Basically, here is my rant. I have been feeling a severe decline in the etiquette of my fellow theatre patrons. And I am not just talking about the now acceptable way of showing up to a live performance in your torn jeans and ratty t-shirts. I am talking about the fact that it is now common place to spend the show on your damn smart phones. Memo to you: THE WORLD WILL NOT END IF YOU DO NOT TWEET, TEXT, FACEBOOK, UPVOTE, FOUSQUARE, GOOGLE, OR TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS UNTIL INTERMISSION! Yes, your phone is a distraction to the other audience members around you. No, the announcement before the show to turn you phone off does not magically exclude you. Yes, the performers can see the light from your phone and it is pissing them off immensely.
I was at a show at the Tarragon Extra Space. It was a dark show (in lighting levels as well as in content), and the space sits less than 100 people. The young woman in front of me was texting throughout the piece. She was maybe two feet away from my face. I asked her politely to stop and to please put her phone away. This is what transpired:
Me: Could you please stop that? I'm finding it really distracting.
Her: So don't look at my phone.
Me: It's kinda hard not to. Please put it away.
Her: Make me bitch.
Now if she weren't a foot taller than me with an extra 50 pounds of weight, I may have taken her up on that offer. But Brian would probably never take me out in public after that. Why do people think they have the right to be rude to the people putting their heart into their craft onstage, as well as the people who spend their hard earned money to see the show. What they are doing is insulting, offensive, and just plain inconsiderate. They are saying through their pervasive phone usage that they do not care about the effort the performers are making. They are saying that the art onstage is meaningless to them. They are saying that they don't give a shit about the show, the people around them, and the people who worked their asses off to make this production. They are saying "Hey! I'm a selfish, self-centered twat who can do whatever the hell I want, wherever the hell I want." They do this at the theatre, and at the movies. This has to stop. Why was the guy who smashed the phone escorted out? I think he should be given a medal. I don't know, maybe we need a cell phone check like a coat check at the theatre. Let's make it free and mandatory. Maybe then those brats will learn their lesson. They're world will not end if they are incommunicado for a whole damn hour.
In semi-related news, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change has its opening night tonight. Come see it! It's funny and full of great performances and songs. And kindly turn your cell phone off before the show. :)