For those of you who didn’t know, I am an actress. No, you haven’t seen me in anything. No, I don’t do it full time. Yes, I spend more money on headshots, websites and reels a year than I actually make working as an actor. Yes, I am poor AF, like all other actors whose names you don’t know. But because I am an actor, I take my movie going and watching very seriously.
I grew up in a family of cinephiles with a mom that could have and should have been a scream queen and a dad who could have been the next Roger Ebert. So, lets just say it’s because of them I had the ridiculous idea of becoming an actor. I’m pretty sure that when my father encouraged me to watch Dr. Strangelove at the ripe age of 9 he didn’t think that would snowball into me uprooting my entire life, moving to Hollywood some day and spending thousands of his hard earned dollars trying to become the next Meryl Streep (Latino edition). Just to clarify; it’s my money I spend now. In the meantime, while I’m not Meryl Streep, I go to the movies and daydream about it like the sad, struggling actor I am.
So lets just say, the movie theater is sort of my sanctuary; my sacred place, my Zen. Some people do hot yoga to sweat toxins and shit out, some go to church to reflect on their “horrible” sins, I go to the AMC. Why, you ask? Well, I’ve tried sitting through mass but it takes me approximately 2-3 minutes to realize I am so ungodly I could spontaneously combust inside a church. So I’ll just save the holy experiences for weddings and funerals.
(me in church)
And my first and last experience with hot yoga was pretty damn traumatizing. It involved a 250 square ft. room filled with 40 sweaty bodies, including my own, at a temperature of 105° F, which felt more like 1005 fucking degrees, a man wearing a tiny blue thong standing two feet away from me, who oh so spiritually splashed his fresh, disgusting sweat on me for 50 whole minutes while he orgasmed in his warrior and downward facing dog poses. In fact, I couldn’t finish the class because I almost passed out. I ended up laying in “corpse pose” (oh the irony!) while the sweaty instructor shoved a glass of Emergen-C down my throat.
(me doing hot yoga)
So yeah, movie theaters…Like all zen places, you will encounter people who make your sacred experience a nightmare and I dedicate this post to them. These are the worst people you will ever meet at a movie theater (or in life).
1. The Heavy Breather
It amazes me how some people have zero self-awareness. If you are not exercising, banging, having a panic attack or dying, please do not heavy breathe near me. Heavy breathing can ruin pretty much anything, especially the quieter scenes in a movie and can make watching a sex scene next to 500 people more uncomfortable than it already is.
2. The Talker
This is the person who treats the movie theater like it’s his or her living room. This could be the friend you brought with you or the asshole in the back. The Talker is relentless and does things like speak to others at a normal volume; kind of like you would at a restaurant or your own home, has a serious phone conversation in the middle of the movie and/or feels the need to recite his/her opinion about everything that happens in the movie, however absurd this opinion may be.
3. The Shaker
I am sure we’re all familiar with the glorious sound of someone shaking popcorn. For some reason, this person shakes the bucket of popcorn like it’s a damn maraca. Whether it’s buttered or not, it seems as if there’s always something to stir in there. Don’t these people realize that the un-popped corn automatically drops to the bottom because there is something in the universe called gravity? WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO ACHIVE BY SHAKING THE BUCKET EXCEPT FOR SOUND POLLUTION? You might think, "I'm sure he'll quiet down once he starts eating it." NOPE. This person, I guarantee you, chews the damn popcorn with their mouth open and keeps shakin' away.
4. The Responsible Parent
This is a parent who thinks it’s OK to bring their toddler to an R-rated movie and decides to torture fellow moviegoers with the child’s whining and confusion. I see this on a regular basis, in fact, I’m pretty sure I am cursed and that I am destined to have a toddler sit behind me at the movies for the rest of my life. Most recently, I watched Get Out; a brilliant, gruesome, fucked up film, which I would have enjoyed much more had I not had a three-year-old sitting right behind me. He’ll probably turn into a satanic cult leader. So, maybe if you have a baby and you want to have a date night with your husband and watch a super inappropriate film but can’t find a sitter… stay home, or have fun raising a sociopath. You’re welcome.
5. The Interrogator
This person is someone who does not enjoy suspense whatsoever. The interrogator asks questions that will be answered by the movie itself and for some reason they think you already watched the movie and you know more than they do. But you don’t. 99% of the time. It's kind of like having a 4 year old sitting next to you.
-Interrogator: Why is she crying?
-Me: Because he's dying.
-Interrogator: But, why?
6. The Clappers
Oh the clappers, my favorite kind of moviegoers. They clap in herds. You will never meet a lonely clapper. These I discovered upon moving to this country. I can’t decide if clappers are cringe-worthy or kind of endearing. These are the people that clap at the end of a really good movie or after someone throws an epic line they act like they didn’t see coming. The Clappers’ favorite movies are blockbusters, anything along the lines of Marvel, Star Wars and Fast and Furious franchises.
7. The Kicker
A kicker is the WORST kind of moviegoer; forget heavy breathing, forget crying babies. Kickers are a plague. They sit behind you and obliviously kick your seat like it’s a fucking soccer ball. Kickers should just refrain from watching movies in public. Whatever you do in life, don't be a kicker.
And yes, this IS me being Zen.