At the RUSA workshop I sat at a table up front and as is my habit, began the clapping for each presenter as they were introduced. I slipped up once and NO ONE applauded. Sad. It brought back enforce the memory of the event that initiated my custom to be the applause starter…
Rich and I were in England in 1979 and took the Tube out to a remote London suburb to see a Shakespearean play. There were only about six of us in the audience and none of us were saavy enough about the play to recognize the scene changes in order to applaud at the appropriate moments. Finally we were feeling uncomfortable with the silences and began to applaud when we felt like it, spurring the others to join in as well. By the end, the talented cast were getting the recognition they deserved from the audience, but ever since, I have tried not to be shy about being the first one to clap. Yes, sometimes I get it wrong and am embarassingly alone in my applause, but that is better than the alternative, in my book.
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