Back in high school when I was taking guitar lessons, I distinctly remember my guitar teacher, Roger Pitts, was telling me about a gig he had coming up where he needed to do some things that he wasn’t exactly used to doing. His comment was something along the lines of, “If I do it with confidence, the audience isn’t going to know when I mess up.”
The key: Self confidence and intentionality.
The conversation with Roger came back into my head this weekend, as I was assistant tech directing for Westminster Christian School’s high school production of “Sound of Music.” There were many times when I was asked questions and had to answer quickly whether I knew the answer or not. Other times, I didn’t have all of my ducks aligned, so quick decisions had to be made to fix errors.
One of those moments came at the last scene, where the VonTrapp family was walking across the “mountains.” Behind them, we were supposed to have a mountain backdrop, but I had forgotten to call for the curtain to open. The orchestra was playing the first stanza of “Climb Every Mountain.” I knew that at the second stanza, the choir began to sing the melody line of the song. Pam, the main tech director, was behind me, gently, but urgently letting me know that the curtain needed to be open. At this point, I knew what to do.
On headset backstage, I had a trusty team who was awaiting the call to pull the curtain. My orders were clear and simple, “Slowly pull back the curtain – make it look intentional.” Right as Chad pulled the curtain, the second stanza began – the choir kicked in, and the curtain pulled back, perfectly revealing the mountain backdrop. As the curtain pulled back, all I could say was, “Mmm. That’s refreshing.”
All that being said, go forth with confidence.
Make it look intentional.