The standing ovation

I have seen people hold back a standing ovation because they think the show wasn’t worth one.

There’s a saying in theatre:

“If you don’t want to clap because it wasn’t any good, clap because it is over.”

Clapping is a signal. A way for each of us to say thank you. There is no obligation because you already paid to be there. And yet, in general, most thank you’s don’t cost us anything. It’s an expenditure of emotional labor.

I find myself thinking more and more that if the show wasn’t for you that’s okay. But you can still appreciate the work someone put in to try and make magic. Art is a generous gift. And for that, that is always worth a round of applause.