Performance artist Mike Daisey's show at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, "The Last Cargo Cult," started with the attendees being handed US currency (notes ranging from $1 to $100) as they came into the theatre. As Daisey's show drew to a close, he revealed that the money the audience had been given was the entire sum that the theatre was paying him to perform that night. He then asked the audience to give back some or all of the money based on their impression of the show -- and if they liked it enough, they were invited to give even more money back. At the end of the show, Daisey had not only made back all the money he'd given away, he'd also cleared $1,169.005 (yes, someone gave him half a penny!).
Here are some choice audience reactions as they entered the theatre:
"Oh my God, I got a dollar!"
"Ten bucks? Dad, I got ten bucks!"
"No thanks. I don't need it."
"Cool. Now I can get a cookie."
"Oh. Did I drop this?"
"I get $5 and he gets $1? I like this!"
"How do I have to humiliate myself to keep this?"
"There's a small hole in this dollar. I bet that's significant."
When handed a $10, a confused woman kept repeating, "But parking was only $5."
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