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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Never knew the pre-performance yawn was such a thing

Mark Ellen and I are doing one of our Word In Your Ear evenings tonight. It's a standing joke that half an hour before we begin Mark will start yawning. He's done it for years. Since the yawning will often coincide with a period of frantic preparation on my part it can give the impression that one party's trying and the other one isn't.

Yesterday I was listening to the commentary from the World Athletics Championship and a number of retired runners and jumpers were saying that when they know they're about to perform "your body withdraws to conserve its strength and you start yawning".

I passed this on to Mark and he sent me this clip of the Beatles getting ready to perform at Shea Stadium, just over fifty years ago. I never knew the pre-performance yawn had such a rich history.

3 comments:

  1. Yup. It's the same in the theatre, I have found. unstoppable bouts of yawning (and a huge amount of moaning) at The Half. Then BOOM - once you hit the stage, it's electric.

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  2. Twenty five years ago I'd get the big time yawns at ten or eleven in the evening just before going into an all-night rave. It might have been something to do with the prospect of dancing like a psychotic monkey for the next eight hours to music played at volumes only otherwise heard in war zones.

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  3. Whereas now one gets the big time yawns at ten or eleven in the evening just before going into… bed.

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