Informant AN is a student at USC in the cinema arts school, so she knows a lot of cinema traditions.
AN: “Another taboo thing that theater kids believe in is that you shouldn’t whistle in a theater, regardless of whether you were onstage or backstage. This is because back in the day, people who were working behind the stage for props and special and effects and stuff were out of work sailors. Sailors work with ropes and all the stuff back then was made with ropes, also sailors communicated to each other using whistles because that was how they communicated when they’re out at sea. So you can’t whistle because if you whistle you might accidentally have a sailor do something wrong and hit you in the face with a sandbag or something.”
Thoughts: I found this really interesting because I’ve never heard of this before and I didn’t know that back then the people who worked behind the stage were sailors. I think it’s cool how even though the people who work back stage are not longer sailors and most of the special effects and stuff don’t use ropes anymore, there is still this superstition that whistling in the theater will cause something to go wrong.