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Friday, February 15, 2013

Overheard in the Office

Posted by on Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 1:39 PM

"I went to the symphony last night. There were only four pieces, and there were three standing ovations. I think you should treat standing ovations like you only have three to give in your whole life."

"You know what I hate? How all the kids on sports teams get trophies now. Fuck 'em!"


Comments (24) RSS

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Bauhaus I 1
Couldn't agree more about standing ovations.
Posted by Bauhaus I on February 15, 2013 at 1:52 PM · Report this
yelahneb 2
Next Up: those kids on my lawn. Why aren't they in school?
Posted by yelahneb on February 15, 2013 at 1:56 PM · Report this
fletc3her 3
I think a real standing ovation is when the performance ends and you're standing before you even know it. If you're only standing because the people in front of you are standing and it goes in a wave slowly towards the back of the audience it's something else entirely.

Still, Seattle crowds like to clap! Wise performers take one round and shuffle off stage. Others seem to play chicken to see whether the audience will get tired of clapping before the performers get tired of bowing.
Posted by fletc3her on February 15, 2013 at 2:02 PM · Report this
Is there any other sort of ovation?
Posted by tiktok on February 15, 2013 at 2:05 PM · Report this
john t 5
Standing ovations are standard now. I think audiences just like to stretch their legs after sitting for too long.
Posted by john t on February 15, 2013 at 2:07 PM · Report this
I resent the social pressure of standing ovations, especially for mediocre performances.
Posted by sahara29 on February 15, 2013 at 2:17 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 7
I have a theory about this. It goes like this:

1-Most people in the US don't go to the symphony very much, or at all.

2-However, a lot of people do go to their kids' band, orchestra, and chorus concerts.

3-Proud parents tend to give their kids standing O's no matter what (and who can blame them, really?)

4-This generates the expectation among those kids (and perhaps the parents themselves) that this is what you do when you hear a good musical performance.

Also, (going back to 1), for a lot of people when they do go to the symphony, it may very well be among the best things they've ever heard in person, because they just don't do that sort of thing very much.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on February 15, 2013 at 2:29 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 8

I think two rounds of bows are appropriate. One for the entire cast, curtain goes down, comes back up with the stars, one more bow for them. If it's opera or ballet, maybe the conductor can come on stage at that point. Curtain goes down. Everyone can go home.
Posted by keshmeshi on February 15, 2013 at 2:38 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 9

Actually, I'll amend it. If it's opening night, the curtain can stay up longer, but any performance thereafter, two bows and that's it. It aggravates me when it drags on for too long.
Posted by keshmeshi on February 15, 2013 at 2:39 PM · Report this
Dougsf 10
If you're feeling there's an epidemic of undeserved praise taking over our culture, might I refer you to YouTube comments.
Posted by Dougsf on February 15, 2013 at 2:52 PM · Report this
I hate standing ovations! All that standing! Why? And why should I have to tip? I only tip if the service was exceptional! You already get paid! I'm okay with kids on my lawn, though, as long as they deadhead my rhodies while they're out there.
Posted by g on February 15, 2013 at 2:53 PM · Report this
Give it up already with the standing ovations. It's just the way it is now -- every performance must end with a standing ovation. It has replaced traditional applause, and it's only a matter of time before ovations appear at intermissions, after every solo or dramatic phrase, and probably at the start of concerts.
Posted by also on February 15, 2013 at 3:16 PM · Report this
Sine Qua Non 13
@6 -- Full agreement. After a recent trip to the symphony, (and the accompanying 3+ standing ovations after a very middling performance,) I began to think of the people who repeatedly stand and clap (when it is not truly ovation-worthy) as being just as irritating as the ones who clap at the end of a movie in the theater. And I want to punch both groups in the face, every time.
Posted by Sine Qua Non on February 15, 2013 at 3:19 PM · Report this
Totally with you, @13. There's always some self-important sack who instantly stands, starts clapping, then looks around to see if anyone is following his or her lead. I usually just glare back at them and shake my head slowly.

As someone said above, if you have to think about standing or not, it's not worthy. A standing-ovation-deserving performance will have you on your feet before you even think about it. Anything else is just feel-good pandering.
Posted by Sit Down Jerk on February 15, 2013 at 3:35 PM · Report this
Hernandez 15
Couldn't agree more about the kids trophy thing.

Are we really doing our kids any favors by always declaring them "winners" of something, even when they are quite literally not? I'm not saying we should go out of our way to make Little Johnny Baseball Player feel like shit when he strikes out to end the game, but come on, learning how to deal with failure and disappointment is a part of life. This "everyone's winner" bullshit has produced some very emotionally underdeveloped adults, in my opinion.
Posted by Hernandez on February 15, 2013 at 3:48 PM · Report this
JonnoN 16
Don't attend any Sounders games. And definitely don't ask the people in front of you to sit :P
Posted by JonnoN on February 15, 2013 at 3:48 PM · Report this
Mmm..If he's talking about Benaroya, then I only remember one standing ovation...and by ovation I mean the entire audience. Perhaps because I was in back, I saw things different.

No one stood for the first piece. A few for the Mozart. More for the Szymanowski and everyone for the selection from Carmen (however being the last piece it could have just been everyone getting up to leave!)

I stood, to applaud for the last work and that that was mainly because there was one point where it seemed as if all movement stopped except for the sound of the music. That merited standing up.

Masterworks Season Ticketholder
Orchestra Right
Aisle D
Row GG
Seat 8

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on February 15, 2013 at 4:18 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 18
What @16 said.

The fierce urgency of now is that you leave the second the performance is done, so that you can join the traffic jams on the way back to your home.

After all, if people in Seattle enjoyed stuff, we wouldn't be Seattle.
Posted by Will in Seattle on February 15, 2013 at 4:27 PM · Report this
evilvolus 19
Word, second speaker. Trophies are for closers.
Posted by evilvolus on February 15, 2013 at 4:40 PM · Report this
Fnarf 20
I like to jump up every time someone plays a particularly difficult or emotive passage and shout OH BABY MOTHERFUCKER NAILED IT BOO YAH IN YOUR FACE.
Posted by Fnarf on February 15, 2013 at 5:09 PM · Report this
I was there. The Szymanowski was definitely ovation-worthy.
Posted by laurax on February 15, 2013 at 6:24 PM · Report this
Dan Sanderson commented on this phenomenon in 2003.…
Posted by manuelw on February 15, 2013 at 10:39 PM · Report this
I think most people talking about kids and trophies don't know diddly squat about kids sports. After about age 11 nobody but the champs and the runners up are getting trophies. At the younger ages, trophies act more like recognition of participation. I see nothing wrong with this. At the younger ages, the entire point of sports should be encouraging participation. The truly competitive kids who are working hard at developing skills at a young age don't need a piece of plated plastic to motivate them to work harder than the other kids, or to know that they are objectively better. For the troubled parents who want to make sure the less skilled kids get their faces rubbed in their lesser skills, beyond its obviousness anyway, they can put their kids in frickin 10 yo select leagues and yell psychotically from the sidelines, making their kids hate the sport or themselves.
Posted by cracked on February 16, 2013 at 1:00 PM · Report this
A lot of those old romantic symphonies end dramatically to be a kind of 19th century Freebird. There was an expectation of an enthusiastic audience having to jump and clap and yell and such rather than staid silence followed by polite clapping.

Posted by david on February 17, 2013 at 3:50 AM · Report this

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