The Attentive Audience
People often ask me whether it bothers me if people are not quietly listening. As a performer I am hired by a venue to entertain. Every venue has its own atmosphere., so whether it is a loud crowded pub or a sprawling outdoor festival, my job is to gear my setlist to that demographic and entertain the hell out of 'em. I can totally feel when an audience is engaged, and when they are not...that doesn't mean they are quietly listening. I can feel when I am a part of the fun they are having, and hopefully fueling that good time. What is difficult as an entertainer is when there is a disconnect between the audience and me. Sometimes try as I might, there is just nothing I can do to get their attention...and my voice certainly is no wallflower. Those are the most difficult gigs to play. I expend a tremendous amount of energy entertaining and when an audience is behaving badly, it is disheartening. Yet, afterward I access whether I was just not right for the room, or if what was happening in the room (people were very drunk, live music is a new thing at this venue, people were more interested in visiting, etc) was preventing people from being attentive. I try to be mindful of that when I am at a venue with live music. I am talking and visiting but I am clapping, watching, smiling, laughing, maybe dancing, and I am definately tipping EVERY live performer I see. I'm not sure why tipping seems to be an afterthought in my area. I guess people don't understand how grossly underpaid performers are and all the time, travel and expense they go to in providing quality entertainment.