Alright, we’re more than half-way through our New Year’s Resolutions for TD’s series. We’ve resolved to work less, delegate more and train more volunteers. Today’s resolution is another that’s close to my heart.
Try More New Things
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut as a technical artist, especially when we do a service every 5-6 days. I don’t know how your church is going, but we do a very similar service every weekend. The order is almost always thus; Walk-in, three songs (the worship leader will talk between one and two), prayer, announcements, offering (with a song), message, blessing, walk-out. Occasionally we’ll throw in an interview (it always goes before or after the announcements), or a baptism (between songs one and two) or a child dedication (at the top).
With such a predictable order, it’s easy to zombie-walk my way through it. To avoid that, I try new things often. I’ll dig deeper into my audio console and try new things there. I’ll re-patch my effects or try some new compression techniques. We’ll work on different lighting options. Sometimes we will experiment with the new features in ProPresenter.
Last week, I spent a few hours with our video switcher learning how to load looped video into the media stores, then recall them with a preset. As you know (if you read regularly), I like to automate things. I’ll write software to automate my recordings, video uploads, and whatever else I can. After the last podcast with Nicholas Rivero, I’m going to write an Automator action that copies my edited sermon recordings to various computers and servers. I even bought a Rasberry Pi computer. I don’t know what for, but it seems fun.
I love learning new things, so I’ll try all sorts of them. I always ask people I meet how they do what they do; if there is an idea I can steal, I do so. Part of the point of this is to optimize our system so we spend less time doing mechanical things and have more time for people and creative. Part of it is so I don’t get bored. I’m a bit ADD…
Sometimes we can get afraid to try new things, fearing failure. But the most brilliant men that have walked this earth failed many, many times along the way to great success. So if you try something and it fails, you’re in good company. Never be afraid to try something—just be smart about where and when you try it. The middle of the service is not the time re-patch the console… But the rest of the week, experiment away!