Requirements for my speaking engagementsPosted: April 24, 2010
Recently there was much ado in the news about the rider to Sarah Palin’s speaking engagement contract. In it, she requested some specific things like bendy straws, specific air travel requirements and pre-screened questions.
I am not a Palin fan. The last time I wrote anything that was thought to be anything but overwhelmingly positive about her I got hate mail. Somehow that didn’t change my mind. I’m bringing her up now because, since she and I are both in the business of advancing silly opinions in public, her contract has me thinking of updating my requirements for future speaking engagements.
Please be advised that this is not my complete list of requirements. I reserve the right to add conditions as I develop needs or just feel like being capricious about things.
The stage –
The stage should be set with a black back drop. I will require a laptop and projector as well as a large screen to project visual aids as I see fit.
An 8×10 oriental rug will be placed in front of my microphone stand. I’ve seen that Jimmy Buffett has one on stage and I think I’d like to work that way too. In fact, I will be in shorts and barefooted.
A pedal shall be placed at the front of my mike stand. When I step on the pedal, it should change my voice so I sound like Barry White. I don’t know how someone would do that, or why I need it. If I decide during my talk that sounding like Barry White would help me make my point more effectively, heads will roll if I step on the pedal and it doesn’t work.
There should be a single spotlight that follows me on stage. Having it follow me off stage would just feel odd.
I will also require a light that shines upward from floor level so I can do that scary flashlight under the chin face. I’ll need to control the light from up on stage.
Music shall be played through the PA system before I’m ready to go on stage. I’ll provide that.
When I take the stage, The Theme from Speed Racer should be played. When I leave, Disorder in the House, by Warren Zevon.
Questions from the audience
Prescreened questions are for losers. I would hope the audience would make sure that at least half their questions are on topics I know nothing about.
During the question and answer period, i will go into the audience and interact directly with the audience. I’ll put my shoes on because most theater floors are pretty gross.
I will require all of this…and two bendy straws. And a wiffle ball bat, and fifty wiffle balls to hit into the audience.
And some pineapple.