Been To Hell(‘s Angels) And Back

| WA, USA | Awesome Customers, History, Top

(Our theatre has a lecture series where authors give presentations. One presenter is a Holocaust survivor. I am very surprised to see a large and stereotypical ‘biker’ come in. He has a leather vest, sleeveless shirt, tattoos, and a beard. As the holocaust survivor is presenting, two teenage boys are being very rowdy and whispering to each other.)

Boy #1: “God! When the f*** is this going to be over?”

Boy #2: “I don’t know. Can we just go now?”

(They stand up, and attempt to leave. The biker stands up, removes his sunglasses, and addresses the teens.)

Biker: “Listen here you little s***. This sweet little old lady has gone through more s*** then you ever will in your life. I advise you to sit your little punk-a** down, and pay her the respect she deserves.”

(The boys sit down, intimidated. The biker receives a round of applause and a hug from the lecturer. I refund his ticket, and offer him free entrance to all our lectures. He’s been to each and every one since.)

Pint-Sized Theatrics

| Belgium | Awesome Customers, Family & Kids

(I am the lead actress in a play called ‘Man of La Mancha’. During one performance, a small child has been rather vocal during the show, but he was expressing his enjoyment of it, so I didn’t much mind. Later in the show, there is a scene where my character is violently attacked by a group of men. While I’m not in any real danger during the fight, I am acting afraid and screaming for help, so the effect is quite harrowing and the audience is usually hushed. Except for this night.)

Me: *in character, having been thrown to the floor* “Help! Someone please help me!”

(A moment of silence.)

Little boy in audience: *to the men* “You stop that!”

(My fellow actors and I have a good laugh about it backstage for the rest of the show. Afterwards, we go out to greet the audience in costume, at which point the little boy and his parents approach me.)

Mother: “You were all wonderful! And I’m very sorry if my little boy disrupted your performance, but he was very worried about you, and we’ve always taught him to stand up to bullies.”

Me: “Not at all!” *to the little boy* “Thank you for telling those men to stop. You were very brave.”

Little boy: *beaming* “You’re welcome! Are you okay?”

Me: “I’m just fine. It’s all pretend anyway, lil’ guy. We were just pretending to fight, I promise.”

Little boy: *somewhat unsure* “Okay… but if they try to beat you up again, you tell my daddy and he’ll take them to jail.” *gives me a big hug*

Me: *stifling laughter* “Okay, I promise!”

(I heard from one of the other actors who plays the ringleader of the men that he then approached him and told him that hitting girls was very bad, and to never ever do it again. My co-star, playing along, promised not to and told the little boy he had learned a valuable lesson. Now after we play that scene, I always threaten the guys with my pint-sized bodyguard and his policeman father.)

What An Encore

| London, England, UK | Health & Body

(At the moment, there is a one-man play showing at my theatre. There is no music, no sound effects, or even a microphone, so it is very quiet. One patron has been coughing quite loudly for the last 10 minutes or so of the performance. It’s annoying, but it’s November and a lot of people are ill.)

Rude Patron: “I want to make a complaint. All the way through the show there was this dreadful woman coughing, very loudly. You should have people inside the auditorium to stop that sort of thing! It ruined the whole play!”

Me: “I’m very sorry you were disturbed—”

(The rude patron points at the cougher in question; she’s a woman and is walking past both of us.)

Rude Patron: “There! That’s her! That’s the awful woman who wouldn’t stop coughing!”

Woman: “I hope when you have cancer people, treat you the same way!”

Rude Patron: *scuttles away shamefully*

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