Peter VanRysdam / Digital Marketing / May 15th, 2009

352 Media Group – Great Web Design, Even Better Breakdancing!

There’s no humor like self-deprecating humor. 

Last night was the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce’s annual business showcase.  To shake things up this year, they gave each exhibiting business the chance to put on a :60 second skit to promote their company.  Our CEO was nice enough to make it sound like this was mandatory, so the pressure was on.

We figured, “why just get up there and talk about our services?”  We wanted to do something different to really stand out.  Not to mention that the skits would be judged, with the winner getting $150 of their booth cost back!  So we did what anyone would do: we decided to breakdance.

The first plan was for my fellow exhibitor Jan and I to break it down ourselves.  As the reality of the situation set in, we decided to look for some outside help.  In comes craigslist.  Who knew you can hire an experienced breakdancer for only $20? (In his defense, :60 of breakdancing for $20 does work out to a pretty nice hourly rate) So with a ringer waiting in the wings, here’s what we did:

Amusing anecdote from our performance.  Before we went on stage, I was feeling good.  The booth next to ours was offering free acupuncture.  The booth next to that was doing free chair massages.  Before the exhibition even opened I was as relaxed as can be. 

As John, our pro dancer, and I were waiting backstage, he had an idea. “Oh, I know,” he said.  “I can do a move where I jump over you.”

I was nothing if not skeptical.  But, not one to question the judgment of a pro, I decided to give it a whirl.  We agreed we should run through it once before going on stage.  So I was told to take a knee and wait.  At this point I’m assuming he’s planning some sort of no-handed cartwheel over me.  More wrong I couldn’t have been.

I think the problem was simply is communicating expectations.  When John said “jump over me,” he meant “use me as a springboard.”  So here I am, fresh off a back massage, expecting to see him fly overhead.  Instead, he plants his palm right between my stress-free shoulder blades, sending me crumbling to the floor amidst a slew of vertebrate pops. 

We agreed not to incorporate that move, and I agreed to take several Aleve and a beer before bed.

Lesson learned – ask questions before agreeing to be part of a stunt.