Let’s do a thought experiment. Pretend you’ve never seen burlesque before. You’re sitting in your first show. Maybe you’re there to support a friend. You know there’s going to be some stripping but beyond that you’re not really sure what to expect. It’s a live performance. Can the performs see you? What’s the appropriate response? When are you supposed to clap? You’re already uncomfortable. The lights dim. Loud music plays. Finally the show is about to start, and then the first thing the host does is makes you identify yourself to the rest of the crowd because you’re new. Terrifying. Energy obliterated.
Sure, new audience members want to know what they’re about to see, but most hosts in Austin are going to do their spiel about what improv is regardless of whether or not the audience has seen improv before. Secondly as a performer, you know the show is the reason there are butts in the seats. Taking 8 minutes to host is 8 minutes less show. From hosting and stand up I’ve learned if it doesn’t need to be said, then don’t say it. My preference is to say honestly why I’m excited about the show you’re about to see, and to be actually be excited about the show. Similarly if you think the quiet-to-loud-clapping-warm-up is silly and undermines the intelligence of the audience, maybe they think so too.
But hey, I’ve only been doing this for a couple years, so what the hell do I know. All I’m saying is if you’re saying, ‘if this looks like fun…’, you should probably look like you’re having fun.
By round of applause who enjoyed the show?