I'm here in partly-sunny, fairly-chilly Tampa, FL, working as the assistant volunteer coordinator for the halftime stage crew for Super Bowl XLIII. This is my second Super Bowl, my first being last year in Arizona where the New York Giants won an amazing victory over the up-to-then undefeated New England Patriots. (I actually had to look that up because I couldn't remember the two teams. I'm so not sporty.) Tom Petty did that halftime show. This year it is Bruce Springsteen, and very much excitement surrounds the fact of his performance.
My job as volunteer coordinator consists mainly of assisting the two other vol. coordinators (checking people in to the practices, punching holes in and alphabetizing waiver forms and putting them in binders). You'd think this job would be terribly exciting, but for the most part there is a lot of waiting around. It's the same way in all of show business. I was interested to get to observe one of the Tom Petty band's practices last year, when they were running through their show on the stage in the practice tent so that the camera people could plan out their moves. To my surprise it was just as boring as watching ANY band (that you're not in) practice.
To be sure there are some very exciting moments. Like when we run onto the field right after the first half of the game ends, assemble the stage, and get to be on the field during the halftime show. That's pretty darn cool. But the part that has happened so far---one practice with the halftime volunteers---not so thrilling. We have a great group of volunteers this year, though. There are a bunch of hardcore Springsteen fans, including a Canadian and couple guys who came all the way from Finland! That's dedication.
We hope that their dedication continues throughout tonight's (outdoor) practice when the temperture is forecast to be in the low-thirties. Brrrrrr!
Not much banjo pickin' here so far. Cap Spence (our boss) brought two banjos and I brought my fiddle. One of the other guys has a guitar, and somewhere among the hundreds of other people working on this huge show is another guy who plays banjo. Of course, last year I flew all the way out to Arizona with my banjo and we didn't get to pick once! That's how it goes sometimes. We can only hope to do better this year.