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You thought your ticket to your favorite Broadway show included a Meet and Greet? Well, that’s YOUR bad.

After having my life slain by Beyoncé’s “LEMONADE” last night, I was feeling very “Black Girl Magic” this morning…until I did my routine check of social media and saw Broadway blessing, Cynthia Erivo, defending a decision she made yesterday to choose self-care instead of greeting all of the fans eagerly awaiting her exit at the stage door after a performance of The Color Purple. 

Really GodIsMySalvation_Comfort (I won’t even get into the hypocrisy there)?! THAT’S how you are coming?! Let me take a minute to say what Cynthia was too classy and respectful to say.

First of all, you humble YOURself.

These people don’t owe you a THING past that last bow on the stage because, contrary to what you THOUGHT, that is ALL the ticket you “paid good money” for covered. DAS IT! Anything more than that is a blessing to YOU! Why on Earth should she be obligated to come out and tell YOU “thank you” when she’s already given you what you paid for?

I have seen with my own eyes the power and the glory of this show. So, aside from the fact that it was a 2-show-day for her and all of the other actors, I know for a FACT you left that theater with far more than you paid for! She gave everything she gave to you in that performance twice in one day. TWICE! So how dare you have the audacity to come to social media and chastise her for what you FELT like you deserved as an AUDIENCE MEMBER.

WHO SAT IN A SEAT.

AND DID NOTHING. FOR TWO HOURS.

WHILST SHE SAVED YOUR SOUL.

We as fans have to learn how to rein in our “love” for these artists and realize they are human – extraordinary humans – but still humans. They get tired. They get sick. They get exhausted. And that $175 you pay for your ticket (you better not be showing out like this behind a rush ticket!) is not worth the risk of them doing permanent damage to their instrument (voice/body). That $175 would not cover their bills or provide for their families if they could no longer perform because they pushed themselves too far one night. There is a better way to express your deep disappointment in not getting to see or meet an artist. Take this young lady for example.

She wasn’t rude or disrespectful to Queen Audra and she was rewarded with a rare tweet back! THIS is how an interaction should go! 

When news of your fave missing a show because they aren’t feeling well comes out you should be THANKFUL they have the good sense to rest up and take care of themselves! Heaven forbid a day would come that we could no longer hear Audra McDonald sing! No, really. FORBID IT HEAVEN!

 

To help prevent future misunderstandings, here are a few reminders  on “Stage Dooring” for some and an education for others:

1. THE ACTORS DO NOT OWE YOU A STAGE DOOR EXPERIENCE!!! (This is the most important)

2. Be patient, respectful and kind.

3. Bring a permanent marker for autographs. (Google the playbill prior to the show. If it is mostly black, you may want to bring a silver marker)

4. Respect other fans that are waiting. Everyone is just as eager and excited as you are.

5. If your favorite artist does not come out, understand that they probably had a very good reason for not doing so.

 

So the next time you’re standing out in the cold and the rain waiting to get a glimpse of the person who just snatched your edges and saved your life with their performance, remember to be understanding and appreciative. If they don’t make it out to see you, there should STILL be love and respect.

  • mess3411

    Nicely done. I love the stage door experience because 90% of the people are friendly and merely fans. I’ve made life long friends from stage door experiences and cherish each time I’ve been able to personally tell someone the impact of their performance. Sadly, I think there are folks who think people are obligated to be ‘on’ because they are approached by a fan. I’ve seen this in restaurants, movie theaters etc. over the years. The fact is you are correct about what your ticket purchases you. But moreover the interaction that comes from social media doesn’t entitle anyone access to an individual. The demands on stage to perform (let alone on a 2 show day) are real and when individuals find it in themselves to give a little more at the stage door, they deserve respect, kindness and appreciation. We are owed nothing as audience members, save for a good performance. The bad apples are not indicative of the overall respect and exchange I’ve watched happen at stage doors for the last 25 years.

  • Arjay

    I don’t understand the thinking behind “expecting” a performer to do anything for you beyond the performance you paid to see. I show my gratitude by applauding and enjoying the performance and their obligation to me and any other audience member ends as the curtain goes down. Seriously,get a grip!

  • camelCase

    I love this article. I had to listen to a friend complain about how “bitchy” Idina Menzel was for not coming out to sign autographs and take pictures at If/Then. It was ridiculous.

    • SrslyPissedOff

      I sincerely hope you gave your “friend” some perspective on her colossal entitlement and misplaced anger. O.o

  • WorldTraveler9

    THANK YOU. I have been saying for years that the only thing a stage actor owes the fans is a magnificent performance. Anything beyond that, i.e. a meeting at the stage door, is a bonus. I have met some lovely people (fellow fans) at the stage door, and many are still good friends.

  • Mdc

    Amen! Thank you for calling out the Stage Door “Entitled” on their behavior.
    There is a nasty bug floating around Broadway these days, and the vocal chords are getting attacked. Be nice audience. They put it all out there for you.
    R-E-S-P-E-C-T

  • Justina Tynee Seno

    Ugh, this “fan” is an embarassment to real theater fans. We know stage doors are just a bonus!

    Also, just to add to the tips: Don’t make an actor sign a Playbill for a show they were not on! Recently stagedoored Shuffle Along and these group of girls handed a Les Mis Playbill for Billy Porter to sign! I cringed but Billy was gracious enough to laugh it off and even agreed to take a photo with them! I know it can get confusing which theater has which stagedoor, but you can google stage door locations, or flip through the dang playbill and match actors’ faces!

