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  • Writer's pictureGene Kim

I'm not mistake proof... This 01v bit me.

Updated: Aug 1

San Diego has always been a really small but tight-knit musical community. When some really great musicians/friends decided to form a band called Telephone Friends, I was extremely excited.

My first show with Telephone Friends was this past Friday at a local Brewery. I thought it was going to be an easy-going night: a local band, a non-ticketed patio show with wood fired pizza.

Load-in was at 5:30 pm, and I showed up at 5 pm.



What I walked in to was chaos.

Console scenes that corresponded to nothing onstage, console tape labels on top of old console tape labels, smiley face wedge EQs, unlabeled stage boxes, and my favorite, a very stoned house engineer who showed up at 5:45pm.

Did I want to do a great job but couldn't?

Very much yes.

I should have come the day before, torn the system apart, advanced the show, rang out every wedge, zeroed the console, and built a file. But I didn't take it seriously because of hubris and circumstance.

Lesson learned, even at this stage of my career: when you say yes to a gig, they should ALL be approached with the same level of care, whether it's for a headliner in an arena or your friend's band at a brewery.

Because rightly so, people have an expectation when you are a professional.

And on that evening, despite the graciousness of my friends, I was bummed at myself for not doing the work I should have done.

And this is what we do with our Church. We think because the same group of musicians are playing this week, because everything worked last weekend, we slowly show up later, and later, and later until we start cutting it too close.

We don't go through every input and line check it.

We don't scan RF when we should to see if anything new popped up on the analyzer.

We don't check the phase of every drum mic

We don't check if drum heads need to be replaced.

We don't check the fit of the headset mic to the teaching pastor.

We don't look at that area of the stage where cabling could be tidier.

And little by little, when unexpected challenges come up.

We get exposed.

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