Wednesday, February 08, 2012

You say Potato I say Portobello

As a preamble to this story, I have to admit to one of my most embarrassing moments in High School.  As senior president of the Radio club it was my job to make the announcements over the PA system every Monday afternoon. It was 10 minutes of announcements for up coming events or club meetings at the school  I was doing fine until one day I said, "Those who made the Honor Society this semester should come to room 320 in C Hall, during home room, and sign the ROOSTER."  The word was ROSTER. I heard the laugh start from one end of the school and blow past me like the shock wave of an earthquake.  Unfortunately you don't out grow dyslexia. 

Corporate show business is different from other forms of "the business".  Most obviously the venue. It is usually a performance in a banquet hall or a hotel ballroom.  Dressing rooms, green rooms or just holding areas are usually impromptu and sometimes the unused room next to the banquet event.  Such was the case over the week end when I performed for a fund raising gala. They needed to find some space for my "staging area/dressing room".  In the emails back and forth it was determined I could use "Birdie's Room" for this function.

The names of ballrooms are mostly themed out in line with the decor of the hotel, but it is also not unusual to name them after people. So Birdie's Room did not sound unusual to me.

I arrived at the venue and asked directions to Birdie's Room. I received a blank look from the bellman. Thinking that he was new I went up to the desk clerk and asked the same question. He asked if Birdie was a guest at the hotel because they didn't have a room with that name.   

I explained that Birdie was not a guest, but the name of the room I was instructed to go to and wait for my show. I mentioned the name of the organization I was performing for which rang a bell to the clerk. He told me where that show would be. I mentioned Birdie's room was to be my holding area near that ballroom.  He said once again that they did not have a Birdie's room but understood I would need some where to  be before my performance.  He would find a space for me to use.

He signaled the clueless Bellman over and told him to take me to room 729 on the convention level. He said it would be right across from the place where I would be performing. I am confused why they had sent me an email to go to Birdie's Room if there was no such room at the place when obviously this other room would be perfect.

The bellman opens the door of 729,  a conference size room with a comfortable couch, mirrors and frilly wall paper. The bellman says, "It is a little girlie colored I'm afraid.  Normally we use this for weddings, we call it the BRIDES Room". 

It was at this moment that my mistake came clear. There was no shock wave of laughter this time only unrequited humiliation. Dyslexia is the gift that keeps on giving.  It is not so much that I get words wrong, it's the fact that once I have miss read it, I will keep making the same mistake over and over unless it is specifically pointed out to me. It is just something that I have to look out for and try to manage.

As you 


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the time early in my first go-round
in vent. It was at a Catholic High School Christmas
Assembly. I was reciting "The Night Before Christmas"
with comic comments from my vent partner, Jimmy.
There was deathly silence, then a roar of laughter
when I blurted out "... and his clothes were all
tarnished with asses and shoot."

Tom Farrell