Current times may occasionally lead us to dark thoughts, so perhaps some levity might be in order just about now. With that in mind, I’ve put together the following suggestions for keeping our skills in razor-sharp condition so we’re ready when the time comes. Here goes, and yes, humor is involved:
» Practice wrapping cables using the proper “over/under” method. (Then wrap one around your elbow – come on, you know you’ve always wanted to, and I won’t tell anyone.)
» Spend time each day practicing for a system check by repeating, “Test, One-Two, One, One, Hey, Hey One, Test, Testing, One, One-Two, Sibilance-Sibilance.” (Of course, insert your own preferred word string and cadence.)
» Buy a new Sharpie because your old one’s probably dried up from months of inactivity. Wrap some white gaff tape around your finger, pretend it’s a cable and “label that channel.”
» Have your significant other cook you a meal of things you really don’t like, serve it on a paper plate joined by cheap, broken plastic utensils, sit on a road case in the hallway and then give yourself only 10 minutes to eat it.
» Portion off an area of your home and call it “backstage.” Don’t let friends or family in that area unless they’re wearing the correct laminate.
» Set up a stepladder in your back yard. Climb to the top with tools and rigging hardware. Drop something to see if you can still shout “heads!” before it hits the ground.
» Volunteer at a local hospital in the hernia ward so you can say “truss moving” in a loud voice every time a pre-op patient walks around.
» Have your significant other give you a shopping list with the wrong things on it, then when you get back home with the items they can shake their head and say, “Sorry, that’s the old food rider.” In other words, get comfortably familiar with being disappointed.
» Start carrying your Mini-Mag and Multi-Tool on a belt around your pajamas to get used to having them within reach.
» Stop showering for more than a few days in a row and wear the same blacks to get used to “that certain aroma” again.
» Start going to bed after 3 in the morning and waking up at 7 am to get back in that special sleep-deprivation groove.
» Ask a friend to drive you around at night to become familiar with sleeping in a moving vehicle again. Make sure they hit a lot of potholes and speed bumps.
» Go to the store and buy a T-shirt of a band you don’t like, in a size smaller than you wear, and give it to yourself as “swag.”
» Use the knife on the Multi-Tool to cut your finger, then bandage the wound with a napkin and gaff tape to brush up on your first aid skills.
» Get in shape for arguing with colleagues by having discussions with your family along the lines of “Gerber or Leatherman” and “analog verses digital.”
» Put a stage light on the floor of your living room, and when family members ask you to move it, tell them, “I’m on the audio crew, that’s a lampy’s job.”