Preparing for the Gig


On any given day around the world, entertainers wake up and assess their plans for that day. On this particular day, I verify the location of my event, making sure the time and address are correct in my Google calendar. Timing is everything, so with a couple of taps on the smartphone, Google navigator replies with a route and estimated travel time.

I have a process called Reverse Calculation. Reverse Calculation is the process of counting backward in time. I mastered this technique when I was in college and needed to know exactly how long I could stay at the bars while still getting seven good hours of sleep before attending class.

The process goes like this; I had an 11:00 AM World History class, the drive was 30 minutes, meaning I had to leave the house at 10:30. This was college, travel time was precious, and I would arrive minutes before the class would start. Surprisingly, many business people in the 9-5 world still do this, yet I typically reach 30 to 60 minutes early as a professional entertainer for corporate events.

My typical morning routine takes an hour to get ready, so 9:30 is when I had to wake up. Now, I would count backward for 7 hours, that was sleep time, add in the 30 minutes to travel home, reverse calculated time…. 2:00 AM is when I would have to leave the nightclub.

I still use this process, but the activities before an event are more like getting clothes ready, pulling and organizing my balloons, working out, having breakfast or lunch with the family. It all depends on what I need to accomplish before the gig.

The preparation I do before the gig prepares me mentally for a day of entertaining. Knowing that I have the correct travel route, a full apron of balloons, and an understanding of what needs to be accomplished makes it easy to wake up in the morning and complete my daily activities.

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