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Finger Pointing June 11, 2011

Posted by bobv451 in business, conventions, fantasy, movies & TV, New Mexico, writing.

On occasion, I am asked to be a guest of honor. Other times, toastmaster to introduce the GoH. The former role has evolved over the years because I learned early on that a crowd of fans want exactly the same thing as an individual fan–to be entertained. The one time I tried to make serious comments I actually got a hate letter handed to me while I was talking. I suppose this works in the old “any publicity is good publicity” vein but it is disconcerting. So, entertain by humor when GoH.

TMing is only slightly different. You have to be funny, but not at the expense of the GoH. You’re introducing, not doing a character assassination. Outrageous is always good. The more outrageous the better, actually. And you’re the opening act, the standup trainee whose job it is to rev up the crowd, break the ice, make anticipation grow for the GoH. As such, it is better to be brief. Not from the brevity is the soul of wit (sole of wit?) perspective but rather to avoid the scary prospect of talking longer than the GoH. I remember one instance of this at a Worldcon. An over an hour introduction to a 20 min talk?

Tonight I’ll be TMing a getogether of Steve Donaldson fans who have gathered from all over the world. I’ve talked with one from Australia and another from England. Then there are the usual suspects from the good ole USA. The gig is going to be especially interesting because 30 or so fans will be co-occupying a restaurant with 300 actors and staff at a wrap party for Breaking Bad. I suspect they will have the microphones and they will be boisterous (it’s a hit show, it’s filmed in Abq, it’s got personable stars and more than this, it’s good–they’ve got a lot to celebrate).

I need to find something to say about funny about Steve, stop, step away as I point for him to take the podium. And if I can’t, I’ll offer my services to Bryan Cranston. There’s gotta be an audience somewhere in that restaurant tonight.

Against All Things Ending by Stephen R Donaldson



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