I’ve only seen it happen once.Silence.
Silence at the end.
Utter, absolute silence.
Not for a few seconds but achingly long.
So long you were stunned.
So long you held your breath.
So long that you knew this moment was rare and beautiful and to be treasured.
It went on so long that the few who finally began to clap were hesitant.
There was one down front and one somewhere off to the right.
First one and then another.Then there came a crescendo of applause and an audience in tears,
on their feet, cheering.
Like I said, I’ve only seen it once.
It is the accolade given only to a performance that sweeps everyone upFor me it happened at the Guthrie theater in Minneapolis.
into a heightened emotional place. It leaves everyone, including the performer,
so wrung out that no one wants to end it.
It was a Friday night, September 21, 1973.
I was in the lobby of the theater waiting for the doors to open when a voice
on the PA system said, “ Ladies and Gentlemen, we apologize that Jim Croce
will not be appearing tonight but Steve Goodman, who was opening for
Mr. Croce has agreed to do both his show and to fill in for Mr. Croce.
You may get a refund at the box office or join us for an evening with Steve Goodman."
Jim Croce was probably best known for his album called “You Don’t Mess
Around With Jim” The Chorus of the title track is:
thrust stage and slowly turned to look at the entire audience surrounding him.
He said, “What they didn’t tell you on the PA is that Jim will never do another concert.
His plane went down and he died last night. I appreciate all of you staying to see me
and I’m going to try to make this an evening you never forget.
With that he began playing and singing his full repertoire of songs. He started with
"City of New Orleans" which he wrote and Arlo Guthrie made famous.
Great songs, one after another, interspersed with tales of how they came to be.
Two and a half hours later. He looked down at his back up guitar with strings broken
and hanging from their tuning keys and said, “I guess I’m going to have to do this
last number accappella.”
The last note shimmered in he air and he nodded.
The silence ensued.
Strive to reach the silence in your performances in the coming year.
Jerry Fletcher, Speaker at www.NetworkingNinja.com