Friday, December 11, 2009


An embarrassing thing happened to me at last night's dress rehearsal for Handel's Messiah at Powell Symphony Hall.

The guy sitting next to me in row 3 of the chorus had brought a water bottle on stage and placed it on the wooden riser between our chairs. When we stood up for the first chorus, the vibration knocked the bottle over with an alarmingly loud "thump!" I looked down to see what had happened, and thus attracted the notice of conductor Nicholas McGegan. Later in the rehearsal, when he asked what that noise had been, I had to take responsibility for it. Mr. McGegan made a big joke about it - sure it's water, wear a hip flask next time, say it's to keep you warm, etc. - and we all had a good laugh over it.

Still, it was a little uncomfortable to be singled out in front of the whole chorus, orchestra, and an audience of 900 donors, especially over somebody else's water bottle. I could all but feel a thousand people shaking their heads at me and thinking, "This guy's lack of professionalism could bring this whole show down."

How tempting it was to whine, "It wasn't my bottle!" But that wouldn't have been the manly thing to do. Sometimes your pride has to take a blow for its own good. Besides, what else are blogs for?

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