Sunday, April 08, 2007

Dusted off my old street performance outfit this morning. 900 SAC recalled I performed an item for them a few years back, and commissioned an encore in honour of Easter Sunday today.

The piece is a short solo set to "Watch the Lamb" by Ray Boltz, a strongly narrative song. The performance was originally choreographed by Todd Farley, but I 'koped' it and modified quite a bit of the movement because the original was too slavishly literal, acting out the song line-by-line. Boring.

I got the music and burned it onto a CD as the only track so there could be no screw-ups in selecting the right song. I arrived early before service to do a sound-check, no problems. We were all set.

Just before the sermon, they introduced my item. I entered to appreciative applause, centered myself at zero-position, cued the sound-booth, and... nothing. No music over the loudspeakers. Now, that is quite an experience -- to have hundreds of pairs of eyes staring at you, expecting you to do something, and there you are frozen like a rock because only you know that technology had somehow managed to mess things up again.

It was a contrast of panic states: me petrified onstage, while in the sound-booth the techs are freaking out, pressing buttons, sliding sliders, double-checking connections, the works. That was it, I broke with performance discipline and went for a mike to buy a little more time for the tech crew to resolve the problem.

As I ran out of patter, they did get the problem fixed, sort of. The guys jury-rigged a laptop to play my CD over the speakers, but the sound quality was crap, barely audible and not quite doing the music much justice. Still, the show had to go on, and that was my show for the day. I won't be expecting rave reviews for this one.

Post-mortem report: during service, someone came into the sound-booth and made off with the cable connecting the CD player to the amplifier. A-mazing. I can be as careful as I ever could be, and yet someone else's human error can ruin the whole show.

Guess that's a clear sign from on-high: Thou shalt not quit thy day job.

No comments: