Retropalooza 3 Diary 2015

Right out of the gate, I want to say that I consider my part in Retropalooza 3 to be a success but my part does not belong entirely to me. There were 4 other people who made it happen
* Alan graciously supplied his super bad-ass PA for the concert
alan pa
* Mario and Meat Pie pitched in with high quality powered speakers and I rounded it out with gear
* Meat Pie also ran sound for the bands with this nifty I-Pad mixer (also supplied by Alan)
mixer
* David supervised the panel rooms and operated the PA and video projectors and my sister Sherri came along to help on Saturday (both practical and moral support, more later)
I don’t have any pictures of that stuff
You know why? Because I didn’t have time to think about that because I was constantly doing laps around the convention
I came home exhausted 3 nights in a row and went right to sleep
So, I’ll break it down to you in hindsight

DAY 1 – Setup Panel Rooms and DJ Booth- Assess live room situation:
I was able to get there a few hours before Meat Pie so I had plenty of time to set up the PA and Video Projectors in both panel rooms
All he had to do was bring the mics and check the PA
The next task was for Meat Pie to see how he wanted to set up the Concert PA (which would be loaded in Sat Morning)
My biggest mistake?
Buying new shoes the day before and not giving them time to be broken in
This would prove to be a big factor in my weekend because the problem would get worse

DAY 2 – Load in Concert PA & Get the Panel Rooms Up and Running
Load in Sat Morning was at 7am and I was already dragging from the night before (mostly because my feet hurt)
Meat Pie handled the setup and wiring of the PA  while David Sherri and I started the panel rooms
I knew I wouldn’t have time when the con opened at 9am to do any DJ-ing so I just used a playlist and a very long edit of cereal commercials
FIRST THING TO GO WRONG  I had thought that the 4000 lumen projectors would have been powerful enough to throw a decent image. I had the venue lower the lights in the gameplay area but I soon found that my projector was not powerful enough
I had anticipated that the gameplay area would be closed off and darker but it was open to the con floor and those lights cancelled out any projector in my arsenal
I am not sure If the settings are too dark but the projection was a non-factor in my presentation
POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT-

Chris the Redneck Cameraman from the Game Chasers showed up with some moving lights and made the area look more festive
KIds were running around stomping on the lights like cats chasing lasers

The Panel rooms are the most difficult aspect of a convention because the panelists all have different needs when it comes to audio and video
The biggest issue nowadays is the number of different types of video connectors  on lap tops
My bag of adapters disappeared some time on Saturday (I don’t assume it was stolen, it could have been picked up while someone packed up) so I had a hard time with Macs
The other issue is that you need to bring a ground plug because all if the Macs would hum when connected to both audio and video and a ground plug will eliminate that
Once you get the initial setup rolling then you are pretty much on auto pilot
My sister Sherri was helping David and I both in setting up and helping me keep my anxiety level down

The Afterparty Concert
I don’t know how the PA setup went for Meat Pie because he would just say “OK” when I popped my head in the concert area
This gave me one less thing to worry about because Meat Pie is solid and knows his shit

BIGGEST PROBLEM OF THE WEEKEND
We were told by the venue that the concert area must be completely empty at midnight
This was changed to 11:30 just before the music was supposed to start which meant that the 30 minutes was going to come out of our load out time
When all was over, Meat Pie packed up all of the cables and accessories while I directed the volunteers that helped load out the speakers
We made it out just in time

DAY 3- I get to relax (a little)

Meat Pie didn’t need to come on Sunday and neither did Sherri so it was just David and I
Everything went smoothly and we handled the un-predictables that popped up
Packing up and loading out was way easier than I thought because David is a machine
I thought I had OCD when it came to equipment but he exceeds me
He’d tell me he was off to pack something up,  I’d go to check on him and it was already neatly packed and he was on the next room doing something else
There are volunteers there to help you out but you can’t ask them to do stuff like coil up cables because they have no idea how to do it the way you want
Load out went smoothly as well and I got the equipment home in time for Meat Pie to rehearse

AFTERTHOUGHTS-

There were many things that I would have done differently if I had been included in the preparation of the event but, for the most part, there were no major disasters and I got no negative feedback on my participation
The organizers found out that I was legit and can deliver on my promises so they re going to include me earlier in the process next time
The projector issue was not as disappointing as the fact that I had almost zero interaction with the con-goers
I wanted to do so much with the Video/DJ booth and wanted to interview people etc.. but I was too busy making the gears turn to think of myself

WORST PERSONAL DECISION OF THE WEEKEND

I bought new steel toe work boots for this event but I waited too long and didn’t take the time to break them in, causing blisters on my heels
My feet were killing me as early as Friday Night and it would get worse as the weekend progressed
I wore some old worn out running shoes on Saturday and that made the soles of my feet blister
By Sunday, I had switched to my old steel toes, which hurt my feet but not as much as my other choices (tightening up the laces helped)
My drive to make sure that no fires got a chance to spread or grow meant that I was constantly walking around the venue, allowing myself only a few minutes to sit and rest (I also forgot to eat on Friday)
I had to call in to work today because I could barely walk down the stairs, much less deliver food quickly
I have been stretching all day and will be back up and running by tomorrow

This event meant a lot to me because I needed something to jump start my momentum
My artistic endeavors have not been too successful as of late and I needed a confidence builder to show myself that I have value
I plan to take that good will that I have generated and use it to power my new goals
October is coming up which means I will be doing Youtube reviews of The Walking Dead over on Rockula Retrospective
Halloween season is coming up as well and I will be doing the spooky Video/DJ thing as well
My main focus will be on developing my various musical projects like MultipleMan and The Ramone (One Man Tribute Band)

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