Soooooo...I worked multiple events as a contractor throughout the month of March. This is really fun for me, and a nice change of pace, because by bonding with a larger production company I get to work on large-scaled events/festivals and for corporate companies that I wouldn't ordinarily as little ole me. These included a 300+ person gala, a 4 day long corporate SXSW Interactive social event, and SXSW live music showcase. All great experiences and lots of fun! Here's a recap in picture form:
|Bartenders dance on the bar at Handlebar on East 5th Street - our host venue for corporate clients at SXSW.|
|Upstairs deck at Handlebar, transformed.|
|Sound & lighting gurus in action.|
|People enjoying SXSW music.|
Yup, Ole Snoop. He was super nice and very gracious with his fans. We were working his movie screening, which was just for an intimate group of people. Afterward, he took time posing in pictures and shaking hands with the guests. Later, on his way out, we just sort of stumbled into this picture with him, which he was more than happy to take. The best part was that right after this he voluntarily came up and hugged each one of us and thanked us for all our help making his event go smoothly. Um, no prob, Snoop!
Oh, don't believe me? Here's another angle. My glassy I've-worked-12-hours-and-counting eyes really "pop" in this one.
But Snoop wasn't the only VIP present. Oh hohoho no. The Dream was performing (didn't know who he was until that day) before the movie screening, so there was a heavy hiphop/r&b presence. The Dream's keyboardist borrowed my ear buds and then asked for my number. Whoo hoo. We had no idea that Usher and Bobby Valentino (also didn't know who he was until that day) were also going to show up to support (aka smoke weed?). I only caught a glimpse of Usher before he was ushered away. Har har. That was pretty chaotic. I was "stage managing" the bands, and Bobby Valentino's bodyguard came up to me backstage (if you wear black and a walkie talkie people think you make big decisions) and this was the conversation that ensued:
Bodyguard: "Hey. Hey!" (The band was loud)
Bodyguard: "I'm Bobby Valentino's bodyguard, and he'll go on for you after these guys."
Me: "What?" (It was really loud)
The Bodyguard repeated himself at least three times. I finally caught the name.
Bodyguard: "BOBBY VALENTINO." (I had zero clue who that was, so I just shrugged.)
Me: "Oh, well, sorry. Our sound permit is up at 10pm and these guys get to play their full set."
What I now understand was that Bobby Valentino was offering to get onstage and give a spontaneous performance just out of the goodness of his heart. Clearly, the sound permit.... and all.
All in all, my first SXSW experience was a lot of fun, however I'm glad it only comes but once a year!