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Applause, applause



The Escovido Orchestra performs at the Stanford Jazz Workshop, c.2017

This post goes out to all my performer friends.

2020 has been a brutal year for nearly everyone.  Definitely it’s been bad for the Arts.  There are so many who deeply miss being onstage.  They do not really feel alive, unless they have an audience.  In my 30-some years in show business, I have known many who cannot truly feel like themselves unless they have a measure of the ‘ecstasy in the light’.  Off stage, they have stage fright, or depression, or anxiety.  But give them an audience… and they are finally at home.  They step into the limelight, rip out their hearts, and put them on display – all to be able to bask in your adoration.

So this year, for them, has been nearly unbearable.  And I feel sad on their behalf.  To a small degree, I also feel that way too.  As a lighting guy, at the top of every concert there is a moment: the SM calls for the house lights to go dark.  I snap them off with a rush; and the audience lets out a whoop and a cheer!  They have waited in line, waited for a drink, suffered through the opening act; and FINALLY, for them, it’s showtime.  Finally, the band begins.  That moment, the blackout: for me that’s everything.  Sure, all the light cues that follow are what they are actually paying to see.  And I do try to rise to the occasion, to do each band up right.  But that primal reaction, the joy that they all share at once; that’s a hell of a rush.

2021 promises, eventually, a reprieve.  Maybe there will be a vaccine, maybe it will work safely, maybe folks will use it.  If all three prove true, then live shows can happen again.  And those actors, singers, & storytellers can once again go home.  Until that time, let your favorite performer know you’re thinking of them.  They will appreciate it.



“Face in the crowd” – the Kinks 

Hat tip to Anne Deck, host of WUKY’s radio show “Girl’s Night Out”, for the song selection.  

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