Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Elijah Conference - Day 1

My day started at 6:30 am, having to hit Smyrna by 8:00 am. What is it with Christians always starting things so early?

Today was the first day of the very intense Elijah Conference. I knew it would be a challenge, and I haven't been disappointed. We have a good group of artists, with a decent mix of soloists and groups. The core of the conference is Allison's teaching, but we also get a couple of guest lectures each day. Today, we had a great talk from Les Butler on radio and media, and another from Kathi Mathis on booking. Took lots of notes. Much to learn.

I've studied with Allison for a few years now. I've been on stage, singing for her and getting critiqued, and I've spent hours listening to her thoughts and theories on great performance skills, but this is something all together different. She's really raising the bar, and taking a whole new twist on how we present the Gospel. Implementing these concepts will require an entire reworking of life performances, booking, product, marketing ... everything. But I think if I can do some of these things, it's really going to be an awesome experience - for me and for my audiences.

Today was a bit of a shorter day - just 8am to 6pm. We broke for supper, and a group of us spent the hour laughing and eating and catching up (there are some Stamps-Baxter people here). Then, we wandered back to River of Life for a Wednesday night service, lead by Johnny Minick. (a much more enjoyable experience than my first visit to River of Life!)

I'm still doing a lot of booking for December, so I'm going to touch on that tonight, but I really need to spend some time processing the day. Brian asked me if I was enjoying it, and I really didn't know how to answer it. I'm enjoying seeing everyone and hearing people sing, but the work is hard and intense. I'm loving it, but I don't know if "enjoying" is the best word to use.

"Enjoying" is a cup of tea with a scone. This is a double espresso with an extra crunchy biscotti. You know what I mean?

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