It seems so simple. Four cameras, four stages. Bus 11,000 kids in and let them hear from a real American hero, the first black astronaut in space...simple.
It's never that simple but, a timely rehearsal, better luck, and a not out of control fog machine can make for a great show, especially on a very early morning.
Strike one is that the crew call is 5:30 AM. I really don't know too many people that are at their best that early in the morning. Not a problem though because there are donuts and coffee.
This particular morning, when 11,000 kids are being brought into the arena, there is a very heavy fog that is causing traffic delays all over the metropolitan area...the buses are now running late. Nothing you can do about that but push the start time later and later. Of course the kiddos that got there at 8:30 AM when the doors opened have now been sitting in their seats for well over an hour. Hey so a few hundred kids are inconvenienced, big deal.
Okay, if the fog machine works, everything is okay. The air handlers within the arena are causing the "misters" not to work so well so the lasers aren't as cool as they could be, but if we pump enough fog from behind the curtain backstage, the kids will be impressed.
Oooops! So much fog, the cameras can't see the volunteers or the astronaut on stage.
Once the lights came on, we all saw the fog! Rock 'n' Roll!