Do you know that moment when you've always suspected you had a skill but you've never had any evidence of it? Like when Harry Potter dscovered he could wiggle his ears, or when Clark Kent turned out to be a mean Flip Cup competitor, or that story we all know about the spider playing clarinet.... Or that could be a dream I had. Anyway, that moment occurs sometimes, and we discover ourselves to be a more complete human being than we had previously, dismally supposed.
Two days ago it happened to me. The art and literary magazine I was on the staff for at school was having its release. I was head of promotions so I was in charge of the party. I volunteered to be MC. I knew when I volunteered that it would be a small sort of nightmare. That never worried me, however. No matter what happened, the book had been printed on time and on budget, so any further success was gravy.
That knowledge relaxed me. Which turned out to be fortunate since at first it seemed that every possible thing went wrong. We wanted some of our poetry and prose contributors to read for us, also they needed to be introduced by the three editors of the different genres we had represented in the magazine; additionally we had a quite intelligent but also deaf art director who had prepared a statement to be interpreted by some very talented ASL interpreters; before all of them went on, we had two dudes in charge of explaining that this was the first year the magazine would have an online version, so the secondary online journal lady needed to get up and introduce the primary online journal viking dude; and prior to all of that our faculty advisor needed to get up and give a two minute spiel on the value of why we were gathered here today. All that needed to happen, and no one had prepared anything, and not everyone had expected to go on, and our contributors just trickled in, and I'd never met any of them before though they did, fortunately, all end up appearing...and I hadn't written any jokes.
It was a complete nightmare, theoretically. As it turned out, though, I have a pretty good head under that kind of pressure. I got everyone lined up, gave them a brief idea what was going to happen and where they stood in the arrangement. Then I kicked back and let it all roll out. I introduced the event, the book, and all the people. Under the circumstances, it seemed to go beautifully.
Quite encouraging, really.