Why Performers Talk About "Killing The Audience"

Lately everything has become show business. It’s not hard to understand why. Everyone is trying to make a cash-able impression on their audience. And what better way than with a great performance on the stage. We love it so! The lights, the action, the dialog, the sound effects.

However, it hasn’t always been this way. At one time — even in the heralded days of Shakespeare — the stage and its players were considered second class citizens. Show people hired to entertain us; but surely not to mix in with our class after the show.

Through a remarkable century of social transformation, show people are now the people everyone wants to know. From their performances to their autographs and certainly to their paparazzi backstories. Which, just possibly, is one of the reasons show people still carry a little grudge.

Consider the combative if not angry way they approach a performance. “We’ll kill ’em tonight…!” “Lets blow their socks off…!” “Knock ’em dead out there…!” It’s as if show people are still a little insecure with their recent status. As if they still have to prove themselves every time.

Nothing wrong with fire in the belly. What may be wrong is that this same almost bellicose feeling is now inherent in virtually everyone in the business of showing. Advertisers…professional athletes… celebrated professors in the classroom… pundits on television… and now every politician from dog catcher to mayor to president. As kids they all wanted to be in show business. Now they all are.

Just watch them in action. Every wave…every speech…every parade…every interview. It may be unspoken, but I hear it under their breath just the same. “I’ve got the spotlight. Just watch me in action. I’m going to kill ya…!”

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