At the Mic – Mike Delamont

Just the 3 of us

When I was 21, I performed for the smallest audience I have ever had. In a theatre with 150 seats I had two paying customers.

I couldn’t figure out what I had done wrong. I had a good poster, a catchy title and some okay reviews. In the actors union if the number of cast members out numbers the audience members, you can cancel the show and nobody gets in trouble. They had beat me by one. Defeated, I walked out and asked if they would like a show or if they would like their money and an extra hour of their free time. They excitedly said that they had been looking forward to the show for weeks, but that if I didn’t want to do it, they could see it another time. Their enthusiasm surprised me and gave me a boost of confidence. They came for a show and so a show they shall have.

If I am being honest, I think per capita they were the best audience I have ever had. They laughed hard at jokes and clapped loudly at the end. It felt safe and silly, like being a kid and doing a dance in the living room for your aunts.

Last year I was on the other side of the country on tour. I walked through the stage door and dropped my bags off in the dressing room. I heard my name over the loud speaker and made my way to the stage for a sound check. As I walked onto the stage I looked out at the empty theatre, hundreds upon hundreds of seats and in just a few hours every one of them would be full. Outside the theatre there was a line up of people who had been waiting for hours to get tickets. I couldn’t figure out what I had done right. I had a good poster, a catchy title, and some okay reviews … but I’d had that before and gotten nothing.

That night, as I got ready, I found myself getting nervous. I couldn’t get settled and comfortable. I think the size of the audience and the expectation was shaking my confidence, but at five minutes to show time, there’s no turning back. It’s like hitting black ice. You can’t control what’s gonna happen next, you just close your eyes and pray!

Standing at the side of the stage, the lights dimmed and I heard them call my name. Walking on stage is a strange moment, the sound of that many people all facing the same way and applauding can be very loud, and no matter where you are the lights are blindingly bright. As I began my show I was rocky and uneasy, and then I saw them. Sitting in the third row of the theatre, beaming away was the same couple from so many years ago. What I didn’t know at that moment was a year before, they had moved and when they saw my name in the paper they were the first to buy tickets. All of a sudden the rest of it didn’t matter, not the venue, not the people. It was just the three of us. We were back in that small theatre in my home town and the show was just for them. People often ask how I’m able to get people out to my shows and honestly I have no idea. I have had shows where people waited for hours in the rain for tickets and shows where I couldn’t pay a person to come see me. What I realized on stage that night on tour was that it doesn’t really matter. I love what I do. I always have. And I think if you love what you do, then it doesn’t matter how many bums in seats you have, you are already a success.

 

Just Posted

Juxtaposition key to art in The Lines Between at Gage in Oak Bay

The artist will be on hand for the opening reception on Sunday, April 29

FILM REVIEW: Violent vigilanteism helps cast disquieting spell

Robert Moyes offers his take on Joaquin Phoenix and You Were Never Here

Tickets go quickly for Tom Cochrane show at Elements Casino

Multi Juno Award-winner rejoins Red Rider bandmates for grand opening concert

Rockin’ steady with Phonosonics

Victoria roots reggae band looks to attract wider audience with appearance on Rise Up TV show

Sooke man pursues music for a lifetime

Al Pease has been playing music for over 65 years

Shania Twain visits Canadian Armed Forces base in B.C.

Canadian country icon thanks members of CFB Esquimalt for their service

Royal baby: It’s a boy for Kate and William

The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to her third child, a boy weighing 8 pounds, 7 ounces.

Ballet Victoria soirée fundraiser a prelude to final show of season

Company winds up its 15th season in the city with Peter Pan next month

Dinosaurs taking centre stage at National Geographic event

NatGeo Live series finale May 2 at the Royal features renowned paleontologist

Celebrate Earth Day with guided walks through Beacon Hill Park

Local naturalists explore Garry oak ecosystem on Camas Day

Shania Twain set to visit CFB Esquimalt

Country music star is meeting members of the Canadian Armed Forces

Blue Bridge Theatre kicks off it 10th season with fun Russian farce

Unique spin on Chekov classic promises surprises

Cochrane alters lyrics to honour Humboldt Broncos

Rock singer, performing at the Elements Casino grand reopening May 5, changes up ‘Big League’

Who’s afraid of Friday the 13th?

Is friggatriskaidekaphobia harmless fun, or should we be proceeding with caution today?

Most Read