I was supposed to take part in a fundraiser for Greg Palast last night at CBGB’s. My usual presentation involves a slideshow and video clips and animation, run off my laptop, and I spent a fair amount of time putting together a variation on that specifically for this gig.
The tech guys checked out the digital projector ahead of time, using their laptop (ostensibly identical to mine) and assured me that everything would be ready to go, plug and play. Well, it didn’t quite work out that way. And it’s my own damn fault, really. I’ve given many, many presentations, I’m not some wet-behind-the-ears rookie I should have done a tech runthrough using my own laptop. My mistake.
So I was introduced, I went up on stage, plugged in the laptop…and nothing happened. So I fiddled with the laptop while the tech guys fiddled with the projector, and this went on for maybe fifteen minutes, which, when you’re standing onstage in front of a large audience, subjectively feels like about five years, and is probably not the most fun you’ll ever have in your life. I was following on the heels of a very energetic Reverend Billy performance, and I could feel the momentum draining away as we stood up there screwing around with the damn equipment…so I finally decided it was time to cut bait, and apologized to the audience and walked away and that was that.
Not my finest hour.
At any rate, if you came to the show last night because my name was on the bill, my sincere apologies. In retrospect, maybe I should have held the stage a little longer, taken questions, danced a little dance, whatever…but I figured, rightly or wrongly, that there were a lot of speakers and performers still to come, and I’d already used up too much time as it was, and I didn’t want to kill the evening’s momentum entirely. I had to make a quick decision, and I decided the best thing was to get out of the way and let the show continue.