21 Nov What You Learn on Your Day Off

First published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly 21.11.22


There is a moment in each holiday when you can feel like maybe this whole relaxation thing is just too stressful and you’re tempted to give up and put your work pants back on.

I almost pulled the plug on this mini break away before it even started. (As I write this I can wriggle my toes and feel the sand stuck between them so, spoiler alert, I made it in the end.) I had a job booked up north – one night only – and decided to go earlier and stay later to do… well, nothing at all. Sleep, read, walk, eat, stare at things.

I can tell when I am nearing burn-out. The voice in my head (the one we all have with that endless running commentary) turns into a right cow. I’ll be in the shower in the morning, minding my own business, and she’ll be all, “You shouldn’t have done that, you’re stupid, and also everyone is stupid and also mean, and I bet nothing goes right today, see, shampoo in your eye, typical.” And it takes a fair bit of energy to shush her which is a pity because you’re short on energy which is how she got in that mood.

So a little break away, a change of scene, waking up without an alarm seemed a sensible idea. But all efforts to clear my agenda for a couple of days were thwarted and the day before I packed my bag I realised I’d also have to pack my laptop, a box of research notes and a long To Do list with deadlines attached. Maybe just cancel the motel and stay home where I keep the stationery and the coffee? Also, the cat had seen my suitcase and he looked sad.

But I pushed on and I can tell you that ten minutes out of the city I felt my shoulders drop, and 30 minutes into the 3 hour trip I was singing and grinning, two of my favourite things.

There is something about geographical distance from the location of your usual routine that makes even routine things feels a bit sparkly. I can look up from my GST spreadsheet, see the ocean and listen to the waves for a minute, and the association of these things makes totting up the columns almost a joy.

All the work feels fun – the gig for a roomful of lawyers, even my business emails have a certain joie de vivre.

I’ve also had one of my epiphanies.

On other holidays, once I’ve relaxed, slowed down, noticed how bright the colours are and begun to feel time as something vast and full of choices, I’ve tried to sort of … bottle that feeling. “Remember this when you get home,” I’ve thought, “take this holiday feeling with you, try to live this deliberately and with this much pleasure all the time.”

But of course, you go back into your old routine. Which is when your internal monologue will grab a chance in the shower to suggest you’re a failure, that you’ve let the magical holiday feeling slip through your hands.

But of course it has – it isn’t possible to live like you’re on holiday when you’re not. Instead, it is enough to feel it mindfully at the time, to know you are capable of relaxing into yourself when you get the chance – for a week, or a day, or even an afternoon.

Heading home now to plan the next one.


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14 Nov Look Out, You’re Doing It!

First published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly 14.11.22


There was a trip when I was about 7 to Wellington’s State Opera House. If you haven’t been there, you should put it on your list. It was then, and is again now, “a grande dame of a théatre” (it helps if you say that whole phrase with a French accent). Crisp black and white tiles, red velvet, gold paint. If it were a lady, she would smell of face powder and wear a beauty spot on her cheek. Possibly have a little lipstick on her teeth.

We had driven from Levin to see a ballet – I don’t remember which one. This is one of those things parents do when their kid has taken up a thing – ballet, kapa haka, rugby, piano – you take them to watch the pros doing it properly to inspire them, show them how good this thing can be at its best.

Our seats were in the gods – way, way at the back and up so high I thought if leant too far forward I would fall on the people in the front row. (I’ve been up there as an adult and it doesn’t feel at all like that, which is one of the disappointing things about being an adult.)

My sudden desire then was not to become a dancer, or even about spending my life dressing up and going to shows. The startling thought was that I wanted to see all this the other way round – from the stage, looking out. That, I felt sure, was the better view.

And it is. Bang on, seven-year-old me. I think of her – not just when I get to work on that particular stage, though then for sure – and I tell her I think it’s cool to know where you want to stand and which way you want to face so early in your life.

I used to think it was weird that a) I wanted that, and b) knew I wanted that. But I can see now that we all have these moments of clarity, of yearning to be in the thing – part of it, not watching it. For all of us there will be a job, or a side hustle, or a skill you want to learn, a place you want to live, the family you want to build, or the kind of person you want to be. You will have felt an instant of recognition when you saw it and thought, “There it is, that’s the thing. I want to be inside that picture, not looking at it.”

