I recently read a blog post by Sean Bulava, and it got me thinking about story interuptions I've had that stuck in my memory. Recently I went and told a set of stories with music at a local rest home. The activities director was grateful that I would come and entertain the residents for the small budget they had and they knew what my normal evening fee would have been. The experience was not well planned by the staff and there was some confusion as to where in the building I was to perform, so we got off to a late start and people kept coming in as I was telling or playing as the case may be. I tried to make each welcome and join us, during one of my stories just as I said, "and all the fairies we're laughing, talking, eating, drinking some played music and others were dancing" an announcement came over the intercom. One of the attendants elsewhere in the building sang a little "Please and Thank you song" and switched off. I decided to silently conduct the music with a big smile on my face, and when it was finished got back to the story by wagging my finger and saying in my best Irish accent, "well some of them had a wee bit more to drink than others." That got me some laughs, but it was an ill fated story, for just as the most crucial part came some one tripped the alarm to the door and we had to wait until it could be reset and turned off. I patiently waited and repeated the end of the story since the alarm had drowned it out. I was glad I knew the story well and had been telling it for years, since it would have been easy to get distracted and totally lose my place if I had not. I should say the audience and staff were nice and appreciated everything I did, and I in turn wanted very much to entertain them for my lowest non-profit fee. I still feel rewarded emotionally by sticking it out.
It made me really appreciate next weeks perfomance through our local arts council when my wife and I had a very attentive audience in a large auditorium with a decent sound system and acoustic friendly room.