I was first introduced to Ignite Boulder by my friend Andrew Hyde. It’s an event where a dozen or so people stand up in front of a room of 200+ peeps and give a presentation on whatever is on their mind. The twist is that you have 5 minutes, 20 slides, and 15 seconds per slide. The slides auto advance to keep you on target. Sounds fun?
Well, I had no idea how fun until I attended Ignite Boulder 3. The creativity of some of the presenters astounded me. Somewhere between the 200 people wearing fake mustaches and drinking free beer, we learned how to cope with akward moments of passing a slightly-slower pedestrian, we learned how to survive a zombie attack, we learned how to piss off people in Boulder, and we were thoroughly entertained by a rapper.
I was hooked. I wanted to take part. A group of us stood around afterwards and brainstormed about what we might do should we muster the courage to participate.
On my way home that night I came up with my idea – dances throughout history! The funky chicken! The Moonwalk! The electric slide! It would be so fun! So when I got the email saying sign up your ideas, I submitted mine. Never did I actually expect to be selected.
Fast forward a month. The presentations are due in on Sunday, and in true Greek style, I procrastinate until the last possible moment. Which under normal circumstances would have been okay, but Saturday I learn of the sudden and tragic death of a family friend. So scratch my dancing mood on Saturday. Sunday comes and I figure I better start preparing. I start by doing a quick You Tube search to glean some ideas, and low and behold I discover The Evolution of Dance, one of the all-time-most-popular-videos-EVER, seen by over 119 MILLION PEOPLE, is basically exactly what I want to do. So damn, I’m not as clever as I originally hoped! Now what?!?!? I’m starting to think this wasn’t such a good idea…
When I was growing up, my cousins and sister and I used to make up these hilarious dances. It was one of our favorite past times. I can only hope it will save me for Ignite Boulder 4! I throw together a presentation, I pick a song, and run through it once in front of my bathroom mirror. I quickly conclude this is a bad idea, as I’m seeing how utterly idiotic I look, I begin to lose my nerve. So I abandon looking at myself and decide to practice in front of my husband. I practice twice for him, and his looks of love confirm my original suspicion; that I DO look like a complete idiot. I resign myself to the idea of a little liquid courage before the show.
Wednesday morning starts with an investor meeting at the butt-crack of dawn, then on to a funeral, then home for a nap. I practice the preso a 4th and final time before I proceed to start doing shots of tequila in my kitchen. My nervousness is enhanced with Craig Kendall tweeting me a countdown ’till the show.
By the time we arrive at the venue, I’m a wreck. This isn’t a 200 person event, it’s swollen to 500+ people. I’ve drank an entire flask + of tequila. I lose my purse, I lose my cell phone, I can’t find my costume. My husband has no idea what to do with me, my sister Katrina is humoring me, and my friend Shannon is awesome as always in helping me track down everything. I recruit my friend Josh to wear my costume and stand on the stage with me. I continue to drink.
So, I remember seeing my name up on the screen next, I remember walking down to the front and getting the microphone. Then I remember walking back to my seat. I remember everything before and everything after the performance, but I don’t remember those 5 precious minutes AT ALL!
The congratulations I got were countless. Apparently I had the whole room on their feet dancing. It was a success! If only I knew what I did…
Thanks to everyone there for humoring me and taking part of the dance session.
—– Deee Lish
Huge shout out goes to Stepan Mazurov for the fabulous pictures!