You aren’t just a performer, you are an audience member…watching the people in front of you, waiting for reactions for gratification…scouring for signs of mirth, boredom, admiration, disappointment. Just as you become connected with characters on screen or stage, their reactions and feelings get absorbed into you. Your performance may become better and livelier with a hedonistic audience. With quiet, unresponsive viewers or those that chatter through a set you either become disheartened, detach yourself from the situation with shopping lists or find it the perfect challenge to get their attention.
So to the girl and her mother who rolled their eyes, sneered and said ‘thank god’ when I announced my last track at a friend’s private performance just now…you are not the first, you will not be the last, but I’m not singing for you. I’m singing for myself, for the people listening and appreciating. For the children who don’t know the songs, but dance anyway. I sing so people can reminisce, to set the scene of an era and to keep them alive. I sing because I don’t have the guts to stop and tell you that I can hear every word and see every gesture. I sing because you can’t.