There are a lot of things that I’m very aware that I’m weird about. Quirks, if you will. I get that pinching other people’s elbows in any scenario is weird, and I understand that not everyone counts to their lucky number before they serve a volleyball. I’ve gathered that not everyone bites their thumb when they pinky promise or cares quite as much as I do when I see a foot anywhere near a place I put my head.
I GET IT.
But I do not and cannot think that I am weird for disliking people chittering chattering, mingling bingling, or yakking flakking during movies, television shows, or performances of really any kind. AND I’M SORRY.
Here’s where I stand and it’s where I’ll stay. I am many things, and one of them is a writer of sorts. I’ve had my fair share of writing words that were eventually performed. And by fair share, I mean maybe 3. And by performed, I mean school productions. But I need you to believe that I know what I’m talking about and that my passion is justified. I, as a writer of sorts, value the written word. So much so that when I’m watching a movie, I hang on every word. I know that the writer worked hard on that script. I know that he likely obsessed over certain lines, certain jokes, certain moments and thought about how perfect certain words fit together and how he was likely the first person ever to group certain words in a certain order with a certain style and he did it and he did it well and he wants us to hear it.
The actors know this and I know they know because I’ve tried my hand at acting. For four years I took a whack at it. And I could read a script, memorize lines and practice saying them in all types of different ways. That’s what actors do. I, as an actor of sorts, value the spoken word. So much so that when I’m watching a movie, I hang on every word. I know that the actor worked hard on her lines. I know that she likely obsessed over timing, and diction, and the emotion behind every word of every line in every scene and tried her hardest to capture the meaning that the writer intended to nail the joke, to make the scene, and to breathe life into his writing and she did it and she did it well and she wants us to hear it.
Directors get it. And you’re right- I DO know from experience because I fiddled with it for four years too. I read plays, loved what the writer wrote, cast actors and actresses that I thought could say the words the right way and directed my little heart out. I, as a director of sorts, value any and every performed word. So much so that when I’m watching a movie, I hang on every one of those words. I know that the director worked hard to dissect the script and comprehend the meaning and break down the words to their core and elaborated on them to bring them depth and molded his actors to say the words with precision and not be sloppy or belittle their importance and then he spent hours deciding between takes and chose the moments where it all fell into place and everyone hit their mark and every word had it’s intended meaning and layers more and he did it and he did it well and he wants us to hear it.
And I want to hear it too.
So, YES. I’m going to give you a look, stranger, when you start talking during a movie. It’s rude to the people trying to watch and it’s rude to the people who are likely miles away, scattered around and clueless to your rudeness who made the movie. They may not know your texting during their climactic moment or whispering during their punch line, but I do. So when I give you the look, it’s only half from me and half on behalf of them.