And so there are two magical moments to be celebrated when you meet them – one is knowing that you’ve spotted a future you would like, and the other is knowing you’ve got there.

It’s that second one especially you need to keep a weather eye out for in case you miss it. It can be like learning to ride a bike – finding your balance feels impossible, and you’re terrified, and then at some point the person holding you lets go but you don’t notice until someone shouts, “You’re doing it!” and you realise that you are.

See also: swimming, driving a car, learning a second language, becoming a parent, graduating, meditating, and getting a job. At some point either someone will shout from the sidelines – or even better, you will notice yourself – that this thing you wanted to do? You’re doing it.


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09 Nov On the Pain (and Sometimes Pleasure) of “Waiting”

First published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly 7.11.22


Waiting – the act of hanging about in some degree of limbo – is rarely described in positive terms. Even the rooms set aside expressly for this purpose are mostly sad affairs – bad art, out-of-date magazines, uncomfortable chairs and an even less comfortable silence. When was the last time you stepped into a waiting room and thought, “Wow, I hope I get to be here for ages”?

Of course, in these spaces we can be waiting for potentially bad news. Sometimes you don’t know how worried you’ve been until you find out that everything is fine. There was a scan a few weeks ago that I’d thought I was totally relaxed about until I got the all-clear. At which point I drove home, cancelled that evening’s plans, collapsed on the couch and had a jolly good cry.

Where, I thought between sobs, were these sobs coming from? The news was good! But there must have been more anxiety humming in the background over those days between test and results than I’d been conscious of. How weird was I?

Not so weird – you’ve probably felt it, too. Last week there was a wonderful text from my friend who had experienced exactly this – a level of relief about good news that showed just how much she had dreaded something bad. She was texting now from under her duvet.

So there is anxious waiting, but we can forget there are other kinds, some of which are delicious. I’ve always liked the bit between exams (of the academic kind) and the posting of results. A golden period after the work, but before the judgement. There’s a chance it went well, so you can choose to imagine it has. Or at least try that choice on and see how it feels before the dread sneaks back in.

I have felt that kind of delicious waiting again in recent years during the spell between writing a book and releasing it into the wild. Again, it’s a golden time when your work is done, your deadline has been met, but no one has read it yet and it feels like a secret. Might be a good secret, no?

Ditto for opening night of a new show. That pause after the creation and before the reviews come in is when you can imagine a world where what you created is good because no one has told you yet that it’s not. As waiting rooms go, that’s a fine place to loiter.

I think of this kind of “waiting” when I’m hosting an awards night for a business or community group and at the start of the night you look out at a room filled who people who have been nominated for something special, and they are wearing a thing that’s fancy and also new, and there is the possibility for each of them that they’ll hear their name called.

There are other kinds of waiting, too. Not for “results” for but for events on a calendar, like Xmas or the return of someone we love – happy anticipation. Or when you’ve been asked to keep a secret about something really good, and waiting feels like tucking a little treasure into your pocket for later. Or the wait can be less patient when it is for things we need like money (the cheque’s in the mail, mate).

And we wait for babies to arrive, which involves a little of all the above. And almost as soon as they’re here, we start teaching them how to wait, with patience.


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31 Oct On Failure

First published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly 31.10.22


Once, when a journalist saw me work one night at Auckland’s comedy club, he asked me afterwards how it had felt when one of the jokes I’d done hadn’t worked.

And when I say “hadn’t worked” it was in a quite spectacular way. Not only had there been no laughs, there had been the kind of silence we commonly describe as “uncomfortable”. Maybe followed by a groan? Hard to say – I’m deaf and it’s impossible to read lips in the dark. Small mercies.

Had I been mortified, he’d asked? Wounded? Shame-faced? I thought about it and realised that a new thing had happened. Yes, I felt a little of those things but mostly what I felt was pleased. Pleased that I had tried a new bit – the hardest part of comedy is coming up with new bits – and sure, it hadn’t worked … Yet. But it might if I kept working on it.

Though I’d realised that wasn’t the point, either. The point was ‘failure’ meant I had taken a risk. And taking a risk had become more important to me than success. If I was taking a creative risk, that meant I was still learning, and still alive.

