The great Ricky Bobby once said, “I’m not sure what to do with my hands.” I now know what he meant by that. 

A few weeks ago, while doing sound at the Rocky Pro Rodeo, the announcer, Dave Poulsen, was scheduled to work the PBR Canada event Saturday night in Red Deer.

Dave had to leave the Saturday afternoon rodeo performance a little early to record some TV hits for the PBR broadcast, which left me in the announcer seat for the last event of the rodeo in Rocky. Though I am thankful for the past years of podcasting and public speaking experience, I have never considered myself an announcer, but I had to be that day.

If there were an event I’d have to announce the bull riding was the perfect one. I know all the guys and bulls, so I at least had something to talk about. I also worked with Dennis Halstead, one of the best rodeo entertainers. Dennis was able to help keep the crowd entertained while I fumbled around the announcer stand, getting my ducks in a row. The hardest part was controlling the music while holding a mic in my hand, so needless to say, I was a bit flustered.

Thankfully we all made it out alive, and I still have my dignity. However, it is safe to say that I won’t be pulling my announcer card anytime soon!

That takes us to the end of June, where I worked an event at the Elk Ridge Resort in Northern Saskatchewan.

It was just like any bull riding. It was a reasonably simple setup, and I was ready to roll in no time. As we approached the event’s start, I noticed that the microphones were not coming through as clearly as they usually do. So, I reached out to our fearless leader Ted Stovin to help with the troubleshooting, and he was even unsure why things weren’t working.

Things got a bit interesting as the event started, and I still couldn’t figure out why the microphones weren’t working correctly. I got pretty visibly frustrated and apologized to the event announcer, Brett Gardiner. Like the pro he is, he told me “not to worry,” and I kept trying to sort the issue.

Eventually, I discovered a faulty mic cable causing the problem, so I swapped it out, and we were back in business!

The first thing Brett asked me was, “So… what did you learn?”

That caught me off guard, and I had no clue what to say. Brett just smiled at me while I tried to come up with something.

Once I gathered my thoughts, these are the three takeaways I mustered up:

  1. Don’t stop looking for a solution. There is always a way to make something work.
  2. Don’t overcomplicate things. Sometimes the fix is right under your nose.
  3. Relax! It’s not always sunshine and rainbows, and we are all just doing our best out here.

I want to shout out to Brett and the PBR Canada crew I worked with that night. They are the best in business and always give 110%. Also, a tip to Tanner Byrne and the Elk Ridge crew for putting on one of the most incredible events I’ve been part of. I can’t wait to go back there!

Cowboy Christmas is in full swing, and the Calgary Stampede is upon us! I am stoked about what the rest of the summer has to bring, and I am sure there will be more fun stories along the way. 

Catch ya down the road.

Wace

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