December 4th, 2010. La Bown. A College of the North Atlantic production.
The intro riff to “Misery Business” by Paramore plays, and we are underway. In the making since September and finally coming to fruition this past evening. The time spent together, bonding and forging friendships, getting close with the intention of collaborating together as a team to pull this off. It’s time once again for the 25th time for
Since there is no way that anybody that is not familiar with Stephenville or CNA will ever know what exactly I am talking about. So I am going to enlighten you before I go any further with this.
Sonic Potluck is a production of four different programs of the College of the North Atlantic. The Film Video and Production program is responsible for recording the event in attempts to edit and make a final cut. Recording Arts are involved with anything audio, they control the volume and quality of the sound being produced each set. Journalism broadcast the whole event via the internet at http://www.cna.nl.ca. We are responsible for all of the video that gets seen on that webcast. Finally, the primary group is the Music Industry and Performance program, because in case you didn’t figure it out yet.. the Sonic Potluck is a big concert help by MIP at the end of each of their semesters. It isn’t a small undertaking.
As a student in the Journalism program the potluck is an exciting time. This is my third potluck and it was a treat to reprise my role calling the shots on the video switchboard. Essentially it is my job to direct the 4 cameras, and decide which shots will be aired over the web and helping the other camera people find good shots while the main focus is not on them. Basically, one would literally call this job the shot-caller. I’m not really that vain as to look at it that way. Especially because it is a job that if you do it well, then you should just be able to let your camera people go and find their shots and just simply give them the cue when you are going to go to it.
This is the approach I take it the role. On camera for my half of the show was Lynn Daley, Megan Edwards-Harris, Melanie Schumph, and James Churchill. I’m assuming that they all had a laugh, trying to keep the mood light while taking in the show and finding the best possible angles we can. I think it was a job well done. They were all first year students and with the exception of Megan I don’t believe any of them had a whole lot of experience with this kind of work, but they made my job a lot easier.
I’m not trying to alienate anyone because they all do an incredible job but I am just leaving a special notice to James. The guy was a natural. I know I said it to him a few times during the show and once afterwards but I want to reiterate right now that I am extremely surprised with his work. He produced some absolutely amazing shots and it was not a result of me asking for them for the most part. Even when I did have to call a shot, all I would need to tell him was the name of who I want and the kid would not only have that person in line but a dead on shot to what i was asking for. Excellent work James.
It is very important that I stress one major point about the role that I played tonight. First, I only did the second half, first year journalism student Don Kettle did the first half. Second, there are people in the course that may or may not think that this role means that you have a lot more authority, that you are a person of high importance and the end result is the thought process that you are indeed more important than the others. This is a very well established misconception… hell I had that thought once myself.
In my first year, first semester when our instructor Don Murphy explained the different roles required for the show I made a comment saying that the Switcher sounds fun. When he actually said, “Okay, you can do that.” I was dumbfounded, I know this may be hard for some of you to imagine but I was speechless (at least for a few moments before saying something sarcastic making fun of the man.) I was thinking, “Wow… shouldn’t a second year be doing this? Isn’t that like the Boss of the show? I mean you are literally “calling the shots.” Anyway, before potluck ever started, rest assured, I removed that mindset. Because it is true that you are important, but so is the camera people, and the graphics person, and even the floaters. It’s true that if you mess up, the show will suck… but same can be said to all of the roles. So, I’m hoping that I’ve made it clear enough for everyone to understand that the Switcher is NOT the boss. So there’s no reason to behave accordingly.
I understand that quality is important, and that all programs involve should (and we do) put our best effort into making a great show. Honestly, I find it hard to swallow that the way to do that is to be so stressed, and serious, and rigid in your approach. I’m thinking that the second half of the show turned out pretty good other than a few mishaps, and I’m thinking that if the camera people were not into it, having a good time, that the show would’ve ended up not only being boring for them to work… but that boredom will reflect in the quality of the performance. Get a grip… Potluck is significant and important, but also fun and exciting. It IS possible to be both.
