Yesterday I had my sixty-first show of the summer. I still have two more performances and two short workshops next week. So much for my promise to myself that I'd do a maximum of 55 shows this summer. How did that happen?!
Out of all the shows, only a couple were a disappointment to me. No, I won't tell you which ones. One had to do with the venue, which was less than optimal (and moldy to boot), and another was a problem of a too-small audience in two senses: there weren't many kids, and some of them were too small to know that the performance was for them.
When the percentage of kids who are too small is larger than the percentage who are the appropriate age, the older kids lose out. If there are fewer of the tinies, it can still be a good show. It's also more of a problem when the show is made up of specific stories, without much leeway, such as Creepy Crawlies this summer. If I'm doing my Storyteller's Choice program, I can switch over to fingerplays and rhymes, as I often do at Wonderscope.
There wasn't anything I could do in these two cases this summer, other than do my best and hope that some of the listeners enjoyed themselves.
Now, before almost every show, I make a silent wish to have a good time. If I'm having a good time, and if I'm paying the right attention to how the audience is reacting, most likely they're having fun as well.