Re: Grace and aplomb in the face of Gussing and other unpleasantries

   Jeez Munteez Howard, are you some kind of Dashel Hammet, Damon 
Runyon, Ernest Hemmingway type writer or WHAT. This is some really 
DEEP stuff. Strangely enough I kind of feel this way too. These 
Schlameils show up but they didn't start out meaning any harm. They 
are just looking for a couple hours of "escapism" and just plain get 
INTO the mood in a happy sort of way. The fact that things turn sour 
is unfortunate, but is it REALLY the end of the world? I have gotten 
used to them and generally can have a lot of fun (usually at THEIR 
expense). Havn't broken any bones (SO far).  Smo-Joe

  HOWARD said:
>If the tone of the following message sounds too much like sermonizing (which
>I have to admit even I think it does), and you find this kind of thing
>offensive, I apologize now. This is just something I felt like getting off
>my chest.
>This discussion has done much to illuminate the sensitive and awkward
>subject of unacceptable audience participation, otherwise known as gussing.
>Perhaps some eyes were opened up to the degree of agitation and ill will
>these practices may cause to the performers as well as to the audience. This
>can only be a good thing. It could even spare someone among us from the pain
>and embarrassment of becoming a gussing story. I would like to turn this
>around a bit now, and talk of the responsibility that we have in these
>Many have written on this list about the responsibilities of the gusser, the
>potential gusser, and the would be gusser except that they are within a safe
>and tolerant social setting, etc. Examples have been given of audience
>members, often paid patrons, who have displayed less than exemplary
>behavior, who have been downright drunk, overenthusiastic, insensitive or in
>some other way obnoxious. There's no doubt that these sort of situations are
>not only annoying, distracting, and in a perfect world unnecessary. They
>threaten our peace and well being as well the enjoyment of the rest of our
>audience. As entertainers/performers/fellow patrons, we are often in a
>position to see people, ordinary people, at the best and worst times of
>their lives. Whether we like it or not, situations like this often test the
>limits of our own patience and goodwill. So even though it may be easy to
>forget about the feelings and sensitivities of this person, a fellow human
>being, I feel that we owe it to this poor schlub, to ourselves, and the rest
>of our audience to display all of the grace and aplomb we can muster. How we
>act at moments like these not only reflects on ourselves as people, but has
>the potential to create even more harm than good. So, even though it may be
>easy to dismiss this Gus, or Rube or whatever as a lower life form, we
>threaten in so doing to reduce our own humanity.
>Howard Chandler
>Harp-l is sponsored by SPAH,
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