Another staff member brought up stress dreams about Higher Things conferences today, which reminded me of one I had a couple years ago that was so vivid and memorable, I wrote it down and emailed it to the conference staff members who were in it. As I read through it again today, I could still picture every scene, and all the emotions that went with it.
I figured I’d share it with the world, because…why not?
To: Crysten, Patrick
I was just TICKED at you two so much I couldn’t even see straight.
Probably because I was asleep and dreaming.
And Honey Boo Boo was on in the background.
I got to the Purdue conference, only it wasn’t Purdue but it was a huge campus. And somehow I got there later than I had wanted to, but I knew you had things under control so I wasn’t too worried. Borghardt was doing something at church and was going to be even later, but Patrick was making sure he got there.
I got to the main plenary space and the opening was starting! I didn’t realize I was that late and didn’t know where I was going, but the flow of the crowd brought me to the gym/auditorium. So I followed authoritative-looking people from the campus up to the booth on the 3rd floor and figured I’d see you there. I got there in time to see some woman dressed up like an angel jumping off the balcony in the catwalks. Before I could finish thinking, “Oh no she didn’t…” she swooped by, on wires. Doing some sort of acrobatic trapeze like act. As a warmup.
I marched out to try and track down Crysten to find out WTH was going on with this conference but was hushed by a stagehand before I got far. He was having a crisis because there was something that was set out as a prop that wasn’t supposed to be and didn’t they know that his actor was wearing a white tux (WHITE TUX!)?? It was some sort of giant bowl of something in tomato sauce. Beans and weenies I think. He was all afraid to take it off the stage (still unlit) because it was too hot to touch, so I walked up and grabbed it and took it to the back area. What a wuss, it wasn’t hot or even heavy at all. There was no danger of it spilling on the actor’s tux.
That’s when the spotlight fired up and landed on Ryan Seacrest. In a white tux. “Seriously??? This is a Higher Things conference! Who planned this?” The angel lady was still swinging around overhead. Then I ran into Tracey, who was backstage, madly passing out bunches of glow stick things to a few dozen people for the next act. Someone had just dropped out – all I had to do was run around like a madwoman and wave the glow sticks and we’d be fine. “Oh heeelllll NO.” This better not be the opening worship service, because we always opened conferences with a worship service, not a stage show like this…Tracey knows better than this. She’s SOOOO FIRED!
As I went back to the staging area trying to think of how to get the glow stick people off the stage, I ended up going the wrong way against a stream of African dancers. Once they had passed, I looked back to see what they were doing and it was some sort of running and jumping thing, sling-shooting each other across the stage and into the aisles, and back.
By this point I was seething. Where the hell was Crysten? Where was Patrick?? I got lost as soon as I left the building and couldn’t even find a CCV. If I couldn’t find my way around, Borghardt was going to be seriously lost. And where was Borghardt anyway?? I pulled out my phone to text someone but couldn’t figure out what to do and was so mad I couldn’t even read the screen on my phone to text anyone and didn’t want to send the wrong message to the wrong person. Why hadn’t Patrick set up the staff or even CCV lists yet? Where were the CCVs anyway?? Seriously?? And there were people for the conference everywhere so I couldn’t look mad or upset or they’d know things weren’t going according to plan.
I went back into the building and before I knew it I was swept up again by the African dancers and a Dr. Seuss hat put on me and a bunch of glow sticks put back in my hand. And then I found myself on some sort of swinging platform, sandwiched between a sweaty Patrick (there he was!) in a wifebeater (seriously, Patrick??) and some other sweaty hairy guy I didn’t know — but his armpit was in my face so I automatically didn’t like him, whoever he was. We flew by the crowd and Patrick yelled, “Oh, there’s Borghardt — with the kids…of course…” At least he was found and safe. But he was supposed to be helping me stop this fiasco, not joining in!
We swung around and all the lights went off and the show was over. I still hadn’t found Crysten, but this was NOT how to pull off a Higher Things conference in my absence. What was she THINKING?? And where was everyone? How did I not know what was going on? What was next on the schedule? I couldn’t even find anyone with a conference book or a bag or a shirt! They must not have checked in! CRYSTEN — how can they not be checked in??
And then I woke up.