What Scares Me On StageJo Dee Messina
This is my office. Well, not all of the time. But I do spend a lot of time here and I love it. For me the fans make a show. There’s nothing like standing up there and hearing folks sing every line of everyone song at the top of their lungs. I’m so lucky. When I look out into this sea of people I see folks of all ages. There are teenagers singing along, parents out for a day to themselves and little kids. It is fun, exhilarating and packed with energy. In the midst of all that is going on during a show, this is what scares the living bejeppers out of me.
At my show last night, someone reached up and gave me an object to sign. As I reached down to grab it a crowd of people rushed the stage. This doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is the parents that send their kids up unprotected to contend with that crowd. There is always a barrier at the front of the stage. Some sort of wall set up, mostly to hide the underneath wires, poles, cases, etc. In other cases, it is keep folks back far enough so they don’t climb on stage, set their drinks on stage and it creates a “pit” for the media to get shots with no interference. These barriers, though meant for protection, can be DANGEROUS. when there’s a crowd reaching forward, pressing those in front of them and there’s a child at the “barrier” it scares me. The people who are 3,4 rows back don’t realize it, but, they are crushing the little people in front. I can’t control it and if security does not place themselves between the barrier and the people, there is no one to keeping the child from being crushed.
Another thing that drives me crazy is when a parent puts their child onto the stage. Don’t get me wrong, I invite kids to be with me on stage once in a while. My employees will help get them on and off. That’s not what I mean. It’s the times when I parent thrusts their child up their on a whim so they can get an autograph or get there picture “on stage” in the middle of the show. At times the stages are 8 feet high. If you put a child on stage in that frantic moment, they tend to panic. Some freeze and others bolt back to their parents. When the child turns back toward the audience, their vision and judgement are instantly effected by the lights and they can’t see. They can’t see their parents, the crowd, or the edge of the stage. This is a potentially horrific situation. I always wonder why folks would do that to their child. Put them in such danger. It just terrifies me to see kids put in these situations.
So, if your going to a concert with your children, please, stay with them at all times. Don’t use them to get an autograph if it’s you that wants it and for heavens sake, in all the excitement, please don’t put them up on the stage. It’s simply not safe.
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