It was the first time I’d thought of it that way – or been aware that this was how I’d started to feel. I used to be terrified of failure, anxious pre-show to the point of nausea. Maybe with this new way of seeing it, I could finally relax.

All of us spend a lot of time hoping we don’t fail – at work, as parents, in relationships. We are wired to want to succeed, and to survive. Also, failing sucks – it makes your face hot, and your stomach drop, and you want to crawl away and hide. Failing publicly – it doesn’t have to be on stage, it can just be in front of any number of humans starting with as few as one – feels physically and emotionally a lot like shame.

So we do a bunch of things to avoid failure. Good things, like preparing, training, doing our homework, making the effort, committing ourselves fully to a challenge. And maybe less good things – like not taking on a challenge at all, just in case it doesn’t work out. You’re not going to have a bad gig if you don’t do any gigs at all.

I’m aware that, at different times over the years, I have avoided competitions – or generally competitive situations – when I’ve been feeling less resilient. You weigh it up and realise that, at this moment, winning might feel ‘this’ good but losing would feel ‘THIS’ bad, so you take yourself out of the running.

Which is sensible for a short time, but no way to live forever. I’ve been thinking about this over recent days as I’ve watched people I admire and respect who had put themselves up for local body elections – which must feel like a kind of community-wide popularity contest. Some of them didn’t win and I imagine that feels pretty stink, to spend many months and lots of money, offering your services and then not being chosen. Ouch.

But also, how courageous to take that kind of risk, and how kind it is to make that offer.

Meanwhile, I still get nervous before every show. I’m still aware that I am always a heartbeat away from failure. But also, if some part of it fails, the bigger part of me is delighted I risked a new thing.



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24 Oct What Makes It A Day Off?

First published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly 24.10.22


Two months till Christmas, right? Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. I just looked at the date and got a tiny fright myself. Ever since Covid turned up in our lives and we started spending chunks of time on “pause”, I’ve lost my inbuilt sense of “how long ago” and “how soon until”. But I think “two months till Christmas” usually comes with a mild sense of panic, right?

I am never ready for Christmas. Like anyone who works in events or entertainment, my work is seasonal and each Silly Season is delightfully mad. It starts in September, builds up a proper head of steam through October and November, and pops like a cork in December. All fun and games till someone loses an eye.

We’re not alone in this – the build-up of pressure applies to anyone who works in a business that wraps at Christmas and takes a summer break. Schools, offices, factories, tradies – anyone who plans a family getaway or shuts up shop will feel it.

So Christmas shopping happens when you are also frantically writing end of year reports, finishing projects, waiting for family to descend, booking travel and accommodation for January, and suddenly remembering one of the kids starts at a new school in February. (Again, sorry if I scared you.)

I haven’t had what you might call “a day off” for weeks – I say this not in a “wah wah” way, but with amazement that we are back to pre-Covid levels of gatherings, gala dinners and all those good things that give me a reason to shake out the sequins and fire up the curling tongs.

Though somewhere in this wild romp of gigs and travel and writing, it has made me ponder what actually constitutes “a day off”.

Is it a day when you don’t do anything you get paid for? In which case, travel days back from an event would count – except they don’t feel like rest and recreation. Is “a day off” not just about the absence of paid work, but about being able to choose what you do?

Of course, choosing what you do for a whole day is a rare luxury for a parent. Your day away from work is also their day away from school, which has you cast in unpaid roles of chauffeur, cheerleader, event manager, cleaner and cook. Some of this is fun, but it’s not all what you would choose. I recall the year my daughter signed up for water polo which involved 6am starts on a Saturday. I’m not saying I discouraged her from a second year but … I didn’t actively encourage it either.

Maybe each of us needs to think about what “a day off” looks like and see if we can design a date here and there that somewhat resembles this.

Here’s mine: Waking up without an alarm set; listening to music, not the news; not checking emails till I’ve made coffee and read something uplifting; doing some kind of bendy, stretchy exercise thing; sorting laundry and cleaning a thing till it shines; looking forward to something nice on a plate; and approaching each task slowly – even invoices or work emails or filing – and savouring it without being impatient to finish. It’s the slowness, I reckon, that makes it feel less of a chore, and tricks you into thinking it is something you choose to do.

Also, doing it – just for a day now and then – in my pyjamas. Guess what I’m wearing now.


