I don’t go to many plays, but everyone was raving about the musical, The Full Monty, so when some girlfriends were visiting from Toronto and Montreal, I figured, what the heck. Let’s go! Unfortunately, Friday night’s performance was up against the Cavendish Beach Music Festival. Ricky Scaggs and Johnny Lee were set to play on the north end of the island, so Charlottetown Confederation Centre of the Arts main theatre was not exactly full. I would say the theatre was about a third full.
And yet Jerry, the main performer was singing to the rafters. In a full theatre, singing to the “cheap seats” is a great strategy. It makes the entire room feel included. However, with such a small group, he never connected eyeball-to-eyeball with the audience. We were sitting in the third row (GREAT seats!) and he never looked in our direction. Not once.
People like to feel included and the best way to do that is to look at them. I’m not talking about staring. Just look at someone for a second or two, and then go find another friend in the audience and connect with them. Make sure you cover all the major quandrants of the room – in no particular order – and just have a conversation with your eyes!