Category Archives: Performing


Read that someone was collecting retorts to hecklers, asking for contributions but instead reminds me of witnessing performers die from heckling. Saw a solo musician enter into a nervous breakdown in Edinburgh many years ago. Had a bag of cassettes with him (was early 90s) left them on stage screaming they could all fuck off, stormed off crying and indicating the cassettes were something he had prepared for the audience…..
Saw another guy, a stand up, freak out at the Rivoli, tell off the audience for being entitled Queen street Torontonians and then started shouting jokes that nobody laughed at. What’s the point of that? Maybe it was performance art and I didn’t clue in.
Most amazing response to hecklers I ever saw was Sahara Spracklin at a coffee house in a church basement. Always a very visually interesting person, guitar covered in stick on hardware store letters and numbers, a Jewish tallis around her neck, tall white leather boots, fishnet stockings, dramatic eye make up, sleeveless red leather jacket and somebody yelled something at her, interrupting her opening verse and instead of being shook up, insulted or annoyed she looked out at the stranger and acted towards him like his old aunt charmed to meet him again.
“come here” she curled her index finger, “come here. What’s you name?”
Guy looked around for support but had none. “come come” Sahara again beckoned
He walked over to her, she brought him on stage and into the mic said, “So what’s your name?” and put the mic into his lips
“Victor” he said now seeming shy
“Ok everyone this is Victor. Victor this is everyone ok?”
He nodded. Maybe someone in the audience said Helloooo Victor. “So did you want to tell the people anything Victor?”
“No I’m good”
“Ok I’m going to go back to my song and maybe you can listen ok?”
“Uh huh”.
so satisfying, so amazing.


Listened to an older professor explain to students how to think about being on stage when presenting academic papers. Told them to take notes to the podium then walk away from it, to look at the audience while speaking, to never apologize, to think about the audience, ask yourself what they want. Sounding more like things one might tell musical performing students but these were academics who are ostensibly presenting papers on scientific subjects and not trying to sell merch.

In another universe I had the courage to raise my hand and tell him they should practice their presentations at an open stage and ask their friends to come watch and video tape.