their costume or to take a last minute trip to the bathroom.
Being in a show has also made me a better audience member. People don’t realize just how far into the crowd we can see. The lights are really bright and we can’t make out specific details but those first 10-12 rows are very visible to us. We can tell if the audience is loving or hating the show and we definitely feed off of the energy that is given out. Because of this I am conscious of how attentive I am when I am viewing another show. I also know that the glow of a cell phone is way stronger than we realize. Sometimes at the beginning of an act, right as the lights go down, the audience looks like a ton of fireflies with all of cell phones that are on; but as soon as the first few notes of music play the phones immediately go off and people snap to attention. We definitely have fantastic audiences here in Riverdance and we love and appreciate the amazing energy you all give off every night!
Side stage we can get caught up in the routine of it all. Between dances we dancers change shoes and costumes, chat and hangout, but it is important to take a minute to sit and enjoy the other aspects of being in a show. I like to take the time to sit back and listen to our incredible band playing some of my favorite music. We are lucky to have this unique vantage point and I think it is important to take the time as a performer to remember that. It really hits home to me how lucky I am to be in this business and when I am in the audience of another incredible show, I appreciate it even more. I hope you all enjoy being in the audience as much as we do and know that we appreciate each and every person sitting watching and all of the energy you feed to us!