Anyway, that is enough of the Journalism talk. There’s a couple of things I want to say about the show itself. First, and foremost, to any MIP student reading this I want to applaud you right now. You all deserve it. This is my third Sonic Potluck, and I’m saying without question that it was the best one I attended. There was variety between the genres, I mean think about it for a second. You guys see Kyle there to the side, he’s rapping to Eminem’s “Love The Way You Lie”, with Maggie doing Rhianna’s vocals. There was Avenged Sevenfold, Paramore, Thrice all the way down to A Capella version of Don’t Stop Believing by four lovely ladies dressed with purple sequence calling themselves the Beauty School Dropouts. This has definitely been a well diverse Potluck. An original medley mashing together a bunch of Marianas Trench songs done in different styles, and with a skill level that makes me wonder why some of these kids even bothered coming to school for music.
I am not one for a fluff piece. I do not verbally or in text say everything is great when it’s not. I mean I’m sure there were issues and problems with the show. I mean a loud echoing boom over the microphone, and crazy amounts of feedback when Stephanie Tobin was trying to inform the attending crowd that free food and drinks were available. Also, the performance for Artist in the Ambulance could’ve used more work, but I’m not ragging on anyone, I’m sure anyone could tear the show apart but I would not feel that it would be justified to do so. Last year, the shows were good, but there were more than one performance that left me underwhelmed… that is not something that I can honestly say about this year.
There were a lot of interesting and incredible performances, one performer in particular I want to name. Is.. well actually someone who I don’t remember the name for.. it is the girl who opened the night. I will slap myself tomorrow when I am told her name, because I knew it I just can’t find the word right now. But, She was my surprise of the night. I knew Michael Mercer can play like a beast, and Matt Ball walked out of the womb with a baseball cap on his head and a bass in his hands. I’ve even heard the vocal talent of Taylor Roberts and John Picco at Clancy’s. I don’t want to keep name dropping because I don’t want to leave anyone out, and I know I will if I keep this up… but I digress. The girl who sang Misery Business and was involved with the Marianas Trench piece… left me unable to operate.
I remember yesterday coming to the Cue-to-Cue and hearing the tail end of her Misery Business and I was floored, but tonight… it was absolutely unforgettable. So I want to give major props to her for her performances tonight. To me, she stole the show, which is a VERY tough feat for the opening act.
Sonic Potluck 25 is in the books now, it’s time to start looking towards our final exams and getting to all head back to the places we came from for our Christmas Break. One thing that is for certain, this potluck really set a very high standard for what we can expect in April. Sonic Potluck 26 now has a grotesquely high standard to live up to… because unlike Potluck 25, I’m sure most of us that were around last year didn’t have a lot of big expectations, at least I know I did. I thought it was going to be just going through the motions. We’ll all go to LA Bown, hear some good music, and go get drunk. This new crop, blending with the old veterans of last year created a show tonight that destroyed all my expectations of a mediocre-to-good night out and left me trying to catch my breath. As I said while switching there were moments where just following the show preoccupied my mind and I missed some good shots or held a not so good shot too long.
Excellent work to everyone involved. Drunken Facebook status’ began popping up a little while ago so I’m assuming most of you are home from your celebration and everything went great. Also, if I didn’t mention your name in this entry I apologize, as I said I didn’t want to name everyone because I know there will be some people I’d fail to mention even though they contributed to a great show. Like Mandy, I know if she reads this will not be impressed if I don’t mention her the performance was great.. Shawn Howell, whom I have not seen play all that much except for once or twice during the year, was great too definitely one of the best showmen of the guitarists… Brad LeRiche and Keith Warren… for some reason I always put those names together, but I’ve heard them out at Clancy’s, and tonight they were great. Sam Burke being this years Nick Billard and playing in a bunch of bands including a great solo-acoustic original. Maggie, Vanessa, Jawsh, Trevor, Gagne, I mean, I know I almost named everyone now, but I also know I’m forgetting people so I’m going to stop that now.
To the Music Industry & Performance, and Recording Arts students, I have to say I am eagerly looking forward to seeing how you guys are going to top this next semester. Keep It up, tonight was a real showing of the talent that can be found in CNA.
Thank You Maggie Kanuka(The fantastic bassist for Californication, and the best Rhianna we could’ve asked for to sing Love The Way you Lie. Awesome Job Maggie.) for informing me that the Paramore singer that I could not recall the name was Shannell Lewis.