3 Reason I might like a heckler.
I'm going to be honest and tell you I really don't like hecklers at all. They are generally rude and inconsiderate of the feelings of others. A heckler can be a leech feeding off of every moment you create. They can suck the metaphorical blood out of you in front of hundreds or thousands, leaving you dead and bloated.
Over the years I've created a frame of thinking that allows me to see the brighter side of things. After being heckled I sometimes wondered if the heckler is right and why would they say or do that? How can I be more prepared next time? So I tried to figure out three good reasons to like having a heckler. Here is what I've come up with.
1. They keep me on my toes.
The heckler allows me to exercise my quick and sometimes puny wit. I've come up with some great things to get people to behave when I need them too. Treating drunks like kids works well. Treating kids like adults is just as effective and something I've being doing for years.
Some common things people say are,"I know that trick!" My reply, "Well, then you can close your eyes for this one." It gets a nice laugh with the appropriate delivery. "I know how you did that!" My reply, "So do I!" Of course my personal favorite, "Magic is fake!" My reply, "You're fake!"
Certain social techniques or retorts have kept the show on track and gotten huge laughs at one time or another. They may or may not work for me again due to the uniqueness of those moments but if it wasn't for those hecklers I never would have said or done certain things. Which brings me to reason number 2.
2. Sometimes I learn from a heckler.
Not every heckler is the same and sometimes they don't know they are a heckler. I've had people who were heckling me come up after a show and tell me they were just trying to help me.
To anyone that watches live shows, IF YOUR HELP IS NEEDED WE WILL ASK. Unsolicited help is rude and distracting.
The greatest thing I've learned is not to go back and forth with a heckler but to just acknowledge them for a millisecond and continue on. Not fully ignoring and not fully engaging. The truth is a heckler sometimes has made me aware of a flaw in my performance, bringing me to the third reason I like a heckler.
3. On a rare occasion the heckler could be right.
If somebody yells out "You suck!" maybe I do. Obviously they feel that way, weather or not it's appropriate to yell it out right then is questionable. Every time a kid yells it out at Disney which is maybe once a year, I take their feelings into consideration. Apparently I'm not connecting with them, so I could make an adjustment for the future to perhaps have a better connection with them. Maybe the kid is just being a butt-head and practicing to became the school bully.
So, the three reasons I like a heckler are: They keep me on my toes, I could learn from them and they might be right. I've never considered myself a kids performer but, I do shows at Disney World so kids are going to be there and do kid things. #kidshavenofilter. If I can deal with them I most certainly can deal with an adult heckler. After reading this please don't come to my show or any show and heckle. Remember I'm looking at the brighter side of being heckled, so please be respectful of the performers you are viewing.
If you've seen or experienced a heckler comment below. Please remember to like and share.
Thanks for reading,