Thumb calluses and Pachelbel's Canon... it's a hard life being a cellist
If you've been to a classical concert, chances are you've had these thoughts at least once.
1. I am in the foyer and everyone here is more dressed-up than I am.
2. I need a drink.
3. Everyone is drinking wine. What's the policy on just having a pint? Maybe gin? Does it have to be wine?
4. Alright, wine it is.
5. This is great. I love classical music! WINE ME AGAIN, BARKEEP!
6. Wow, even the tannoy announcement voice is posh. Time to get into my seat.
7. These seats are amazingly comfortable! Wonder if that will last.
8. Orchestra coming on stage now. Ooh, that's a nice suit.
9. Wow, another nice suit!
10. Crikey. Another one. So many suits. They're all merging into one. They're like a master-race. This is terrifying.
11. Oh hang on, there are some women too. At least they're allowed to vary what they wear.
12. Tuning now. You'd think they'd do this backstage. Especially as everyone is being so silent and basically staring at them. Isn't tuning embarrassing? Couldn't they jazz this bit up a bit?
13. Hush. Conductor approaching. He commands much respect with his important stick and slightly more casual attitude to concert dress than everyone else.
14. Oh man, the atmosphere is SO GOOD! You could hear a pin drop!
15. I HAVE DROPPED MY PLASTIC BEAKER OF WINE. THIS IS A NIGHTMARE.
16. Crisis averted, used my £6 programme to mop it up.
17. Music is happening. Could be time to open some sweets.
18. Wow, it's like the sound of rustling a bag is amplified more than normal in a concert hall. Getting some weird looks now.
19. Ah, the end of the first movement. I think… I *think*… this is a good time for a really intrusive cough. Well, I wouldn't want to do it in a loud bit when no-one can hear it, would I?
20. While we're between movements, I think a nice clap would really let the orchestra know they've done a great job. But for some reason I cannot bring myself to do it.
21. OK, piece number 2. Or, y'know, movement number 2 of piece number 1. Whatever.
22. Maybe the programme will have some more info. However, looking at the programme will cause yet more rustling. And it's sodden with wine.
23. CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP oh right I forgot not yet.
24. Right, I'm going to really concentrate on this movement. Listen out for details, try and get a handle on some themes, that kind of thing. Let's GO.
25. That air conditioning is quite loud.
26. I'm really high up.
27. What would it be like to fall off the balcony?
28. Would the concert carry on? Would I actually die on impact?
29. I could totally do that. It wouldn't hurt too much. Pretty sure I'd definitely survive, anyway. I wonder…
30. Too late, clapping time! And this time everyone's doing it! CLAP CLAP CLAP!
31. Interval time. Everyone is talking so loudly, it's almost as if they've been forced into extreme and unnatural silence for the last 45 minutes.
32. WINE ME AGAIN, BARKEEP!
33. I feel great. Culture is truly mind-expanding.
34. I'm getting a sandwich too.
36. My seat is definitely less comfortable this time around.
37. Should've brought a cushion. My back is on fire.
38. Forget it, the orchestra is here. Welcome back musicians! You still look so formal!
39. Tuning again? I thought we talked about this…
40. Conductor's back. I wonder what they do in the interval. Silently brood in the mirror? Practice some new swishes for the second half? Pretend to be a wizard?
41. Do they get their own dressing room? I bet they do. Which seems fair. It's not like there are dozens of other musicians on stage with large instruments that could use the space.
42. OK, this piece is definitely different to the one they played in the first half. That much I can confirm.
43. Right. Time to concentrate again.
44. This piece is modern. I can tell because it sounds like everything's an accident.
45. It is not big on tunes.
46. I thought I heard a tune there for a moment, but it was someone's phone going off.
47. Maybe you don't need tunes if you just go for absolutely uncompromising volume.
48. The music's stopped and the conductor has his hands in the air. So, we're done, right?
49. Still in the air.
50. Still there.
51. I… think… it's… over…? No-one… moving… or… even… breathing…
52. Clapping now.
53. Someone just shouted 'Bravo!' I'm going to give it a go!
54. Regret shouting. Think I did it wrong.
55. Still clapping.
56. Wow. The clapping.
57. Oh good, the conductor's back on stage. Are they going to play some more?
58. No. Just more clapping.
59. 'Have you had an injury in the workplace?' No - but I've been clapping for about three weeks now and my palms are red-raw. There must be another way to show appreciation.
60. Bar's closed. Probably home time.
61. The car park is literally the most crowded place I've ever been in my life. Definitely shouldn't have driven to this concert. Well, not with all that wine, anyway.
62. So, am I cultured now? Is this what it's like? It's just like being drunk and slightly socially awkward! I LOVE CULTURE, I DO IT ALL THE TIME!