Thursday, December 25, 2008

possum carolers

Look, possum carolers. That reminds me of the Christmas show performances at the zoo. Ver-r-r-r-ry energetic and maybe just a dab crazy.

I have a thing against forced audience participation. (A strong thing. A big thing. Perhaps, one might say, a hatred. Or at least a vehement objection.) I'm not really a participator myself, beyond singing, and having someone try to make you participate when you don't want to is just yucky. It's embarrassing at best, and at worst, it can feel like being the object of a power trip. (I find the glare/eye-roll approach works at fending off this kind of thing.)

In the Christmas show, we invite audience members to participate, and if someone isn't feeling it, that's cool, we love them anyway. But in smaller shows, I think we have to be really careful not to edge toward coercion. Like I said, *I* felt silly doing 12 Days of Christmas in a gift shop, and I was in costume and was thus licensed to be silly. I get how a random passerby wouldn't want to do it. In fact, I was impressed by the few who did try to follow along with the movements.

A lot of people who weren't doing the movements were singing along, or at least moving their mouths. And, hey, some people just enjoyed/tolerated us as background music while they chatted, and that's cool, too. It wasn't like they'd paid to sit in an auditorium and party with us - they were trying to buy souvenirs/eat french fries. And they weren't actively throwing things at us, either. So it's all good.

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