the occasional thoughts of a theater fan
Sometimes, there's not a great deal to say about something that means a great deal....but what there is, is worth saying.
So, this is just a short ode to those moments when I'm in an audience watching a live performance, and I'm captivated and enthralled, and transported...and I realize I'm not even breathing, because I don't want to miss a second, or make a sound that would break the spell. But the best part? It's not just me...everyone is transfixed...no coughs, no rustles, no whispers, not even any audible breathing. That collective breath is magic. It is the power of the actors and the story and the setting to make us one for an instant. One of the many gifts of live theatre is the give and take between the actors and the audience. And it can happen even in a show that isn't a hit, or one you don't love...because it's really about the human experience of having someone tell you a story. Remember when you'd hold your breath as you listened to a bedtime tale? Waiting to say "good night, moon," or hear "happily ever after," or "and then Harold dropped off to sleep." One of my fondest memories is of being read aloud to, and I love reading aloud to this day. I'll look up from the page, and see my niece still, but somewhere else...in the story with Harry, Hermione and Ron. And we're there together. Just like at the theatre, but there, we're with strangers, strangers with whom we've gone on a journey without leaving our seats. We may never know their names, but we breathed together for a moment; and it was magic.
The next time you're in a theatre, and you find yourself completely in the moment, listen to the audience and you might hear...absolutely nothing.