A time I was apart of an audience? Well that’s a common occurrence for me, as genuinely I’m not the main attraction rather the one observing. However, i’ve been on the opposite end … I’ve been the centre of attention. It’s easy to conclude I enjoyed being apart of the audience, more than I enjoyed being the performer. Throughout my 18 years of life, I have been to wiggle concerts, festivals, musicals, movie theatres and even sporting matches, and yet there is one performance that stands out for me above the rest. Les Miserables. ‘Les Miserables’, written in the 1800s by Victor Hugo, has become one of the most famous musicals to date, one i was fortunate enough to enjoy live with my family at the Capitol theatre in Sydney.
As a singer, I have always loved the message and feel that ‘les miserables’ provided its audience. The cast were absolutely outstanding and as the curtain closed you could feel the disappointment shared throughout the theatre that the show was indeed coming to a close. That’s when you know a show has really succeeded in engaging and appealing to its audiences. Undoubtedly there are negatives that come with watching live shows or movies in a room filled with many, even hundreds of other people. The seating of a short person, like myself, behind an extremely tall person, whose head takes up the entire stage in front you. The crunching of chip packets and popcorn kernels in the most quietest moments or even the commentary from the couple behind you, who don’t realise just how loud they are. Although these are negatives that impact an individuals experience, overall, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.
I enjoyed this performance not only for my love of this specific musical but because as you looked around the room, there was an extreme diverse of people. Both old and young, men and women, everyone was there together to watch this one show. It is not made for one age group but for any person who loves an engaging and enthusiastic show filled with energetic music numbers every 5 minutes. I took away from this experience the realisation of just how powerful the emotions are that people can create through acting, singing and dancing with the help of stage props and lighting.
It’s a scenario not many people would expect to find me. Someone who has my lifestyle of beach, sport, and travel, would not necessarily be seen (almost in tears) sitting in a musical theatre, but that’s what makes it such a memorable passion of mine. It’s one thing no one would know about me. I’ve been apart of a number of audiences whether it be on social media, a netlfix watcher, a member of a crowd watching a concert or festival, sitting in the stands cheering on my favourite team (or whatever team is winning). Each of these experiences I have been filled with pure happiness.
These experiences link to this weeks ideas of different audiences and our experiences as part of these different audiences. At home watching netflix, I am alone or with a few friends, not really taking in our surroundings. While when I am watching a musical such as ‘les miserables’ I am drawn into everything around me; the variety of people seated around me, the setting, decorations, the chatter and everything else that makes the audience what it is. That’s where the magic is…. in the audience. The audience I’m immersed in.