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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Helping hands » » Big round of applause for... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Joshua Lozoff
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Inner circle
Chapel Hill, NC
1332 Posts

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Do you ask for applause for a volunteer as s/he is coming to the stage? Ken Weber says not to, and I have always felt it's cheesy (I feel it's the performer version of parents praising their children for doing absolutely nothing... "Can you put that on your plate? God job, Tommy!") I hate that!

But it's also a nice way to fill the time. I imagine it could make the volunteer feel more comfortable or less so.

Personally I would NOT want applause as I was walking to a stage to help with something if I were a volunteer. But maybe it helps relax some people.

For those that don't, what do you do to fill the time as they approach the stage?

Thanks,
Joshua Lozoff

joshualozoff.com
Big Daddy Cool
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The Houdini Room at The Casa de Cool
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Hmmm... I don't remember that from Ken weber. I'll have to take a look at it again.

I do, because that is what BDC naturally wants to do...
Swing hard, swing often, and we'll catch ya on the Flip-Side!
John Pyka
www.johnpyka.com
Ray Pierce
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Inner circle
Los Angeles, CA
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Quote:
On 2009-03-18 15:05, Joshua Lozoff wrote:
Do you ask for applause for a volunteer as s/he is coming to the stage? Ken Weber says not to, and I have always felt it's cheesy (I feel it's the performer version of parents praising their children for doing absolutely nothing... "Can you put that on your plate? God job, Tommy!") I hate that!

But it's also a nice way to fill the time. I imagine it could make the volunteer feel more comfortable or less so.

Personally I would NOT want applause as I was walking to a stage to help with something if I were a volunteer. But maybe it helps relax some people.

For those that don't, what do you do to fill the time as they approach the stage?

Thanks,


From a theatrical standpoint there are several issues at play here.

#1 is the time kill necessary to cover the movement of the volunteer.

#2 is the interactive conditioning you're performing with the audience.

I view the applause in this case as a public welcoming of the volunteer. It is both customary and appropriate as a thank you for something extra that is being performed. When a guest speaker comes up to the podium for a banquet, they are typically greeted with a round of applause after their introduction, even though they have done nothing yet. It is simply a courtesy welcoming. In theater, the star is frequently greeted with applause on their first entrance. Usually this is expected and worked into the fabric of the piece especially in contemporary shows. This is slightly different as it is a thank you for their body of work.

The time kill shouldn't be an issue as there should be dialogue that covers any awkward crosses or transitions. If there isn't you have dead air which is the death of a show. You can also have a musical "play on" which covers the movement if dialogue isn't appropriate. I use this if I'm bringing someone up from the house and have any cueing to do prior to the arrival on stage. It keeps the show moving and the energy up.

The second issue is conditioning. It's easier to keep a ball rolling once it's started. Once you get the audience conditioned to the interactive applause cycle, you have better control that can build into a great reaction. It is a standard marketing technique. Having a customer fill out a "survey" on a product is frequently done to reinforce how amazing the product is to them. The questions can be slanted to elicit favorable responses thus reinforcing the purchase. Applause is the same in show business. The more people clap (willingly) the more they will perceive the show as good or entertaining. The exception is if they feel pushed or milked into it, then it builds resentment. It has to be invisible and seamless. Great applause technique is an amazing art form and when it's done well, it's a joy to behold.

I've restaged acts and doubled their applause just by understanding the inter-relationship between the performer and the audience. Learning area staging, tension and release, Focus shifts, etc will train the audience and create a stronger bond.

Someone asked me why I cared about the applause. I told them that I didn't but the buyer does. It's their yardstick for measuring the satisfaction index of the audience. When I learned how to create the standing ovation experience the buyers recognized it and it translated into better bookings.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Big Daddy Cool
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The Houdini Room at The Casa de Cool
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Again,
It's been years since this was a new post, but I thought I'd chime in again.
I am a big fan of Ken Weber and I think he is advocating that the performer not do anything to take away his power, which comes through the spotlight. It's akin to Superman giving someone else his cape and letting them fly around the world.
Onstage WE are the Supermen and anything that we do to give up that power diminishes us.

That being said, I also believe that Weber is addressing new performers here. A seasoned performer who legitimately has complete control of the stage and the audience can ask the audience to grant applause to a volunteer coming onstage, because that performer has such complete control that the applause is really for HIM.
Swing hard, swing often, and we'll catch ya on the Flip-Side!
John Pyka
www.johnpyka.com
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