I love Christmas time. You know, when you are working crazy hours and your body starts shouting back at you to slow down, but because the show must go on, you push through until you collapse at the finish line, with nothing but a heap underneath the Christmas tree for your family to workaround? (I really don’t feel this way anymore, but it is fun to reminisce about days gone by.)
For us church technical artists, another thing that happens at Christmas time, or during any other large production, is that all the great things we do all year long are magnified. Unfortunately, all our bad habits and not-so-great process issues are also magnified. The things we put up with on a weekly basis but should probably change, are blown up to ugly proportions for us that we have to deal with. All year long we live with a low-grade fever, not quite bad enough to go to the doctor over, but when the pressure builds to Christmas proportions, it can send us to the emergency room…so to speak.
I am pretty good at saying: “we’ll wait and figure that out when we are in rehearsal”. Many times this is fine, but when we hit the big services this tends to bite us. We have too many details floating around to leave any for the last minute. There will be enough details that pop up at the last minute that we should be planning everything else we possibly can so that we are ready for the unexpected. A loose process week in and week out can wreak havoc when the big event rolls around.
In what ways could your process improve each week to make next Christmas be the best experience? During our rehearsals and services, let’s be observant of the things that we can improve for next year by doing small fixes throughout the year.