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17 Oct A Gift of Ageing

First published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly 17.10.22


Our family is about to celebrate a 90th birthday and it will be the first one in a very long time.

There was probably a bit of a do when my maternal great-grandmother, Edith Rogers, reached this particular milestone but I was only two years old then and don’t remember it. No doubt it involved asparagus rolls and brandy snaps because in our family you couldn’t call it a party without them – still can’t, to be fair.

This dearth of 90th birthdays is not because we have a familial tendency to shuffle off our mortal coil prematurely – life expectancy on both sides of my family is generally well into the 80s. But this 90th sets a fresh benchmark, and it will be a delight to gather for Auntie Iris – my late-father’s youngest sister – and celebrate a terrifically good run.

I like the idea of 90 – it gives you reason to imagine a life might be made up of three acts, each of them thirty years long. You can think about what you did in your first 30 years, and then how much you’ve packed into life since, and feel quite chipper about imagining another chunk of life that size. Honestly, there might almost be enough time to get it all done. Though you wouldn’t want to dilly-dally.

The gift of youth, I often think, is that you don’t yet know that some things are impossible, so you launch yourself into ventures you might be wary of later. It can turn out they were possible – mostly because you thought they were. There is something to be said for being so young you haven’t had time to make a lot of mistakes. That youthful lack of cynicism is to be treasured.

Those of you in Act Two or Three – think about what you did in Act One, before you turned 30. I bet there was some wild stuff in there – stuff you might not do now, but which you don’t regret having a crack at then, and I bet a whole lot of it worked out really well.

As we get older, experience can make us risk averse. But it can also make us the other thing if we choose it. I have come to believe the gift of ageing is knowing in your bones that, if there is something you want to do, best you get on to it now. You become aware there is much less “later” than there used to be.

I have developed a taste for reading biographies and watching biopics – a thing we love to do, it seems, when we reach a certain age because, I’m guessing, as you start to feel the shape of your own life it’s encouraging to take a look at the shape of someone else’s.

I’ve recently watched two documentaries – one about Leonard Cohen, the other on David Bowie – and in both you could detect a time in their third act when they clearly had zero tosses to give about what other people thought of them. There was less anxiety – about failure, or anything else – and a palpable sense of nothing to prove and nothing to lose. Both those moments were followed by an intense period of creative output.

Self-acceptance is a glorious thing. It is also mercurial – you can have it on a Tuesday, and then wonder where it’s gone by week’s end. So perhaps another gift of ageing is learning to celebrate any moment of feeling comfortably and unapologetically yourself. Serve yourself an asparagus roll and a brandy snap. Make it a party.


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10 Oct At The Movies

First published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly 10.10.22


I have taken to scooting off to the movies at the drop of a hat. It feels a wild indulgence to sneak a couple of hours out of an afternoon and watch stories in the dark about other people’s lives.

I used to think the point of going to the movies was the company, but it’s enough to have an audience of strangers, a big screen and an ice-cream to make it feel like an event.

When I was a kid, it really was an event. We’d put on our Sunday Best (black patent leather shoes, yes please) and I’d have a Sherbet Dab sold exclusively at the Regent Theatre – a red lollipop you dipped into a powder-filled envelope and fizzed on your tongue. This was back when we stood for ‘God Save The Queen’ and Dick Van Dyke was in all the films.

Now I go as I am, though with a coat because all movie theatres are freezing. I can do this because my life doesn’t have a regular structure. I work from home, or out of town, or at night or all day or both, and then occasionally none of the above. I don’t know what the word is for this. Asked to provide one recently I started, “My life is…” and a man offered, “Chaos?” But it doesn’t feel like chaos. Just a lot of different things I love which happen in an unpredictable order. “Impromptu”, perhaps, like these trips to the movies.

A friend says going out by yourself feels “like a secret” and I know exactly what she means. Especially for people who have spent chunks of their lives caring for others, managing complex logistics of pick-ups and drop-offs similar to General Norman Schwarzkopf that time he was organising Operation Desert Storm. Though Desert Storm only lasted 43 days. Now, when only you know where you are, it is thrilling.

There is a time when you are a kid when you grow big enough to go out by yourself. For a bike ride, to the shops, to the playground by the lake. No longer picked up or dropped off at an approved place at an appointed time by a responsible adult. You are becoming one of those yourself.

