PERFORMERS: What’s All This “Merde” Sh*t About, Anyway?

Here’s a crappy story.

Why do we say “Merde” before performing?

The simple theory is this:

Merde is the French translation for the word “poop.” By the late 1800s, many major cities were literally covered in merde because of all the horses. Before motorized vehicles, horses did the heavy lifting to transport goods, materials, and people.

Poop was so bad, there was even “The Great Horse Manure Crisis of 1894!”

(No shit, look it up)

On average, a horse will produce between 15 to 35 lbs of manure daily. Because of this, people walked through poop daily.

Definitely a shitty situation…

Smells Interesting

When going for a night out, people trailed this poop into theatres.

However, performers with their uncanny natural spin on life, sat on this and squeezed out a positive… The more merde in the lobby and in the aisles meant the more people watching your show.

And the more people watching your show means: more energy, bigger applause, and more money for the theatre! Now that’s definitely nothing to turn your nose up at.

Call me a turd, but that’s why we say Merde before we perform. Now you know.

And! The French would say it three times “Merde Merde Merde” before stepping on stage, because the more shit that comes your way (literally), the better.

All right. I’m done talking about all this crap, and hope you feel relieved.

Watch your step, have fun, and a huge MERDE to every one of you performing today! 💩

– Shawn Byfield


As a sought-after presenter, choreographer, coach and entrepreneur, Shawn Byfield’s unique perspective is enjoyed by thousands who train and mentor with him every year. To start learning, yearning, movin’ or groovin’… contact Shawn before today ends.

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