Tonight was my worst bout of stage fright in years, perhaps ever; I think I did OK, but I also know the nervousness was audible in my voice a couple of times. Ah well. :-) After 14 years on the radio, speaking live on the air hundreds of times, and even standing in front of the BFG audience dozens of times (though not on-air), you'd think that wouldn't happen any more! During the first live set, after which I would be speaking, I really had to focus on breathing... and listening to the good music.
Josh White, Jr. obviously draws a lot from his father's influence, but he's also clearly his own performer, and I was really blown away by this show. I often don't bother buying one of the performer's CDs, or occasionally pick one, but this is the first time in ages I can recall being moved to buy every disc. (Good thing there were only five.) I've already ripped one and I'm listening to it now... "House of the Rising Son," his tribute to his father's music.
In addition to his work and his dad's, Josh did a few other covers, including a great rendition of "For What It's Worth." I think we need to play that more, and pay attention.
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
Step out of line, the man come and take you away
Yeah, a big night. I was also really pleased to chat briefly with David Skorton, Cornell's new president, who stopped by for most of the show and was one of the notables I introduced during our half hour of celebration. I hope he forgives me for starting out by saying, "Earlier this year, Cornell hired a new jazz saxaphone player," which drew one of a couple of laughs I got from the audience. :-) Also great to see Marty Luster, who spoke briefly as well. He's our former assemblyman; our current one couldn't make it at the last minute and sent her chief of staff.
This is what I've been spending a lot of my non-work time on for the last few weeks, so I'm looking forward to getting back to a few things that have slipped to the back burner.
But first, I think, a good night's sleep. :-)