Sunday, July 26, 2020

Overture, Curtain, Lights

[ If you are on a smartphone, view in landscape, hold sideways ]

Overture, curtain, lights
This is it, the night of nights
No more rehearsing and nursing a part
We know every part by heart
Overture, curtain, lights
This is it, we'll hit the heights
And oh what heights we'll hit
On with the show this is it

Tonight what heights we'll hit
On with the show this is it

If you were born in the 60's like me, this was your battle cry. This was the theme song to your life. I remember Saturday Morning Cartoons with Bugs Bunny and the gang like it was yesterday. Saturday morning cartoons were the highlight of the week for every kid in America. This was the original "must see TV". 

Last night (in my living room) at around 9:00 pm I had a little get together with some writers, actors and directors. Some were famous, some not so much. But via the power of Zoom (pandemic or no pandemic) we all spent around an hour chatting about movies, acting, comedy, anything that the audience could post in the Q&A box. Patton Oswalt was the most famous person on the panel, but the director's dog might have stolen the show. As they say in show business: never follow kids or animals. 

Earlier in the week, the NYDLA sponsored a Telehealth Summit - again in my living room. Two days of thought leaders, subject matter experts, and vendors from all around the world. Experts from the world of HealthTech, MedTech, and Telemedicine. It was an excellent event, virtual or otherwise.

The Telehealth Summit was a huge success. But what really struck me was the post-event entertainment. Normally after such a "live" event we would all gather at some venue, such as a bar or restaurant. Or there would be a happy hour or cocktail hour, where everyone would mingle and most likely exchange business cards. Well, since we could not all go to a piano bar - the piano bar came to us. To our homes. And thanks to things like DoorDash and other delivery services, we also had amazing food and adult beverages, as we all mingled and exchanged contact information in the Zoom "break out" (rooms) tables. Click and we're connected on LinkedIn. Click and we're connected on Twitter. I have to admit, these virtual events are growing on me. And with DoorDash powered virtual events, my waistline is also growing. 

Again, since I was born in the 60's I remember Zoom (the TV series). Zoom stylized as ZOOM was a half-hour educational television program, created almost entirely for children. It aired on PBS from January 1972 to around March 1978. Imagine if TODAY's ZOOM existed back then, where we could all Zoom with the original Zoomies. Imagine if kids were able to chat live, talk live, interact LIVE in real-time with the Zoom Kids. Wow, we would ALL be Zoom kids, right? Or what about this: Mister Rogers, live on Zoom, talking to the kids - live - right in their homes. That would have been cool. 

Yeah, the COVID-19 pandemic sucks. But I am amazed how every day there is a new way to use Zoom. Weddings, Meetings, Events, Book Signings, Book Clubs, Comedy Shows, Cooking Shows, Concerts, Class Reunions, Zoom Bingo. Every week I check in at to see what new and creative ways people are using Zoom. Here is what is nuts: even when people are using WebEx or GoToMeeting or other brands, they are called Zoom Schools or Zoom Events or the entire category is called "The Zoom Companies" by Wall Street analysts. 

Ah yes, it is really cool when your brand becomes a verb. 

In August, will be LIVE, with free templates to make Zoom Shows, Zoom Schools, Zoom Conventions, Zoom Concerts, Zoom.......anything....easy for anyone. Virtual events (of any size) will be supported by live "Zoomers" on-demand to help to produce, curate and guarantee the best possible experience for everyone in the room, from anywhere in the world. Zoom (the TV show) had an entire production crew, in a TV studio in downtown Boston. will have the same thing - live people - but everyone will be working from their homes. Ah yes, KNOWLEDGE + TECHNOLOGY + TALENT (where have I heard that before?).

Humans like to have a choice. We don't want to be forced to do anything, even when it is good for us. (See: wearing a mask in public). 

I live 25 miles west of Times Square, and I really (really) miss going into the city for meetings and events. I hope that we will soon be able to have choices once again - for schools, for medicine, for meetings, for events, for anything. Remember, even when we do go back to hosting live events, we probably won't be shaking hands again. And I'm not too sure about exchanging paper business cards, either. 

All of us, we all want to again have choices. "To Zoom, or not to Zoom, that is the question". Hat Tip to Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1. The main point of that speech remains the same: Hamlet tries to decide if living or dying is best. 

Hint: living is the best choice, always. Virtually or otherwise. 

Bugs Bunny Overture Theme

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