--> One of the few perks of being a performer means never having to watch shows from the house. It's not just that I am totally incapable of not starting fights with audience douchebags who don't grasp the simple fact that because sound travels through space everyone around them can hear the vile and asinine things they're saying about the performers ... But ever since my first shows in the back rooms of East Village bars where the only place to watch the other performances was sort of squatting next to over where the curtain was taped to the wall, trying not to get stepped on by the host's 7-inch stilettos, hit by the bathroom door, or whacked in the wig by the occasional out-of-control shimmy belt, I have preferred our unique view-from-the-side-of-the-stage. The paying audience misses so many of my favorite parts of shows: the rainstick rattle of beaded fringe; the wordless conversations between stage and wings; the amazing focus of the most wonderfully engaged performers even when their faces are hidden or their backs are turned.
Customers always ask if they can come backstage - imagining I suppose lightbulb-bordered dressing tables, headdress-clad dancers ballet-stretching in rooms full of the cheerful clutter of diamonds and feathers, the champagne-fueled wild debauchery of kissing-practice-pillow-fights. I suppose they don't need to actually experience the reality of six performers in a 10-foot-square unheated single-stall bathroom with one exposed bulb, all trying to put on makeup in half a stained mirror while the waitstaff walks through to the kitchen.
It's a small but delightful compensation that the view from there, anyway, is all our own.