Every performer knows the horror of dealing with people who forget to turn their cell phones off, and as more and more people feel the need to have their cell phones on and be “chceking them” at all times, this problem is becoming more and more of an issue for those of us who are onstage performing music or theater.
In my case, I have encountered this problem more and more in recent times, but one case in particular is worth retelling as it ended “with a twist.”
The event in question took place when I was singing and playing piano at the “Park Hyatt Hotel” in Seoul, South Korea. On this particular night, I noticed that about 1/2 the audience was looking down at their I-phones while I was performing.
“Oh well” I thought “At least they’re not heckling me”.
Suddenly,I heard the tinkly trebly sound of music right near me. I look over and saw that a group of three young women were sitting right near me, and that they were watching and listening to a MUSIC VIDEO on their phone!
Well,as you might imagine,I was peeved. Miffed. Vexed. Downright annoyed!!
Being ignored while you’re performing is one thing, especially in a lounge where many of the people are just there to unwind after a long day and aren’t that interested in music other than having it “in the background”———–but having someone sit right next to you and not just ignore you but listen and play someone else’s music on a horrible tiny irritatingly bad little cell phone speaker was more that I was willing to take!
I started thinking thoughts like:
“REALLY? They have to do this HERE? Right next to me? Don’t they know how rude this is?”
So I stopped playing,thru my smooth facade aside and glared right at the people with the phone and said:
“Excuse me,but could you PLEASE not listen to other music RIGHT next to me as I’m trying to perform? Its very distracting, and it sounds terrible!!”
The woman holding the phone looked at me and smiled——-and kept right on interacting with her I-Phone.
“Great” I thought, “She doesn’t speak English!”
She then held up her phone and showed me her phone/what she and her group was watching———-AND IT WAS ME. It was a video they had recorded of me performing.The terrible music I complained about——that was my music.
I had to laugh!!
Quickly my anger melted to amusement, and I thanked them for their interest in me. But think of the irony of three people in an audience watching a video of someone performing when that VERY PERSON is right there in front of therm,performing live!
We truly live in a bizarro world—-don’t you think?