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Take Your Stage: The Performing Artist’s Audience

By Mary Gould

For far too long in my theater career, I struggled to understand performing artists who did not practice for the sake of performance. I’m talking about those talented birds who hone their skills purely for the sake of personal enrichment with little to no interest in pursuing their craft as a profession.

As a producer and instructor, this puzzled me. What was the point of the tedious practice and meticulous work without the reward of a masterful performance to share with an audience?

Now, I have come to respect the performing artist taking the stage for the sake of the audience – whoever and wherever that may be.

The artist and the audience are dependent on each other for the experience of the performance – neither exists in a vacuum. For this dynamic to be successful, each party must present compassion and understanding for the other.

To bring this full circle, the same delicate dynamic exists for each performer presenting their craft to his or her audience – whether that audience fills a 600-seat theater or is a party of one, the artist themselves.

For my charges who perform for personal enrichment, often challenging their own perceived limitations and exceeding their own expectations is as daunting (and rewarding) as the career performer achieving a standing ovation from a packed house.

Whoever your audience, dig deep for the courage to explore, practice and perform as an artist. Enjoy the overwhelming experience of being in the throes of art with your audience – after all, we’re in this together.


Whether you are pursuing performing arts for personal enrichment or as a profession, I want to help you take your stage. If you’re interested in learning more about private lessons or becoming a part of upcoming South of Broadway productions, let’s chat.

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