This is what being a grown-up meant – to think, what would I like to do right now? Where would I like to go?

You got a lot of this when you first left home – these opportunities which are also responsibilities. Then there was very little of it once you were in relationship and/or had kids. The chance to be alone or do things by yourself were so few and far between that sometimes you might go to the bathroom and lock the door just for a bit of peace.

I can see myself as a kid, going for long bike rides on my own. Sometimes this would be to the cemetery down the other end of town, to read headstones and imagine other people’s lives. You could find markers to make stories, like the gap in time between the husband’s death and the wife’s. Most often it was a matter of months but sometimes it was decades, and you invented different stories for the years in between – was it a long grief, or a liberation? Then on the way home you’d have a Jelly Tip.

And here I am this many years later, sitting in the dark with an ice-cream, still fascinated by stories about other people’s lives.



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18 Sep Waiting For The Queen

Published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly 3.10.22


There is a photo I love of the Queen’s visit to New Zealand in 1954. The Queen is not in the photo. It is a picture of my parents waiting to see her outside the Wellington Town Hall. This was before they were married, before they were even engaged. You can look at this photo and know without being told that they are courting. You’d be hard pressed to find a two pairs of eyes with more sparkle…

John and Donna must have arrived early – there is only one person visible behind them on the temporary seating which would be crowded soon. My mother is 19, cute as a button, short black hair in waves, sophisticated earrings, a good coat (even in January the Wellington wind can be chilly), and a smile definitely not just for the photo, though she knows the camera is there because she is looking right into the lens.

My father is 24, and dressed immaculately in a double-breasted suit with a perfectly knotted tie – doubtless silk since at this point he is working for the Sander Tie Company and suits, shirts and silk ties are things he takes very seriously, and would continue to for the rest of his life. Even in this black and white photo you can tell his eyes are blue. His shoulder is touching my mother’s and she is leaning into him a little. They are both eating plums which I know are in a paper bag on her lap out of frame because she would tell me that each time I pulled this picture out of the box of family photos when I was growing up and we had those sorts of afternoons.

The Queen and Prince Philip had spent Christmas 1953 and the New Year in New Zealand, travelling to 46 towns and cities, visiting Waitangi, and opening Parliament in January which is probably when my parents waited for them with their plums.

Elizabeth was 27 years old and had been Queen only a short time – a job she had not expected, but which became hers after the abdication of her uncle and the early death of her father. When they talked about her – my grandmother, my great-aunt and my mother – they spoke admiringly of the way she had risen to the occasion. This aspect of life – playing the hand you are dealt with grace – was not unknown to these women either.

My parents would see the Queen again in 1974, this time up close. To thank them for their voluntary work when New Zealand hosted the Commonwealth Games there was an invitation to a royal garden party. No actual introductions were made but it was reported the fare was fancier than plums out of a paper bag.

I have a King George V Coronation mug from 1911, given to my grandmother in Oldham – every kid got one filled with sweets – and there’s another celebrating his Sliver Jubilee 25 years later. That’s it for royal memorabilia, though I have vivid recall of a book my grandmother gave me about the Royal Family – colour photographs of golden carriages and crowns, with Charles and Anne as children.

Later, my mother and I would become Team Diana, and later still would watch “The Crown” as though it were a documentary, and discuss the international politics and family dynamics, and I loved these spirited chats near the end of my mother’s life.

Still now, my favourite photo of my parents is the moment they are waiting for the Queen, eating plums.




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11 Sep Old Dog Learns New Trick

First published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly 19.9.22


One of the great things about getting older is that you’ve been around long enough to know a lot of things. Mostly what you know is there’s a lot you still don’t know. This is delightful.

I am also learning new things about myself. I had thought I was a visual rather an aural person which makes sense for someone who has been hearing impaired since childhood – my eyes were always more reliable than my ears and have done a top job of lip-reading my way through life.

Certainly when it comes to understanding ideas and retaining them, I have always been the kind of person who absorbed information best by seeing it written down. Show me, my brain says, don’t tell me.

And for committing it to memory I’ve always handwritten lists of anything from the shopping to what I am going to talk about on stage because something in the act of getting my hand and eyes involved in the process of planning and remembering helps commit it to memory.

But now it seems I am not an either/or on the visual/oral spreadsheet, but a little of Column A with a bit from Column B.

