Tonight has ended roughly, so I may not sound very excited about my day, even though it was great. I left the conference at 6:00 to pick up Gerald so we could go to a showcase together. That's when I discovered I had, not one, but 2 flat tires! Needless to say, the evening went downhill from there. My car is at a repair place tonight, I've sat in my second tow truck in 3 weeks, and I'm in a city with no public transit. (deep breath)
... But today was excellent ...
To start the day, I attended a panel on touring. Most of the people were from Christian and crossover rock bands, but the reason I went was to hear Ronnie Booth (of The Booth Brothers). There are so few Southern Gospel people here; it's mostly CCM and rock. Most of the questions were directed at the rock dudes. When Ronnie was finally asked a question, he acknowledged that he felt a little out of place, and that 99% of the people in the room probably didn't even know who he was. When I stood for my question, I started with, "I'm a Southern Gospel girl, and I know who you are." He was so great in his answers, and said he felt hopeful that a young person wants to sing SG. We chatted for a bit after the discussion. Very kind and humble man.
I hooked up with my friend, Kimberlee, who is the organizer of CWE (Christian Women of Entertainment). We had a long leisurely lunch on Broadway, and picked up more free stuff from the exhibit hall.
This afternoon focused on the digital market, and I must say, it was a little depressing. I love holding a CD and reading the lyrics and credits in the little booklet. According to today's panel, the CD will be completely out of commission in the next 5-20 years. Maybe in 20, but I don't see it in 5. It's not that the technology won't be in place and simple to use. I just think there will still be people in 5-10 years who won't know how to download, who won't want to download, or who won't own a computer. I probably sound very old-fashioned, and I'm okay with that. I think digital downloading is pretty incredible, and I'm completely in support of adding that to the music industry. I just don't like it when technology people give off that "join the wave or you're a loser" attitude.
The afternoon ended with a really strong panel called "Blurring Genre Lines". The group was a mix of agents, managers, and artists who have experienced a lot of crossover in their careers. It was a heavy-hitting group including the Foreman brothers from Switchfoot (a crossover rock band), the senior VP from the William Morris Agency, and songwriter/music-innovator Kirk Franklin. First of all, what a great topic! And secondly, how smart of GMA to have such diversity on the panel. The information was a good mix of spiritual insights, story-telling, and just good practical advice.
After that, I left the conference, and we're back to my first paragraph. Tomorrow, I'll get a call that will either be for a reasonably priced repair, or a very expensive replacement. Praying for the first one...