In class yesterday, after viewing Hieu Nguyen’s “Buffet Etiquette,” a student stood up, and gave a rousing ovation. He felt the words he heard. He understood the context. He found himself deep inside the poem we had watched. I was so proud of this typically quiet student, so excited that he felt so strongly about what he saw that he pushed away the shyness, and applauded the moment.
We are taught, at a young age, that when we go to a performance, we are to stand and cheer when the performers are finished – if, of course, it was a good performance. It’s simply in our nature to do so, but I often wonder whether or not it’s simply a rote response at this point. Do people know why they are cheering? Did it truly bring out that type of physical, emotional, clap-your-hands-and-say-yes! moment?
So, what is that truly makes you stand and applaud? What does it take?