Lift off

This is the fifth and final instalment in the August blog carnival. This week’s theme is – something I’ve never done before. Find out more here.

7:15am – Wake up. Remember we’re launching the NYWF program tonight. And that I have to work all day first. Freak out a little.
7:36am – Wash a blood stain out of my stockings. Hashtag classy. (NB: feel I should note that the blood was from itching too violently and not, like, actual violence.)
7:45am – Eat toast while sorting through the NYWF staff Facebook group. Putting the program on the website is taking FOREVER. We had given ourselves today as the final, final, final deadline but it isn’t looking like we’ll make it. Really wish I could spend the whole day finishing it but alas I have a day job now (if only a temporary one).
8:07am – Realise I’m probably going to be very distracted at work today.  Also late.

8:15am – Run for the tram.
8:22am – Hey! Hey people on tram! WE MADE A FESTIVAL! And we are LAUNCHING THE PROGRAM! Why aren’t you excited?
8:56am – I’m on the wrong tram. Shit.
9:10am – Arrive at work having run several blocks due to incorrect tram taking me to incorrect location.
10.03am – I have lost a document I spent hours on yesterday. Could you be nice to me please, day job? I’m feeling a little fragile.
10:08am – I REMEMBERED WHERE I PUT IT! *faints in nervous heap*
11:29am – I have listened to all the Josh Earl songs on my iPod about six times this week? At least six. Possibly more then six.

1:42pm – Dash to the nearest food vendor. Buy food and fidget impatiently while they heat it up for me. Dash back upstairs.
1:47pm – Eat slightly bland ravioli while frantically updating the website. I have spent every lunch break this week switching jobs.
1:52pm – Glance slightly longingly at the sunshine out the window.
2:04pm – There’s no way we can get the full program online by tonight. Just no way. It’s impossible. Oh well. Maybe we will have it finished by the end of the week?
2:17pm – Return to day job. Casual observer notices zero difference because all I do is switch to a different spreadsheet.
3:04pm – The day job is actually pretty great btw. I like it. Just felt I should mention that.
4:26pm – Check in on the doc where we’re keeping track of the website progress (several of the others are working on it sporadically too) and… it’s almost done? Is it almost done? How is it almost done.

5:00pm – Day job is officially now. Switch spreadsheets.
5:03pm – Frantically uploading final things. I’m due at the Wheeler Centre for tech rehearsal at 5:30 but it will only take two minutes to get there. Going to spend every last second on this website. In Sydney and Adelaide and Newcastle and other parts of Melbourne, team NYWF frantically work on it together.
5:05pm – Heart is ramming against my ribs. Who knew WordPress could be this thrilling?
5:10pm – It’s ready.
5:12pm – Across the country we start selecting posts. And we start hitting publish.
5:13pm – It’s live… omg is it actually live. IT’S LIVE.
5:15pm – People at work keep asking me why I haven’t left yet. I have difficult answering without jabbering excitedly.
5:16pm – Leave the others to the frantic fixing of broken links.
5:17pm – Get changed in a usually deserted bathroom. As soon as I start touching up my eye-shadow, a million students descend on me. None of them are giddy with excitement about the NYWF program so I ignore them.
5:23pm – Jump up and down in the elevator. Elevator shudders terrifyingly. Stop jumping.

5:33pm – Arrive at Wheeler Centre. Can’t quite believe we are doing out launch at the Wheeler Centre.
5:38pm – Tech rehearsal. Realise that many of the fonts in my excellent slideshow are not widely available fonts and therefore many of the fonts are slightly broken. Decide this doesn’t really matter because artful shitness was kind of the idea.
5:55pm – Head downstairs to the Moat. Buy wine. Talk about onesies.
6:25pm – Drink glass of champagne rather quickly. Feel tipsy from alcohol and adrenaline. Wonder if the champagne was a bad idea.
7:14pmDemi Larder (our MC for the night) produces a bag of badges with her website URL on them. Also a picture of a tapirs. Inevitably end of discussing tapirs.
7:28pm – It  is starting. This is happening.

Photo via @francesrosey.

8:03pm – Go onstage. Do my speech. And people laugh and suddenly I have flashbacks to the first panel I was ever on at NYWF, when I said things and people laughed and it changed my life a bit. Usually an anecdote like that ends in the person becoming a comedian, not a festival director but each to their own.
8:16pm – I haven’t cried yet. Maybe I’ll get through the night without crying.
8:21pm –  We finish and immediately a lot of people come over to congratulate us and every time we try to leave the venue more people want to say nice things and it’s overwhelming but nice.

9:04pm – Arrive at Loop bar. Buy more champagne.
9:47pmAlex (chair of the NYWF board) offers to buy us all drinks. When she asks what kind of drinks we would like her to buy us we all blink at her like people who don’t have lots of drinks bought for them very often. She decides to buy us a bottle of champagne.
9:50pm – The champagne is excellent. Everyone toasts each other cheerfully.
10:17pmMarcus Westbury just casually comes out to chat to us. Marcus Westbury is the person who started NYWF (among a lot of other things). He tells us various stories about the festival’s tumultuous history. He is nice.
10:47pm – People wander over from other events and gigs and commitments to say hello and congratulate us.
11:16pm – As we’re going our separate ways Lawrence Leung says “I think this going to be a good year.” Since “that was a good year” is literally the one thing I really, desperately want people to say about our program I am very flattered by this.
11:18pm – I am tipsy from the drinks and my throat is aching from the conversations.
11:31pm – Buy a pie and a biscuit and eat them waiting for the tram. Usually I try and put dinner in my schedule before the four glasses of champagne but exceptional circumstances and all that.
12:22am – Fall into bed. Happy. Tipsy. Tired.

You can check out the full NYWF program here.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year