Dear Mary Pat,
Is it rude to talk during a concert? Our local bar often has singers, and I don’t know if it’s OK to talk to my friends while they are on stage. The waiters speak normally without whispering, but it seems awfully inconsiderate to the person/people on stage. What’s the rule of thumb?
Sister Bay, Wis.
Dear Silent Sue,
The person performing on stage most likely wants your undivided attention. In a bar or restaurant setting, sometimes music becomes background noise, but I doubt the performer sees it that way. He or she has worked hard practicing and getting a set list together and has created a show for the audience. If the audience is completely ignoring someone speaking or singing on stage, that is rude. The audience should be paying enough attention to know when a song has finished and should be clapping along with everyone else. Some bands and singers interact more with an audience and might be looking for feedback or participation. Being aware of what’s going on around you and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is usually all you need to figure out how best to act.