Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tour de Cafe'

Last night I attended an event hosted by Catholic Charities to celebrate the migrants that enrich our communities. There were tasty treats and beverages from around the world. There were items for sale that were handcrafted by refugees that have come through our doors. And there was entertainment. That was my favorite part.

Somehow I managed to find myself mostly responsible for locating and inviting local entertainers to perform at this Tour de Cafe'. Because of the nature of the event, we were looking for internationally-inspired entertainment. It turned out to be more difficult that I imagined. Most of the groups I approached wanted to be paid (the nerve of those people!), and we are a nonprofit agency. Those that were willing to donate their time weren't available during the week.

I needed to schedule six groups. As of the middle of last week, I had one! I decided to give it up to God. I made more calls, sent more emails, and prayed more prayers. God did what He always does - He came through. On Friday the calls started coming in. The "play list" included world drummers and dancers from Japan, Nepal, Burma, and Mexico.

I now had the folks I needed, but they all wanted to come at the same time. Figures. I did my best to schedule them when I needed them, and stepped out in faith once again that it would work out. And... it did. Some showed up way too early, others got stuck in traffic, the two precious dancers from Nepal were asked to do an encore, and a surprise guest singer (famous in his native country) even took the stage. We filled in the gaps with my Rhythm of the River CD, and one of our employees impressed the crowd with his guitar skills.

We had the perfunctory glitches, mostly with sound. I'm a singer. I know nothing about sound systems. I generally walk up to a mic that has already been set up for me. I tell the technician what I don't like, and s/he fixes it for me. I like it that way. I do not have to be an expert on everything.

Someone commented that I take this stuff seriously. Yes, I do. Did I experience stress related to the Tour? Absolutely. Was it distressing? No. Not all stress is distressing. I loved every minute of this. This is a world with which I am accustomed. I agreed to do it, and I meant for it to be successful, for the guests and for the performers. I believe it was.

Next year I'm going after the Middle Eastern dancers...

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