  • Alan Harrison

    Entitled fucks like this don’t just exist in the Broadway world. Blame Corporate America who defend asshat customers with the slogan “The customer is always right, and never wrong.” Some entitled people come across some good money and then bring their very negative attitude to a show of this woman’s calibre and expect the same “royal treatment.” Thank you for putting this “stage door entitled” in their place

    • Avalon Morley

      I’ve always liked the (paraphrased) quote I heard, from Herbert Marcus, Sr., one of the founders of Neiman-Marcus, who said something along the lines of “The customer is not always right; the customer might be any fool off the street. We have to be right, and offer the kind of taste and guidance they come to this store for.”

  • Aleck Pulido

    Thank you, Alicia for putting this “I am Entitled” type of theater fans (or any fan of a celebrity, athlete, musician, etc. fan) on their proper place.

    As the great Humphrey Bogart puts it, “The only thing you owe the public is a good performance.” Your idols are humans just like you and me… they have a life, they have physical and psychological limits just like us… though they seem larger than life.

    Let us respect their “me” time… understand when they don’t reply in social media or like your posts. There are limits to what they can absorb in their environments… and that is healthy, especially for performers as they have to save up morale and energy to give us a performance that feeds our souls and hearts and minds.

    I admit to waiting on Stage Doors… Same with social media… I am guilty sometimes in waiting for an “interaction”, “reply to comment” and “like/ favorited” If I don’t get to see them or did not get any reaction online, I am happy just the same… because they have shared more than enough.

    I wish them good health and more shows to come… because this way, our idols have more power and time to chance lots more lives for the better. Let us give them space and breathing room 🙂

    At the same time, I have been blessed with meeting the very special angels who saved my life
    with their performances I had just witnessed . I take these lucky times
    as bonus… and a sign to do my best, too just like them

    R-E-S-P-E-C-T and G-R-A-T-I-T-U-D-E always 🙂

  • This person actually kept replying to Cynthia on this photo until she had to block them. Unfuckingbelievable.

    • Pasunepomme

      Wow.

    • Sister Simplice

      Ugh!

  • Stuart Allyn

    You are completely correct. An actor’s first responsibility is to turn in that extraordinary performance 8 time a week, keeping it fresh for every single audience. Their 2nd most important responsibility is to themselves to maintain their instrument, their health and wellbeing as this is vital to being able to do their 1st priority. When the curtain comes down, they have to get out of costume, remove make-up, and any other items(wigs, mics, etc) and make certain thing are orderly for the next performance. Then they are “off the clock”, and on their own. They need to eat, and rest, and do whatever is important in their personal lives. They have a right to their privacy. If they choose to share at a stage door, that is solely their choice, and they take that risk to their health and person, but they are NEVER obligated to do so. No one should ever “expect” this, and only count yourself very lucky if you are fortunate enough to.

  • SrslyPissedOff

    Wonderful essay. Fans such as this woman are beyond entitled. I am speechless.

  • Avalon Morley

    THANK you, Miss Alicia! I’ve seen people act like ravening hoards at stage doors, even once when the solo performer was an elderly, diabetic lady, with publicly known health issues, who had truly given a marathon performance (Elaine Stritch). That one wasn’t even in New York, and I was embarrassed for my city and some of its theater fans. In any case, you’re so right! Beyond the best performance they can manage, performers don’t owe us anything, and the fact that so many, so often, graciously and generously take further time to meet fans, does not mean it’s a requirement at all. Most especially when they have a very demanding role, performers’ primary concern must be to preserve their strength and health, for the good of the show and the audience.

  • Ian

    I remember when I saw Weird Al in concert. When I stage-doored, a manager of some kind came out and said to us “Al’s voice is tight, so he won’t be able to talk to you much.” A couple in front of us said “That’s shitty.” My sister and I said to each other (loudly enough for the couple to hear us) “He just put on a rock show for us. Do they expect him to invite them out for a beer?”

    • T Patrick Ryan

      sometimes actors will come out and it is announced they are on vocal rest. But when you tell Kristin Chenowith that she was your Valentine present – her face said it all 🙂

  • ctshar

    I respectfully disagree about the ‘greet’ being a bonus. Truth is the intimacy is a huge asset of the broadway experience, bringing fans to travel to NYC for shows. I completely agree the actors health comes first, and my experience the actors DO make all reasonable effort to do both, and should.

    Personally, I’ve only seen a few shows, I’m not the theater type but I enjoy whenever I do attend. My friends twice made me wait for the ‘meet and greet’, the actors I met were incredibly kind and REALLY added to the experience. That’s an asset to Broadway that should be celebrated and encouraged.

    Rude people should be ignored on social media as you’d ignore them in real life.

    • Jaz

      A meet and greet is a bonus though, it’s never guaranteed, it’s not written in actors contracts and people shouldn’t go to shows really expecting that. You really came for the performance, that’s all your ticket entitles you to. Everything else is the bonus, albeit a fantastic bonus, still a bonus.

      • ctshar

        entitled is such an ugly word to use, I simply expect both audience members and actors to respect each other. fans pay good money and took their time, RESPECT that by coming out for a few minutes unless you genuinely cannot. Just as the audience should be thankful for their time AND shut off phones during the show and arrive on time.
        Respect is a two-way street.

  • DJude

    You speak truth with an eloquent pen; than you for writing (both this and period.)

  • T Patrick Ryan

    what I hate most are the autograph bottom feeders who dont even see a show and yet run into the theater as others are coming out to grab a playbill on the floor or have photos and then jam into the line. When Daniel Radcliff did Equus, they actually checked to see if you had a ticket stub to que up for an autograph. No ticket – across the street you go. And I will say some of the largest stage doors I have seen are for Radcliff and he is so patient with signing and even chatting.

  • へへへへ

    Though I’m eager to have a chance to talk to my favorite star, I won’t let he be embarrasses because of my impoliteness.

  • Pingback: Selfie entitlement: why theatre’s meet-and-greet crowd are missing the point | HotNoon()

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