Sunday, April 22, 2012

Good Things/Bad Things about a night at the races

Yesterday's night at the Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland MO was a bit of a disappointment to me. There were plenty of good things about the evening, but also a few things that could have been better. And some things (like wind and technical difficulties) are not in our control.

I'd like to start by saying that the facility is a really nice place. If you're a race fan and in Missouri, you owe it to yourself to enjoy the races at the Lucas Oil Speedway. The staff was great! They did a lot to make sure that we had all of the things we needed for the night. I expected that the races would start with the singing of the National Anthem. I didn't expect that the Anthem would be preceded by a prayer!

The Speedway presented the local Raceway Ministries chapter with a nice donation to help fund their ministry. Then one of the guys from Find It Here ministries led the opening prayer, followed by the singing of The Star Spangled Banner. Well played, Lucas Oil!

I didn't have anything to do with the planning of the night's events and it was my first time to the races so I don't know if things were the way they were and there was little to be done about it or if there were just some things that could have been better planned and organized. We were given a great area to set up our games and tent, but I think that greeters at the entry points would have been helpful to direct people into the area and explain that it was a family area for everybody to enjoy. There were plenty of people that walked through the area and looked as they did, but they continued on without stopping to see what it was all about. The young people that were in charge of handing out the free bags of cotton candy did an excellent job of spotting the kids as they came into the area and making sure they got their treat.

I know there were several volunteers that came that didn't know how they might help and didn't know who to talk to about where they might be of service. It turned out that many of the people that were there in the event area were volunteers that didn't have a place to work. I know that lots of the people that came to my table were members at our churches because it came up in my conversations with them.

I was also disappointed that I didn't get to do any magic and message on the big "Jumbo Tron" viewer. It is the beginning of the season and there were still some technology issues to work out. They tried for quite some time, but couldn't get the feed from the remote camera to connect so that it would feed the big screen. In spite of that, it was a good night. There were giveaways to the race fans and I saw quite a few of them carrying the New Testaments that were handed out.

And there were a lot of volunteers! Thanks to everybody that showed up with a willing heart. Even if you didn't find a place to work, your presence was noted and your being in the event area also helped others to want to come over and see what was going on. It may be that other booths had some great successes and were able to minister to some people in need.

Another bonus of spending the evening at the Speedway was that I was spared from watching the Cardinals lose to the Pirates last night. Of course, I also missed the Blues come from behind win to take the series and advance in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Ah well, that's just how it goes sometimes (and there is always Sports Center to catch the highlights!).

All-in-all, I was glad for the opportunity and learned a few things about how I might better prepare for the next similar event that I'm invited to take part in. It is always fun to share through magic and a great treat to see the reactions from the people that are watching. I need to increase my repertoire of effects for these venues and become more comfortable with building a small crowd. I'm sure that a more experienced street magician would have done quite well given the same same circumstances.

Live and learn, right?

Celebrate the day with friends. Worship our Lord. Give thanks.



Mike said...

'Blues come from behind win'

Thanks for the info. This is where I get my sports news.

Big Sky Heidi said...

Still, today's a cause for celebration!