Updated: Jul 25
It was February 25th of this year that I had my first live jig at the PlayThrough convention in Raleigh, North Carolina. My business manager, Johnna, had landed me the job, she waited till I was nice and drunk to tell me I was going to be live. That whole week I was nervous and didn't want to do it. My team encouraged me and gave me positive encouragement. That Saturday I got up with a knot in my stomach, I was worried about letting everyone on my team down, I was worried I would make a fool of myself thus proving I might not be meant to do this. As I was getting ready my cameraman (who is also my accountant), Zac, and my "bodyguard", Nikeir, were all trying to get my hyped and excited. I just wanted to hide under my covers, but I got dressed as Princess Jasmine and got in the car.
We arrive at the Raleigh convention center shockingly early (we usually run late every where we go). I go inside and make my way to the Carolina Games Summit area and as I look down my heart stops, lights, camera, and a backdrop,
"Holy Sh!t, this is a real thing, and I can't do it." is what ran through my head. We went down the escalator and walked up to Johnna and she sees the look on my face. She gave me a hug and told me I would do great. I apologized and told her I would let her down. In true Johnna fashion she smiled at me and said if I didn't believe you could do it I wouldn't have gotten this for you. Johnna walked me over to meet my co-host, Will. Will was all smiles and he was super happy. He shock my hand and said,
"Ready to have fun?" I told him I wasn't ready and I just wanted to leave. He smiled at me and told me he had no idea what he was doing but he was going to do it and so was I. He continued by reminding me that it's all fun and that we are just talking to our friends who couldn't be with us. I smiled and told him I will try to remember that.
We posed for a few promotional pictures. Will tried to keep me upbeat and calm. I felt bad because he didn't know me from a whole in the wall and here he was having to keep me calm, cool, and collected.
We did a quick test run. I stuttered a lot, I suede back and forth, side to side. I was told to try to stay in this imaginary box so I could stay where the camera can capture me. Then Will walked away to make sure his station was working, I asked him what did he mean his station? That's when I found out I was going to be standing there alone interviewing people by myself and he was going to be at a table commentating game play. Will informed me he wouldn't be too far away from me but that he knew I would do just great.
The cameraman, Ryan, was really nice but I could tell he was getting just a little annoyed with me because I kept moving outside this invisible box so he asked Zac to stand next to me and he put tape by my feet (the big T at our feet) so I knew where to stand and where my guest should stand.
Ryan had us test the mic so he could check the sound. Ryan was liking how everything was looking and sounding. He gave me some last minute advice and then said, "Ok everyone five minutes before we go live."
I head that and leaned over to Zac and said, "I'm not ready, I don't feel good." He knew exactly what that meant. My breathing became short, the room started spinning, I began to sweat. Worry and fear came over me like a wave. Zac asked Ryan to get some water for me.
Zac asked me what I wanted to do. I took a deep breath and told him I wanted to go home, I didn't want to do this and mess it up for everyone. He told me that was a ridiculous statement and that I was born to do this. I told him I got it all wrong and I couldn't do it. I was on the verge of tears.
I was getting dizzy and my peripheral was dark, I told Zac I felt like I was going to pass out. He told me to sit down water was on it's way and to just keep doing my breathing.... In through your nose, out through your mouth.
Pain filled my body, my stomach was beyond knots, and I was trying not to keep thinking these thoughts of failure. This picture is of me breathing in and it hurting as I am reaching for the bottle of water Zac was handing me.
I grab the water as I exhale. Zac simply says,
"You'll be ok."
It didn't take long
before people were asking what was wrong me. Zac would reply,
"She'll be ok... just last minute jitters."
He didn't say anything he just looked on. Johnna had come up to me and told me, I could do it that she had faith in me. Then Will sat down next to me and said,
"Darling, we have 2 minutes. We can do this I promise you will not fail you will do great, I won't let you fail." He got up and then helped me up.
We hugged and took our markers and did a quick intro to a live audience on Twitch.tv. I didn't stubble my words, I bantered a little bit with Will and before I knew it the intro was done. Will turned to me and said see it will be that quick and easy. We will let you know who will be talking to and what game they played since you won't get to watch so that way you'll know what to talk about and ask. I smiled and knotted my head.
I interviewed single players and gaming crews, every time I finished and shot it back to Will everyone would come up to me and say what a great job I did, how I nailed it, and how I asked great questions. We took a 30 minute break to get the brackets ready, have people do some free play. The PlayThrough convention was fun and such an adrenaline rush once I got into the swing of things. I met some wonderful people and met up with people I hadn't seen in a while.
Drummer of 8-Bit Disaster