The Show Must Go On. Shouldn’t It?

In Manado. And I just had a breakdown.

The six one-act comedy shows that we were supposed to be performing was cut short after just three plays because some people felt that there was no point in going on. Admittedly, the audience was scant yet overwhelmingly rowdy. They were drunk and belligerent, loudly talking among themselves. When I was performing Tarantino Variation, a hammered woman actually got up among the actors and wouldn’t leave. Some people were outraged, or disappointed, or something, and after the play was finished, the performance was terminated for the night.

And I went to a dark corner and I cried. Not because of all the chaos or even the excessively drunk woman (personally I thought that was one of the funniest things that have ever happened to me on stage) but because we didn’t finish the performance. It would have been a major learning experience to perform the best that we can despite the circumstances. So what if the audience wasn’t paying attention? Isn’t it the job of an entertainer to make that happen? Have we become so spoiled that we expect everyone to captively watch us, hanging on to our every word, mesmerized by the subtlety of our expressions, and generally impressed by our acting without us even trying? If we fail, why don’t we just try harder? If we still fail, why don’t we just have fun? Have we forgotten the joys of acting for its own sake and become such primadonnas?

I would like to think that I’m better than that. And I would like to think that Jakarta Players is better than that.

Sadly, tonight I was proven wrong.

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