Friday, January 24, 2014

Work Stories: Episode 60: Might As Well Jump



Previously on Work Stories, I wrote about when the ceiling fell down on my head.  It was like a much more realistic version of Chicken Little.  I was the guy worrying that the roof was going to cave in on me.  I don’t know why I didn’t use this description of the situation last week.  It sounds so much funnier this way than the way I initially wrote it out.  Oh, regrets.  They always come up.

This week is the… Sixtieth installment?  I think that’s right.  Yes.  It’s episode 60 of Work Stories.  That means that it’s time to go back to the New Year’s concerts that I worked at.  I’ve been doing that for every tenth post.  Why would I change that now?  Let’s see.  I’ve written about the time that I almost got killed by a truck driver.  I wrote about the squirrels.  I wrote about the coworker who pointed a spotlight at a guy, thinking it was a woman.  I also wrote about that same coworker removing an integral piece of the lighting tower and how we stopped that potential disaster.  Oh, and I wrote about one guy sleeping with another guy’s mom and bragging about it.  That’s right.  That was the other one.  Five times I’ve written about my experiences at those two concerts.  I’ve worked at those concerts for about three weeks of my life, and I’m getting a lot of traction out of the stories I accumulated there.  This week, I give you a sixth.

I’ve written before about how I set up for the concert.  I’m not sure that I got into too much detail about it though.  I helped to set up everything.  The stage for the concert, the stages for the cameras, the lighting tower, the audio equipment, the lighting equipment, and the loading dock were all things that I helped with.   This week’s Work Story involves the audio equipment.

The audio equipment is an interesting thing to work with.  There are a few different kinds of speakers that need to be set up.  There are big speakers on the ground on either side of the stage.  Then there are tower-like things made of ten or so speakers.  These hang from either end of the stage.  Finally, on the bottom floor of the lighting tower, the sound boards are set up.  All sound during the concert comes through these boards.  The music the musicians are performing, the audio for the television broadcast of the concert, and any other sound that needs to happen.  These boards are important.

One thing that happens when the boards are set up is that music gets played.  First off, the music being played is some good background noise for the rest of the workers as they’re setting up all of the other stuff that needs to be set up.  Secondly, it’s a way to test the connections and make sure that all of the wires and things are in working order.  It’s good to know this stuff before the concert starts so that there is no panic.

I forget if it was the first or second concert where the first song played was Jump by Van Halen.  It was a recording, obviously.  It wasn’t during the concert, and we never booked Van Halen.  It was a recording being played to test the equipment.  But there’s something about that song that got everyone’s ears up and listening.  We all knew, but only one person walked over to the sound board guy and told him what we were all thinking.

“Hey man.  This is Niagara Falls.  We’re next to the river, about a two minute walk from the falls.  Maybe we should pick a song that isn’t going to coax people into jumping into that gorge.”

The song changed almost immediately.  Everyone was chuckling a little bit because of the situation.  It might not seem like something all that interesting, but it’s something I come back to all the time because of the little bit of humour in it.  I found it funny.

That’s the end of this week’s Work Story.  There’s not much to that.  I don’t feel bad about the writing though.  I think I wrote this week’s as well as I could have in a twenty minute span.  There are many more Work Stories to come as well.  This isn’t nearly the end of the Work Stories.  Come back next week and I’ll share another one with you.

Until then, my mother was Korean, and my father was Black American. She gave me this picture when she was real sick. I was only nine years old.

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