Friday, May 24, 2013

On the road again: Balticon, day 2

Most of today went to working in my hotel room, which is sadly the norm for me at conventions.  I did manage to register, help a friend set up in the art show, and grab a late lunch. 

I spent the early evening helping debug the opening ceremonies, and then at 8:00 I was the Master of Ceremonies for them.  I got to spend a little time talking with a lot of fun folks, including Joe and Gay Haldeman, T.C. McCarthy, and Myke Cole. 

When I agree to MC an event, I focus most on what the event's organizers want.  Here, it is for the event to go smoothly and on time.  Entertaining the audience is also part of the job, of course, but the focus is on how the event goes.  So, I try to adopt that focus, make the event be the center of the audience's attention, keep it rolling along, and try to hit our time marks.  I don't try to make it be "The Mark Van Name Show."  This approach tends to mean that I maintain a smooth, calm affect, never take too long in my jokes or monologue bits, and keep the show moving briskly.  I think that's what the audience wants--it's what I have wanted when I attended the opening ceremonies of various cons--but the cost is that I'm not as entertaining as I could be.  I always wonder if I've chosen the right balance. 

After we finished the opening ceremonies, a small group of us headed to Woodberry Kitchen for a late dinner.  The meal was tasty, though not quite as good as in past years.  Still, the setting was lovely, the service good, and the food well above average.  If you live in this area and haven't yet eaten at this restaurant, you should head on over.

1 comment:

Griffin Barber said...

Wishing I was there.


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