Thursday, February 9, 2012

Crowd Control and Death Threats

Student crowd control methods vary in singing situations, but working with teens is where it gets extremely challenging. Some people use bribes (chocolate) and guilt.  Once I worked with a teacher who used duct tape on students - who seemed to enjoy it, strangely enough.  Another teacher used water spray bottles (yes, like training kitties).

Musical theatre crowd control is an art, though, which uses subtle levels of coaxing, rewards and carefully timed breaks. But when patience runs out, there's a common gradual descent - usually in the form of the following stages:

Stage 1 - Polite Requests
"Please keep it down, people"
"If you're talking you're not listening."

Stage 2 - Annoyed Requests
"Shut up please"
"____, I love you dearly, but please clamp it shut"

Stage 3 - Swearing Requests
"Guys, shut the f*** up"

Stage 4 - Threats of Violence
"____, I WILL cut you if you don't stop talking"

Stage 5 - Death Threats 
"_____, stop it or I'll beat you to death"

Stage 6 - Creative Death Threats*
"____, I'm going to kill you in your sleep. I know where you live, and I'm coming to strangle you in your sleep tonight." 

*I honestly can't write the best ones here, sadly, because my mom reads this blog.  But the most impressive homicidal threats I've ever heard tend to crop up during tech week.

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