Sit down! Was that performance worth it?

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Recently, when I attended some cultural events around Juneau, something again was brought to my attention: standing ovations. Many, or even most, Juneau cultural event-goers seem to be big fans of the standing ovation.

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Please do not get me wrong. I am a big supporter of the arts and the recognition due to performers. In my opinion, however, we seem to be crossing the line.

I was taught that standing ovations were meant to show artists you believed their performance to be superior. If we use the standing ovation at every concert, play or cultural event we attend, how will these artists know if their performance was fabulous, above and beyond even what they could have imagined, or if their performance was merely mediocre?

After attending these recent concerts and plays with some friends, this very question was brought up. Many of them seemed to be burned out on standing ovations, and some even said they would refuse to give such a demonstrative act when one is undoubtedly deserved.

So, I suggest we all take a step back, or better yet a seat back, and think twice the next time we are about to give a standing ovation. Was the performance exceptional, going above and beyond anything we even could have possibly imagined?

Amy Gaisford


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