“You’ve paid a lot of money to be there, so sit up front”. Wise words from my high school teacher talking about University. However, there were those afternoon classes where my nodding off didn’t do much to impress the Prof.

With the possible exceptions of the splash zone at the Aquarium or a night bus in Thailand, when doesn’t it make sense to head for the first row?

Last night we were at a concert, an amazing soul band from Alabama. We walked into the theatre and straight for the stage. An interesting community forms up against the rail. There is no apathy, no one’s there by accident. It’s instant camaraderie. Once the band starts, there’s all the head nodding and trading of “I can’t believe we’re here” smiles. It’s the best non-seat in the house.

My favorite theatre experiences are where the row one seats are at stage level – my feet on the same boards as the actors. Any closer and I’d be behind them.

In the action, or as near to it as possible, is where I like to be.

I teach a grad level course at a University. It’s an expensive program. I am amazed at the students who choose the back row – there is no way they are getting their tuition’s worth back there. I even start by encouraging people to move up, but last seat dwellers are pretty committed to decreasing their chances at learning.

In my experience, sucking the marrow out of life happens less often from the cheap seats. Word to the wise? Get there early, move up, head for the stage, go for the unencumbered view. Try not to let anyone stand between you and what you are there for. Happy Friday.