Great Adventures Sometimes Have a Rough Start!

Sunday was a BIG day. My friend Shirley Borrelli had asked me to introduce her at an event she was coordinating, and I leaped at the chance to do so for a couple of reasons: I love Shirley to pieces, and I like having a microphone in my hand.

Saturday evening, my daughter helped me to load about 100 pounds of boxes stuffed with goodies and giveaways into the back of my car, and then I repainted my fingernails. Next, because I have short, carefully trimmed toe nails, I glued on some fake elegant looking toenails and painted those too. Fortunately, my daughter suggested that I take the glue bottle with me to the event, just in case a nail developed a problem and I needed a quick fix. More about that in a moment.

Sunday morning I was up early, fought to control my unmanageable hair, got my eyeliner on nice and straight, and had to wear my Plan B outfit because Plan A just wasn’t working for me. When I arrived at the hotel there was already a flurry of activity going on and no room in front of the doors, so I parked my car slightly back from the doors and on a bit of an incline. As I went to put my left foot out of the car, my toe just barely brushed against the door and – snap – the toenail landed on the pavement. “No problem,” I thought to myself, “I have the glue!” I popped the errant plastic nail in my pocket, and set about to remove all those boxes from the back of my car. I pulled my handy foldable wheeling cart out of the car and set it up carefully because of the incline. Then I gently pulled a box forward so that I could move it from the car on to the dolly without mucking up my fingernails. I mentioned I was on an incline and these boxes were heavy, didn’t I?

Placing the first box on the flat deck of the dolly forced the whole apparatus to swing forward rapidly and WHAP, hit me in the head. On the left side. In exactly the same place where I gave myself a concussion in October with a wooden beam. This time, I saw stars, birdies, and I think there were a couple of rainbows. I did my quick recovery (which means I said the “f” word, rubbed my head, and got on with things), and headed inside with the first box. Back at the car, the second box fell apart and so I recruited my friends and stage manager Shannon, and proceeded to load her arms up with the contents.  

Inside, once the boxes were at the registration table, I tested the microphones, had a quick conversation with the AV guy, we made some adjustments and got everything working beautifully. I set up a video with sound and after about 15 minutes that was working beautifully too. My thoughts were along these lines, “Awesome! This is going to rock! Everything is ready, working, and we’re good to go!!” 
I went somewhere quiet and fixed the errant toenail, had a snack, got grabbed by the stylist and had my wild hair tamed, and had a couple of pictures taken.

The event started and in the most devastating moment of the day, I discovered that the handheld microphone only worked in fits and starts, and not at the same time as someone else was using the lavaliere mic. The sweat started to drip down the back of my neck and between my boobs. “We can handle this, too,” I told myself. “I was in the army for six years. I know how to project my voice in a large room.” It wasn’t as easy for some of our soft spoken guests, however.

The hotel eventually got their act together and provided us with a wired microphone.  

I did lose another toenail at some point, and after some careful scrutiny I spotted it near the podium and scooped it up. Hopefully no one else noticed because I was trying to be very subtle about the whole thing. I won’t use those idiot things again at all, and instead of sandals may have to revert back to my army boots.

The event itself went off really well - I don't think our guests noticed my lack of a painted toenail, and if they did they were far too polite to mention it. They didn't complain about the microphone issues either. Within three hours and amidst two fashion shows, presentations, a silent auction, and ticket sales, Shirley's raised over $1600 for a great local charity - Suit Yourself and everyone seemed to be having a good time, despite my moments of discombobulation.  There is nothing like a little adrenaline to keep things on track, exciting, and invigorating! I had a great time, and can't wait for the Fall! 
Pam and Shannon take a moment. Photo credit Lynda Robertson.

2 comments: said...

Who would have known that you had such pre-event adventures!! We had a great time, with and without microphones we were able to hear you and the presenters. There was a lot of information passed along and we had many laughs and fun! Looking forward to the fall event!!

Pam Robertson said...

Thanks Lynda - for commenting here, and being part of the day!