#352: When the musician you admire is just two arms-length away from you

R and I had an interesting, brief discussion about this local band we like very much while they were going through their second set tonight.

I kept teasing her that tonight, we’re gonna talk to the lead female vocalist that we especially admire, and I may have taken my teasing a little too far till, I think I may have reduced R‘s liking of her. Then I suggested asking the band for a photo after they were done for the night, which we didn’t in the end being as shy and reluctant as we are. But it was when R initiated taking a photo of me with the band when I began to question if that’s what I really wanted, to bridge the gap with a group of talented people I’ve only admired from a distance so far.

That was when the distance came about, and I said something like, “Nah, I’d rather maintain the distance between us.” This distance refers to the relationship (albeit one-sided) between a performer and an audience member. It is professional, it is transactional; the performer is there to entertain, the audience member is there to be entertained. I decided that it was better to preserve the distance, which R agreed. Why? One, because I don’t get to have expectations of the band I admire, expecting them to reciprocate my desire to climb to a more personal level with them. Two, let’s say I do get to know the band more personally and they are cool with that, bridging the gap leads to a loss of some of that allure and admiration that was once there.

That’s why the distance is important. That’s why bands and fans should maintain this distance, so that performers can just perform, and audience members can simply enjoy; no expectations.

#352: When the musician you admire is just two arms-length away from you