how do you handle interruptions graciously while playing

  • Participant
    unknown-user on #144853

    I am wondering how those of you who play in more casual venues handle the folks who come over and want to talk way more than the usual brief conversation about the harp or the music, etc. When I’m playing at my restaurant job, it is rarely a problem, and when it is, I usually just say something about needing to get back to my playing and it’s fine – it seems to happen more at my job at University Hospital where I work Tuesdays in the main lobby from 2:30 to 4:30 and on Fridays (also 2:30-4:30PM) where I float on a regular schedule over 12 floors of assorted units from Emergency Room lobby to Dialysis to ICU’s, etc.

    Participant
    Jerusha Amado on #144854

    Hi John,

    I trained myself to be able to say “I can talk with you during my break–thanks for

    Participant
    adam-b-harris on #144855

    Its a difficult one isn’t it and what you should do probably depends on an extent to the type of show you are playing. Of course in a concert situation I’m sure most people would understand that its inexcusable, so what you are talking about here really are background music gigs. If its background music that you are playing, I think that its ok to stop mid piece and talk to the people. You can bring the piece to a graceful halt or just stop mid note if you want to make it clear to the person that is interupting that is exactly what they are doing, interupting.

    Myself, I can handle a fair bit of conversation and still keep playing. If its persistant and intense conversation I just stop. I try not to get annoyed about it, I figure I am still providing entertainment but in a different way. If there are a number of people hanging around obviously waiting for me to play I will close the guy down (and it usually is a guy) sooner rather than later.

    Pretty girls can interupt all they want and I’m not particularly fazed.

    Can’t help with the cell phone thing sorry, thats just rude.

    Member
    jennifer-buehler on #144856

    In a hospital/ER waiting room, I think you’re just going to have to suck it up when it comes to cell phones.

    Member
    kay-lister on #144857

    I play at Hospice twice a month and have become quite used to being interrupted while playing by families, staff, patients, children.

    Member
    eliza-morrison on #144858

    The rudest, most intrusive question is also unfortunately the most common: “how much does one of those things cost?”

    Participant
    elinor-niemisto on #144859

    My answer to the “how much does that cost?” question is:

    Participant
    shelby-m on #144860

    A lot of you say that you just quickly answer questions while playing and soon the person goes away or comes back during your break.

    Participant
    andy-b on #144861

    One that I consider rude…or slightly creepy…are those people who

    Participant
    Sarah Mullen on #144862

    I play Renaissance festivals all over the country, and they are one of the more chaotic venues you’ll ever find.

    Member
    tony-morosco on #144863

    “Since I’m not comfortable discussing my age with strangers, and I was raised to view it as a rude question, I answer with “old enough to have been playing for 21 years.””

    A good response.

    I’m reminded of the first time I ever met Patrick Ball. I said to him, completely without thinking, “wow, I’ve been listening to your albums

    Participant
    Sarah Mullen on #144864

    I’ve shared a stage with Patrick Ball at Milwaukee’s Irish Fest these last couple of years.

    Participant
    fay-marie-reinhardt on #144865

    Re My Mother had a wonderful phrase to deal with ” How old are you? ” and would give the answer “I’m as young as my tongue and a little older than my teeth”.

    Participant
    David Ice on #144866

    The most astounding “interruption” I’ve ever had was a young father who brought his toddler over to the harp while I was playing.

    Member
    eliza-morrison on #144867

    David, you’re right, harpists put up with this disrespect on a regular basis, but it is impossible to imagine the dad encouraging his toddler to, say, yank an oboe out of someone’s mouth and start blowing into it “to see what kind of sound it makes.”

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