A friend of mine is an acting teacher at a local high school and I went to see his show last night. The show is a difficult farce and he did a brilliant job directing the students, who were very talented.
Every student in the school is required to see the show. Imagine an auditorium of 7-12 grade kids waiting to see their classmates perform while seeing each other out of the confined context of school. Or, you know, think back to every pep rally or basketball game you ever went to. This is a performing arts high school, so these are the equivalents of star athletes. (Man, I went to the wrong school!)
I (mistakenly) assumed that, given the performing arts aspect of the school, the students would be well behaved in an audience. Holy cow. The four girls behind me in the third row talked throughout.
"That was a good one." One of them said every once in a while. In the second act, one of her friends said, "Can you please stop saying that?" I wasn't the only one irritated by her illuminating commentary. "He's not good." the same girl shared with those of us within earshot when a young man came on stage for his first entrance. Yeesh.
I was in the odd position of not being a student, parent, or teacher and totally out of place age-wise. At intermission, getting up to stretch my legs and squelch the urge to strangle the in-house critics behind me, I ran into my friend.
Shannon is one of my dearest friends, a fantastic actor, teacher, and person. And hot. He's really hot. As we talked about the show, a young woman approached, maybe 22. She introduced her boyfriend to us and proceeded to do all but throw herself bodily at Shannon. She completely ignored me and her man, doing an amazing dance of hair shaking, midriff baring, and lip pursing while soliciting kudos for her help on the building of the set and coyly accusing Shannon of not appreciating her enough. Woah.
Holy shit. Was I ever like this? Did I actually think I was being subtle in any way? It made me feel really old. And exhausted. At the end of the play I met one of his current squeezes who was a lovely person from what I could tell and beautiful. I imagine she was told by him that I was a close friend because she went into be-best-friends-with-the-best-girl-friend mode a bit. That's exhausting, too. Dude, I've got no pull here, it's all you.
I left feeling old, single, and unemployed. Good times.