Like everyone else, I worry about memory. Any time I forget someone’s name or reach for a word and can’t find it, I fret about this being an early sign of something serious that can’t be fixed by an early night and more fish oil.

Though it is comforting to recall with crystal clarity that I have always been dreadful at remembering people’s names, even when I was 23. Something to do, apparently, with being too stressed about how a new person perceives me for the correct part of my brain to calmly and politely file away information about them. Honestly, being a people-pleaser is not at all useful when it comes to pleasing people by remembering their name.

Nevertheless, I am so keen on keeping forgetfulness at bay that I’ve adopted a daily regime of brain exercises which work a treat whenever I remember to do them.

And then this thing about being visual rather than aural got a second think recently. I was sitting on my yoga mat at the beginning of a class, attempting to join in the meditative chant which you can either read from laminated cards or follow along by listening then repeating.

There was a brief moment of mild panic as I sat in sukhasana and realised I could neither see the words without my glasses nor hear the chant clearly without my hearing aid – neither of which I take into the yoga studio.

Was I usually an aural or a visual learner, my teacher had asked? Once I would have confidently replied, “Visual” but it occurred to me this has changed – now it is “both”. I need to see the words to understand, then need to hear them to imbed them in my memory.

Which is why over the past few weeks while I’ve been learning scripts for a drama, I’ve adopted what is, for me, a new approach. Turns out my favourite way to memorise a scene of dialogue has been to voice-record it and then both listen and read – simultaneously at first, then without the pages, then without the recording, and finally just from memory.

So the answer to whether I am a visual or aural person is that now I am both. Old dog learns new trick. Highly recommended.


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11 Sep Shushed At The Ballet

First published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly 12.9.22


A couple of weeks ago, we were shushed at the ballet. I say “we”, but really it was me rather than my daughter and granddaughter who was asked to tone it down by the pre-teen sitting beside us.

It took a long moment for me to register that a child really was telling a nana (not her nana) to calm down at a Saturday afternoon matinee. The upside-down-ness of this (was she going to send me to my room?) felt so bizarre it had, if anything, the opposite effect. Did I dial down my applause at the end of the next truly fabulous pas de deux? Sit mutely with hands folded neatly in my lap? Did I heck. There was additional whooping.

We don’t really talk about how to be an audience. People train for years to be on the stage, but there are no classes about how to sit and watch what happens on it.

We know we love sharing these experiences of watching something together rather than alone – a movie is more fun in a cinema than on our couch at home. But the rules? Mostly we wait till someone violates our unwritten code of decent audience conduct and let them know with a look or a shush that they’ve gone too far.

Though sometimes the code is written. That afternoon, for example, we’d noted signs at the doors of the Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre asking people to open their ice creams before taking their seats so the rustle of wrappers en masse didn’t drive everyone crazy.

At the Village Vanguard in New York, patrons are explicitly informed when they buy their ticket that there is to be no finger-clicking, clapping or even swaying to the jazz performed each night. It is a still and serious room, a very different experience from jazz in New Orleans, where your whole body is invited to respond.

Modern tradition is that you don’t applaud between movements at the symphony. This can be desperately embarrassing for a novice. “Look! Here I am! I’ve never been here before!” Though how lovely to have people discovering live classical music, right? It’d be great if the response, instead of dagger-eyes, was, “Welcome! We will all clap soon, too! We’ll show you in a minute!”

We have agreed to no phone calls or texts at movies and live shows – people break those rules, but we know we have some. We don’t seem to have agreed on the manners involved in filming stadium-sized music gigs but we do have regulations about not recording most other live events. At Chris Rock’s recent show, this was strictly enforced – they took everyone’s phone off them at the doors and locked them away.

My rules go like this: If you’re going to talk, it must be about what’s on stage, but if someone is talking on stage, don’t talk at all. Laughing and applauding, however, are what a performer lives for, so please do that. I’ve been in a comedy show when someone has shushed someone for laughing “too much”, and that’s just weird. Honestly, I got out of bed that day to hear that laugh.

And if people are dancing and there’s a live orchestra, and you’re not going to bother any of them by explaining a bit to your 8-year-old or whooping at a particularly magnificent moment, then please, express your joy. No one should get into trouble for having fun at the ballet.


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