Tag: be you

What I Learned from the Super Bowl 52 Halftime Show: Part 1

Hold on. This isn’t about the quality of Justin Timberlake’s dance moves during the snippet of “SexyBack” (yeah!) or how the show would have been SO much better with an N*SYNC reunion. Give me a couple of paragraphs worth of time to explain this.

One night, in a bout of typical insomnia, I noticed one of the local Minnesota news stations asking for people to sign up to work during the Super Bowl Halftime Show since it was hosted in Minneapolis. Because it was 3am and I was lacking sleep, I signed up. I assumed there would be 6,000,727 other people that did the same.

Two days later, I got an email congratulating me for being selected as a Field Team Member for the Halftime Show. I had no idea what that meant or what I’d be doing, but OKAY LET’S DO THIS. That was in early December.

We had our orientation in mid-January at a church that was being used as a hub for a lot of training, located right in the middle of the chaos that was being built up in downtown Minneapolis during that time. Roads were closed. It was cold. Parking garages were taken over by weird equipment. There were gigantic tents built in empty parking lots. I was whiny and told my wife, who I was leaving at home with our three year old and two week old, that if orientation was dumb, I wasn’t going to do it.

This is what it looked like while we waited. It’s pretty top secret:

After about 400 people checked in to this optional orientation, we started by watching the Lady Gaga Super Bowl Halftime show. It’s worth sharing.

Then we’re introduced to a guy named Cap Spence. Bookmark this link to read about him sometime. I wish everyone could work for a Cap Spence at some point in their life. He has stories and, man, does he have stories.

For 1.5 hours, Cap made sure we were clear about our expectations in being a Field Team Member. We would be putting together the stage for the halftime show. AWESOME. We would not be watching any football of any kind during the Super Bowl, nor would we be standing around watching a Justin Timberlake concert. We especially would not be playing “grab ass” with JT. Cap’s words, not mine.

I wanted to live tweet the whole thing. I decided it’d probably be a bad idea to do that once Cap told us all we “need to quit nursing at the digital nipple” and be completely present in rehearsals. Made sense to me.

What did I learn from the Staging Supervisor for the past 17 Super Bowl Halftime shows?

I learned I had to trust that he knew what he was doing. There were 21 carts full of stage parts that were going to need to be put together in less than six minutes and he was going to show 500 volunteers with zero experience how to do it with six rehearsals. Completely out of my control.

I needed to only focus on my job for those six rehearsals and trust that everyone else was doing the same thing. It worked for Lady Gaga in 2017, for Katy Perry and Left Shark in 2015 and for Prince and his amazing stage in 2007. Somehow, it’ll just work.

On the train ride home, I unequivocally knew it was going to be awesome.

Photo by me.

Embracing Twodolla

For years, I’ve had the internal debate on my twitter handle. It’s @twodolla. Pretty professional, yeah? To be completely fair, when I first started using Twitter, it was when you had to text in what you wanted to tweet to 40404 and you had to manually count those 140 characters. And when I start using Twitter, it was usually happening at the bar after shots and 2-for-1s. Now that I think about it, Twitter was just kinda for nerds back when it rolled out. It definitely wasn’t used by, oh, HR people or CEOs or those kind of folks. And, let me tell you, I was pretty good at it. Some real riveting content.

 

Backing up 10 more years before Twitter even started and blogging was just barely a thing is when twodolla came to be. You can read that story here. The whole thing stemmed from my days of working in a pizza delivery restaurant, where my buddy Kevin and I used to blast this song and dance around like fools anytime we worked together. (You’re welcome for this.)

 

And it stuck.

I tried dual tweeting for a while. Locking one down to private mode and using it for personal stuff and then having one with my whole name in it and using it for professional stuff, but that’s hard to do, man. You logout from one when you go to a conference you’re pretty sure your “normal” friends would have no interest in, tweet all about HR-related stuff that you’re completely geeked about. And then you forget to logout of your professional one and start tweeting to those people about your crush on a bartender and things get real weird, real fast. (I’m also kinda lazy, so this could just be me.)

I posted somewhere – probably Facebook or Twitter, but I don’t remember exactly where – not too long ago about trying to come to a decision on what I should do about my Twitter handle as I got more and more involved in tweeting about professional stuff. I contemplated using my name, but the same person that uses @wendyberry also owns wendyberry.com.au, which means I get a LOT of her email, including credit card invoices, random family holiday pictures, etc. Maybe that means she would be willing to give it up considering she hasn’t tweeted since 2011, but I have better things to do.

In the midst of my social media whining about this silly sort of drama, someone I really admire when it comes the whole grownup business lady world, Nancy Lyons, set me straight. I’m paraphrasing because I don’t where I’d originally posted it, but it was something like this: Knock it off. It’s part of your story and that’s what makes you you. (Sorry for completely botching whatever you said whenever you said it, Nancy…)

So here I am. If you search for “two dolla”, the first thing that shows up in Google is an awesome definition in the Urban Dictionary. The second is a scene from the movie Better Off Dead, the third is the Wikipedia entry for a two dollar bill and the fourth is my original personal blog. I’d say I’ve hit the big time, you guys, so why give up who I am now just because I’m almost all grown up, right?

It’s kind of like work life balance. It doesn’t exist. It’s just life balance. Well, sometimes there isn’t a black and white when it comes to personal and professional. If there was, I don’t think I’d like myself very much as a “professional”. I mean, look at me now – I’m blogging about my work life on a Saturday night while my son is singing a song that apparently has a line in it that goes “Where is Daddy? Where is Daddy?”