Bring this guy back he’s so…
I was doing a show at a highschool and arrived at 7:45. An early time to be preparing to rap, but also an early start time for a highschool that was beginning at 8:15 am.
I couldn’t imagine starting school at 8:15 as a highschool student. I remember how tired I was in the morning.
Of course my day didn’t begin at 7:45.
I was on the road at 6:45 and punched the address into my phone. I know it should take between 40-45 minutes but its the morning, its Toronto traffic, and I was set to be on three busy highways.
My alternative was taking the 407 – the toll highway. My Iphone showed that the 407 wasn’t going to save me time. It was 40 minutes on both routes. As I jumped on the first highway, I noticed the traffic was getting heavier. I could trust the Iphone but what happened if things changed half way through my journey?
So I jumped on the 407 and ensured that I’d arrive on time. And I did.
I walked into the schools gym and they were setting up.
The main equipment that I need is a projector – which I cleared that the school had prior to my arrival. I let them know that I use a sound system and if they had one that would be great. They did – but it was on the same cart as the projector and looked like a small system that was better set for plugging in a video game system for playing in the living room rather than for rapping and speaking in front of a few hundred students.
But the vice principal assured me it should be okay and that the microphone was being plugged into the main system. I went over to the teacher that was setting it up. He passed me the lapel mic that I could clip on. “Do you have a handheld?” I said. As a rapper, I always prefer having a microphone in my hand.
He said they did, but then remembered that it had been misplaced so he connected a corded mic while he went to look for it.
After seeing that he hadn’t returned for a few minutes, I took out my own mic and replaced it with the corded one.
When the teacher came back in he was about to apologize that he couldn’t find the cordless when he smiled and said “Wow, you are really prepared.”
He didn’t even know about the sound system that was in my trunk, just in case this one wasn’t sufficient.
The vice principal came back. She asked the teacher if he had his Macbook here because the presenter working in a separate room forgot his power cord.
I reached in my bag and pulled one out. I had purchased a new computer a couple months ago but still bring my old one out to shows… Just in case.
That’s when the teacher said “You’ve got to bring this guy back. He’s so prepared.”
I could have just relied on their equipment. I used to do that. Most times it would go well. I’d say 95% of the time it would be fine. But that’s also when I was just getting started. Not a rookie, but less than 100 shows under my belt. Now I have over one thousand.
I remember the times when the corded mic was connected to an antiquated PA system and it was scratchy and nearly inaudible. I remember how the “sound system” was a small boombox equivalent to what I had in my bedroom as a teenager. I remember how I didn’t regulate crowd size and now there was six hundred students listening to me and how I could hear that I didn’t have full command due to the sound limitations and felt powerless to do anything about it.
That’s why I also remember how buying the sound system was one of the best purchases I’ve made.
I’ve had it for over eight years now. There is duck tape around it from dropping a couple times. Sometimes I have to adjust the cord a little to make sure one of the channels works. But other than that its fine. And if it ever becomes a problem I won’t hesitate to buy another.
But back to the show.
Since I was prepared I had time to chill before the show started. I was talking to the teacher and vice principal and surprised how I was only speaking in front of one grade. They had two other speakers in to talk to other grades.
It’s something they did every year.
That’s when the bell went off.
My preparation could lead to coming back next year… and maybe the year after that.
I’m prepared for that email.