Applause is expected these days. To refuse it is to be very rude and quite counter-culture. BUT, the entire audience has has to agree to not clap all at once, for the lack of applause to be noticed. One guy not clapping amongst 500 people is not noticed.
But my real point is, why do we clap when someone first comes on stage? Unless we’ve seen them perform (heard them speak, saw them dance, heard them make music, etc.), how do we know if they’re really applause-worthy? I understand clapping after someone is done, because you enjoyed and/or appreciated what they did on stage, but before hand, it seems like a silly politeness.
Am I being too stingy with my applause?