Our performance last night didn’t go quite as we expected…we knew there was going to be a group of professional musicians (College Student said, “hey, they opened for you!” HA!) on stage before us, but we did not know that we were going to have to go up ON STAGE right after them. We thought we were going to be playing quietly in the corner (i.e. BACKGROUND MUSIC…no mikes). The stage is for professionals…the corner is for people like us. But in a room like that, we wouldn’t have even been background music in the corner; no one would’ve heard us. So we went up on the stage, just like the pros.

There was a sound guy, too! We’re used to playing in living rooms. We all have electric instruments and/or pick-ups on our acoustic instruments, so we aren’t strangers to amplification, but none of us knew that when you’re on a stage in a big room and sound guys are involved, YOU CAN’T HEAR EACH OTHER!!! It was very disconcerting. I could hear myself, but the sound was “tinny.” And if I strained I could hear my friend Lynne next to me, but I couldn’t hear the others AT ALL. Apparently, this is normal. The sound guy warned us we wouldn’t be able to hear ourselves, but to “trust him;” everyone else would hear us. (My husband said it was hard to hear us from where he was sitting…he thought the volume needed to be turned up.)

The other thing we did not expect were CAMERAS. No one said we were going to be on TV. One of the other players said, “At least it’s just public access. Nobody watches public access.” But you would be surprised how many people watch public access! I did a program at the North Liberty Library a few years ago that was broadcast (and replayed over and over and over) on public access…I couldn’t believe how many people told me they’d seen it.

But for the most part, WE ROCKED! We all said afterward that we’d made some mistakes…I know I hit the wrong string during one of the songs…and I missed two notes in another song. But I nailed the tricky part of the Bach minuet both times through, so that was a huge relief. There were times my fingers shook a little, but overall I was less nervous than I expected to be. I just didn’t look at anyone in the audience except for my family…and Donna’s mother-in-law, who whistled and cheered after every song we played! (Funny, I didn’t notice her doing that for the pros!) After it was over, I realized I’d actually had a good time up there. We all did. (In fact, I had a little adrenaline rush going for a while afterward).

We’re definitely going to do it again…(I think our next gig will be Christmas carols in the local nursing homes.)

We survived!

6 thoughts on “We survived!

  • September 26, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    So very cool! Too bad they didn’t give you a monitor– I think it’s hard to play when you can’t listen to each other and make sure everything gels…
    And “trust me” coming from a soundman sends chills down my spine.
    Still and all– good for you! I wish I could have been there to hear you!

    • September 26, 2008 at 1:49 pm

      To show you just how very green I am at this…What kind of monitor? How does it work?

      • September 26, 2008 at 1:59 pm

        It’s a speaker that sits in front of the mikes at the edge of the stage, only it’s facing you. It takes the output from the mikes and plays it in your direction (and it’s on a separate channel from the ones to the audience,so the sound guy can turn it up or down as you prefer). Some sound guys don’t like them because if you’re on a sucky stage, they can cause interference (think community fair, three sided plywood stage with an echoing floor where everything that points towards you is rebounding right into the mikes). But that’s fixable– you just carpet the stage, and preferably the back and side walls too. (think black indoor/outdoor carpet. Doesn’t have to be anything special).
        I’d say you just had lazy sound guys. It happens.

        • September 26, 2008 at 3:17 pm

          Oh, that would’ve been wonderful! Who knew such a thing existed? (We clearly have a lot to learn!)

          I didn’t think much of it when he said we wouldn’t be able to hear…we were sitting right next to each other. Why WOULDN’T we be able to hear each other??? But the beginning of that first song really threw all of us when we realized we really COULDN’T hear each other.

          We sat in kind of a V so we could see each other, though…and I have a tendency to tap my foot, which the player at the other end of the V said helped a lot. She could watch my foot to make sure we were in synch.

  • September 26, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Sounds like it wasn’t too fretful an evening!! Wish I could have been there.

    See you tomorrow! I have crib notes on Twilight from Ingrid L… (!)


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