I adore virtually anyone onstage because they’re gamely trying to amuse, but there are two things they say that always make me want to pull out my eardrums:
(1) “Come on, people. Make some noise!!!”
This is such an irritating contrivance.
It always makes me feel like a trained seal who’s barking on command and not even getting a herring in return.
Why do we have to constantly make some noise?
To simulate the feeling that we’re having fun?
Any performer worth their garter tips should give us a reason to scream, laugh, or cheer.
Next time someone orders me to “Make some noise,” I’m going to yell back, “Make some entertainment!”
(2) “If you liked the show, please run out and tell all your friends!”
This is the biggest “duh” in showbiz.
If people like something, they automatically tell everyone about it — partly as a recommendation, but also to brag that they were there first.
It’s called word of mouth, and you can’t artificially create it or force it.
If a show or movie is good, the word invariably travels like wildfire.
Begging an audience to spread word of mouth usually ends up looking pathetic — and it might remind them to tell their friends how much they hated the show.
They’ll make some noise, all right!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 5, 2011