My biggest anxiety about my show this week: how bad is the mic going to smell?
God, they are awful. The accumulation of sweat, spit and halitosis in the little silver ball is truly disgusting. I am one of those unfortunates who hasn't mastered the projecting thing, and because I sing sort of quietly, I am right up on the mic and am hit again and again with the aroma of dying dreams. We are playing a great club, a really great club, but the great ones have perhaps the stinkiest mics of all. I became acquainted with the smelly mic problem at the best club in town.
When we first started out and played anywhere,anytime, we had to bring our own equipment with us. An entire PA was shoved into the back of my van, and , of course, we brought our own mics. I never really thought about how personal the use of the mic is, and when we played these small shows, I only had mine and didn't have to share it. It never occurred to me, actually. It was part of the deal of shlepping tons of equipment. Later, when we played at small clubs, clubs with their own PA's and a more acoustic set of performers, i could either use my own mic or theirs, but theirs were fine. Acoustic clubs have a lower volume of spitting performers, less excitable by nature, and while they were not the greatest quality mics, they were clean. Clean to the point that it never bothered me, I never noticed. And then, the big show. And all that changed.
We were on first , so we got the soundcheck, and the whole time I was up there, excited as I was to be in THE club, I kept thinking, "God, I need to brush my teeth or something." It took me a while to realize that it wasn't me (because, as you know, I have excellent oral hygiene) but the ball of the mic. I swear, the stench was so bad, it was eating away at the metal .I discreetly went over to the nicest sound guy EVER and, smiling hugely so as to not offend him. I said "Uh, dude, this mic reeks!" "Oh," he said, smiling back at me," you should have smelled the box the mic was IN. When I opened it and the smell hit me, I felt faint." I watched him deftly unscrew the ball of the mic and spritz it from a spray bottle full of Listerine, clean it thoroughly, screw it back on and hand it back. I thought that was soooooooo cool--like I was in on a big music secret--Listerine to clean the mic! Wow! Went back up to finish the soundcheck, and...THE MIC STILL STANK. Only now it smelled like ripe armpits coated in a Listerine deodorant. The show must go on and blah blah blah. I tried to not pay attention, but I have been scarred by the smelly mic. I fear them now.
So along with all my other anxieties about whether my skirt is too short (I think it is) and whether the photographer guy is going to be able to hide my turkey neck, I will also have to worry about the mic.I will use the club mic, and take one for the team, if I have to, because sound guys can be extremely sensitive about you not using THEIR SUPERIOR EQUIPMENT. And if you don't use THEIR SUPERIOR EQUIPMENT, they can make you sound very, very bad. But please, Sound Guy or Gal at Church on December 17 at 9, let me use my beautiful, odor-free mic. I'm sure your equipment is superior. But sometimes a girl prefers her own.