YOU know that sinking feeling when someone's mobile rings during a live show.
Maybe it's actually YOUR CALL!! Perhaps your work mobile is languishing in the bottom of your over-sized tote bag. You say a little prayer to anyone listening up above in the cheap seats or further up in high heaven.
It comes over you in waves.
Firstly, there's disbelief. How can this be happening? What is wrong with people? We've just had a polite warning from the MC to switch off our mobile phones, there are 12 written warnings between the foyer entry and the bar (perhaps it's six, I may have been seeing double after that strong welcome drink) and people just know it's manners to hold your own on phone etiquette now, right?.
Secondly, there's panic. Maybe it's actually YOUR CALL!! Perhaps your work mobile is languishing in the bottom of your over-sized tote bag. You say a little prayer to anyone listening up above in the cheap seats or further up in high heaven.
Thirdly, there's enormous relief. You remember your work mobile is at home.
Fourthly, there's smug judgement. What sort of imbecile would forget to turn off their phone? Hopefully, they're a very important person like an emergency surgeon or an on-call mum or dad.
Fifthly, you remember what you're actually doing in the audience and return your attention to centre stage.
Phew! It's stressful when someone's mobile rings during live theatre.
It takes me another 10 minutes to calm my farm.
I have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) when it comes to mobile phones at public events.
I will check my own phone is on mute or switched off five times before I can settle down into my seat.
Once comfortable, I will just need to take a further, sneaky look.
Then I wonder whether I should have checked-in online; I know checking-in is a very Gen X thing to do but I'm a big believer in promoting the local arts scene even if it means giving away my age.
Anyhow, rather than risk leaving my mobile switched on, I'll bypass the check-in more often than not.
Imagine my horror when my mobile rang during the classical ballet solo section of the Albury Wodonga Eisteddfod one night last week.
I was sure my phone was on mute.
I had checked it five times, in line with my OCD standard response plan.
However, my youngest daughter was in the back corner of the Albury Entertainment Centre in the shadows making emojis on my mobile when it rang. Thankfully I was nearby in the back row when she panicked and cast it to me with the kind of urgency and disgust usually reserved for the doggy-poo-picker-upper compost bag.
I quickly declined the call from an unknown number and made a beeline for the exit door after the next act. I assumed my daughter had bumped the mute switch.
We never quite made it out of the theatre before the next act as we had to gather up coats, shoes, bags and … lost dignity. (Couldn’t find that anywhere!)
We stood up against the back wall of the theatre waiting for the next break.
Unbelievably, the mobile rang again!!!
Then I knew the phone had been on mute for both of those calls.
In fact, out on the street, the phone showed I had three missed calls from the unknown number; only the first was mute.
When we got home, away from the spotlight, I googled: Why is my iPhone ringing even when it's on mute at the worst possible moment in the classical ballet section? Then I tempered my anger and refined my search.
Turned out there is a setting on my phone where the first call from a number will be mute but subsequent calls made within three minutes will ring out, loud and proud.
I soon discovered the call came from a doctor’s office, which later emailed to suggest I book an immunisation booster for my daughter either this year or even in 2019. Nothing urgent! Arghh!!!
Having changed my phone settings, I sheepishly returned to the eisteddfod two days later.
I now have a new theory on phones ringing in live shows.
While emergency workers and on-call parents may get called out, it may simply be a Gen-Xer being caught out by Apple.
I am now set to go out again in public.
Don’t call me though, I’ll call you!