At the tender age of 3, I stepped on stage as Sheep #3 in my church’s Christmas pageant. I was in love with the theatre from that very moment.
During my vacation planning, I always ensure I carve out a few hours to “take in a show.” However, there are times when a night at the theatre isn’t possible (no tickets, showtime conflicts, PRICE).
For those rare occasions, I must quench my theatre passion with a trip to the local cinema.
I know what you’re thinking — “why spend valuable vacation time going to the movies?”
Visiting the local cinema in various countries is a wondrous event. My visits have provided me with great cultural awareness and insights. This comes in handy when you’re a writer. Seeing a film in Bulgaria is a totally different experience than seeing a film in Scotland, which is different than seeing the same film in the United States.
You can watch the same film in each country and the reactions would be completely different. What’s heartwarming and beautiful in the U.S. can be viewed as gut-wrenching and unrealistic at a theatre in Austria.
For instance, during my weekend excursion in Edinburgh, I decided to see Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Having enjoyed Kingsman: The Secret Service, I wanted to check out the sequel. Luckily the local cinema was a hop, skip and a jump from my AirBnB rental.
It was a nice and cool night, so I decided to walk the five blocks and save £10 on a taxi. Upon arrival, I paid for my ticket, selected my seat, bought some overpriced snacks and sat down to enjoy the show. Nothing unusual or different than what I experience in the U.S., although the cinema staff were nicer.
For much of the movie, things were pretty much the same as they are in the states: people talking on their cell phones, folks snogging (kissing to us Americans) in the back row, and a few parents trying to explain a very racy scene to their clearly too-young-for-this-movie youngsters. However, I made a strange observation mid-way through the film.
I noticed I was the only person in the auditorium laughing at the comical bits of the movie. No, seriously, I was the only person laughing.
My mind took some time to process this phenomenal. Were the references just bad puns and not funny? Was the movie so cringe-worthy that laughing would be demeaning? Was the audience just being nice and polite and that’s why they weren’t laughing? So many questions.
I observed the same phenomenal when I ventured out to see Victoria & Abdul .
To this day it still boggles my mind.
Nevertheless, I’ll chalk feeling right up there with the same feeling I had the moment I stepped into a South Korean theatre to see an Italian opera set in France …
Another cultural learning experience. And much needed background for my Key 2 Destruction, my upcoming novel.
Until next time …
HAVE PASSPORT, WILL TRAVEL