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As much as I love theatre and want as many people as possible to attend, there are certain audience members whom I could do without.

San Francisco Theater Pub

Charles Lewis III, on family.

seal of approval

“The last collaborator is your audience, and so you’ve got to wait ’til the last collaborator comes in before you can complete the collaboration.”
– Stephen Sondheim, interview with Academy of Achievement

I’m one of those actors who will sneak a peek out at the audience. Not just from backstage through a hole in the curtain, but also on stage in the middle of a performance. Mind you, I’m not Jimmy Fallon – I’m not doing full-blown character-breaks that ruin it for the rest the cast. But when my character isn’t the focus of the scene and two actors are having their big melodramatic moment, I’ll do a half-second scan of the audience to see if I know anyone.

Even for a half-second, I’m usually good at picking out faces. A normal crowd will often consist of former castmates (the one and only time I…

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