A couple nights ago I performed at Winterfest in Lynchburg, VA. There were a few thousand people in attendance and it turned out to be a great night. One thing that’s always fun about big venue performances is the opportunity to meet a variety of different people. Whether stage hands, other performers, administrators, and in this case, one of the mc’s. Njeri “HotHandz” Camphor. I did get to meet a lot of really interesting people, including Jamie Grace, Toby Mac, etc. but HotHandz was definitely the most animated.

To give a quick overview of our adventure, Alicia and I flew into Raleigh-Durham, met up with Gary (the coach of the Super-Skippers in Cary), had lunch then drove 3 hours up to Lynchburg. Thankfully we didn’t have anything scheduled that night so we went to sleep early then got up and cruised over the Liberty University around noon to meet up with the production crew. We sat around for a couple hours waiting for our sound check. One great thing about big venues is that the quality of the program is usually top notch, the downside is the waiting. Since there were 4 bands performing, we had a fair amount of time sitting back waiting for our turn to do a quick check. The main reason for the waiting was that the stadium was trying to figure out where all the breakers were to shut off the lights.

As is quite common, my glow-rope routine had been requested so we wanted to make sure that everything could be turned off at the right time. Thus, we had much waiting so we could hop on stage whenever they figured out where everything was. I don’t mind it too much since I don’t really get to see the performers from the front during the actual show, it was fun catching the different run throughs from a front row perspective.

After we finished the sound check, we zipped backstage for some dinner. This is where you tend to meet a fair number of people. There’s always something to talk about when there’s food around (and everybody ends up eating eventually). Alicia and I then did a couple practice runs of a Chinese Wheel routine we had been working on. We also happened to talk someone into helping out with Double Dutch so we were able to put together a quick routine for the night. Taria had only turned a couple times, but she rocked it with no mistakes during the show.

This is about the time where I met HotHandz. He had been watching us practice and in his animated manner, pronounced that he was officially my biggest fan. He then took it back as he realized that 5 minutes couldn’t possibly put him at number one, so he downgraded himself to number 11. But he hoped someday to make it to the top spot. We chatted for a bit about his sports study program he had taken during college before he headed off for the stage.

After all this, we then stood back stage waiting for our turn. I hopped up there and did a 25 minute show that went well (considering that some of my routines were a little confusing since I kept going out on the catwalk and this direction change was something I don’t normally do). All in all it was a good night. We waited for the rest of the performers to finish then headed back to the hotel to get some sleep. A couple hours later, we got up and drove back to NC for our flight home. It was a fast trip, but we had a great time. Have a great New Year, I know I’m planning on it!

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