Today was spent on ugly meltdown stuff. I had high hopes of accomplishing much this morning, it didn't happen. In fact pretty much the opposite happened.
We have a lot of elements in this weekend's services so I attended the first part of rehearsal last night to make some decisions about positioning everyone. Things got off to a slow start. I finished what I came to do and left, man I wish I had stayed. Things rapidly deteriorated. Our sound guy (one of my favorite volunteers), was struggling to get the monitor mix right. Everyone kept making requests and he tried to accommodate them but when everyone needs help at once it is very difficult to get finished.
One of our most beloved volunteers finally became so frustrated that he left the stage. Our tech guy and the band leader went and talked to him and he returned. As a result of the sound meltdown last night my day was spent in continuous conversation and evaluation. I felt like a spy on a secret mission trying to discover the hidden truth. No one was being dishonest, everyone wanted to help solve the problem but as I discovered there were many contributing factors.
As the Director of the Department I was responsible to find a solution and find it fast. I had one conversation after another and multiple conversations with our Chief of Staff because the ultimate solution lies in a hire (and also because he's a friend). This wasn't just about one bad rehearsal but about a year's worth of trouble in our new auditorium. So what to do?
Ultimately the solution seems to be: Hire a part time sound guy- we need the consistency that the same guy each weekend would bring instead of 4 different volunteers, require that no one leaves on Thursday before every mic is hooked up, and every line is sound checked, develop a sound strategy or ongoing goals- no clear vision for what we hope to accomplish in this tech area currently exists, and create an evaluation team made up of various musicians, a vocalist, a worship leader and the hired sound guy. We obviously need better communication between the musicians on stage and the sound.
But, the buck stops here. Looking back I should have taken charge and pushed for measurable systems to be in place. I should have tried to learn more about the sound myself in order to evaluate progress. Hind site is perfect and we need to move forward quickly. I should have been on top of it. I hate meltdowns.