I interviewed my good friend singer Noam Vazana about the strange, funny and sweet things - but most of all the awkward things - that people come tell her in the lobby, after the show. I also share some experiences of my own.
It might be no surprise that after a show, conversation can be a bit awkward. After all, the whole setting of a show is unusual. It's one-way traffic for at least an hour. The audience are basically only allowed to clap at designated times and may hope for a sing-along at best.
When they finally get to speak to the performer, there's a lot of pent-up thoughts and feelings, which might come out a bit funny.
Here are six types of post show awkwardness, in random order.
1. Career advice
Noam: "One time I did a benefit concert for the AIDS Foundation. [...] One guy had been interacting with me during the show, engaging with all the gestures. After the show he came up to me and said:
"You have such a great sense of humor. It's so rare for a performer to have that."
I thought: that's a great compliment. And then he said:
"You should quit your job as a musician and become a comedian instead."
2. Fashion advice
Noam: "This was a student concert and sort of exam. One teacher I studied with had a clear opinions about fashion. Some things were allowed and others not. I came to the show with my normal outfit. After the concert/exam, which was a big deal for me - the first in the Music Academy - this teacher came up to me and said:
"I don't believe you've done this to me."
I was thinking: "What do you mean, did I sing bad?"
"After all I've taught you... you're toes were showing! How dare you come to a concert with sandals?!"
3. The indirect compliment
Noam: "A lot of times people come to me after the show and say:
"We've really enjoyed it. An amazing show. You're so lucky to play with such great musicians!"
I know they want to give me a compliment. But still!
4. Awkward jokes
Linor: "I one day did a Puccini opera. I had a small role in it but at the time is was a big deal so I invited the whole family. Two of my cousins, with whom I am close, where also there. After the show, one came up to me and said:
"That was an absolute dream. I slept through the entire show."
5. Composition advice
Noam: "Sometimes I do a few cover songs in my show. There will always be some funny person, also a musician, telling me:
"These are not the chords of the original song."
- "Yes I know, it's an arrangement. I reharmonized the song. [...] You sometimes want to add something to the song, bring your own version of something."
6. An open application
Noam: "This happens sometimes. People view the backstage moment as an open application. Once a guy came to me and said:
"Your guitar player sucks. You should hire me instead."
It's not all awkward!
After this dive into the awkwardness, let's state that many post show conversations are super sweet. In the YouTube video, Noam mentions personal stories especially as worthwhile, as well as inspiring conversations in general.
Noam: "I like it when people come to me and share their personal stories. Sometimes I get a new perspective of a song I've already written. [...] For me it's nice to come into real contact with people. If it's a real conversation, that's something special."
"A woman confided in me that my album helped her through the period of mourning after the death of her husband. That was a priceless thing to hear."
What are your experiences?
So tell us your own awkward, funny or touching conversations, as an audience member or as a perfomer.