I was recently interviewed for an article about live theater entertainment to be published in a magazine for families. The first question asked was, “Why do you think it’s important for parents to budget for live theatre entertainment for their children?” What a great question, especially in light of the fact that for a family of four to get tickets to one live professional performance will probably cost around $100 (on the low end) while, for around $100/month, they can get dozens of television channels, internet, and radio for an entire month.
Instead of rewriting, I’ll just leave my response as it was in the interview:
I can’t count the number of times, as both a performer and a presenter of live entertainment, that an audience member has come up to me and said, “This group was great on YouTube, but they are just on a whole ‘nother level live!” That’s the magic of live entertainment: it produces an incredibly powerful and emotional energy that bounces back and forth from entertainer to audience and back again with a continually-increasing fervor.
Throughout the ages, live entertainment has been an emotional sounding board for humanity, and it is because of the immediate, personal, and real human connection audience members feel when they’re watching something happening live in front of them. This type of intimate, almost primal, connection simply cannot be made through entertainment mediums such as TV, radio, or the internet.
Today, I stumbled upon an interesting article in the arts section of The Australian, a newspaper in (surprise!) Australia. Written by David Malouf, the article is called “Shared response to our humanity,” and it delves into exactly this topic: why is live entertainment so important. I LOVE LOVE LOVE his closing paragraph:
If we are to look for an educational component in our taking ourselves off so readily to the theatre, the opera, to concerts, the circus, it is probably here. Each audience we join is a new lesson in learning how to be one of many; in practising how, among strangers, to discover what it is we share.