The problem is if you bumped the door frame as you walked through it, or even just walked a little too fast and created a breeze, the frame would swing. And swing. And swing. Like one of those perpetual motion desk tchotchkes.
And guess what. When the door frame is swinging like that, no one cares that the Nazis are coming. They’re too busy watching the door frame swing to hear your beautiful, heart-wrenching monologue.
Our director pulled us all aside one night before a show and said “If you bump the door frame, just reach out and stop it from swinging. Yes, it will take the audience out of the play for a moment. It’s OK to ruin the magic for a few seconds if it means preserving the magic for the rest of the evening.”
I have since learned that this is excellent advice when you knock over a microphone during a panel discussion, spill water on yourself during a training, or accidentally turn off the projector instead of advancing to the next slide. It’s best to stop, acknowledge that you ruined the magic, and then get the magic back as best you can. People usually laugh and appreciate your candor. No one wants to pretend they don’t see that doorframe swinging. Magic only works if you all agree, together, to imagine new possibilities.