I post a lot from the perspective of a performer, but I’d like to take a moment to post as an audience member.
This is an open letter to producers and performers (especially comedians):
Please consider me, your audience, when you are putting on your show. Like most audience members, I come to your show and show you respect. I listen to your jokes, I applaud, I cheer. I am a good audience member.
What you seem to forget is that when I come to see you perform I am not only giving you money, I’m also giving you some of my time. And my time is valuable to me. In fact, my hourly rate is worth more than the $10 – $20 I paid to see your show. With that in mind, please don’t disrespect my time. An hour and a half is a long enough show. If you reach two hours, it better be a damn good show. Any longer and you are making me miss other parts of my life, that have more value to me then your self-indulgent jokes (that in many cases just insult and abuse the audience).
Your show isn’t just about you, in fact, it should be about me since I’m the one paying for it. If your show is you tooting your own horn for three hours, at about the hour and half mark I’ll be wishing I could go home. That means that the last half of your show is me not wanting to be there. That’s what I’ll leave your show thinking. In fact, I am usually willing to pay you more money for less of a show. That’s a truth.
There’s an old saying, “A good time doesn’t mean a long time” and it still holds water in today’s world. You may think I would want nothing more then to watch you perform all night long, but the truth is, that’s what you and your ego want, not me your audience. Take a look around at the people you are performing for and ask yourself, what’s the best thing for them, and how can I bring that about. Otherwise you’re not really a performer, you’re just an attention-seeker who has no respect for other people’s time.
Dave Morris, Audience Member