Enough time has passed I’m able to laugh more about this event. It has even inspired a screenplay that is going really well. But this is what I wrote sitting at Las Vegas Airport the day of the event. It could be funnier but…As written in the airport, hours after the experience:
It was a learning experience. I knew it would be but it was in ways I didn’t expect. Well I went through one of the most disappointing experiences of my life and I didn’t die. Huge perk. Next big accomplishment and thing I can feel remotely proud of is I didn’t cry. I wanted to. I wanted to rage, throw a tantrum that would impress even Vegas, but I didn’t.
There is a list of excuses I can go down. The timing was weird– I thought I had more time, I lost mental track of how much time I had. I didn’t realize my kettle wasn’t boiling, didn’t realize my mo-fo power strip wasn’t working. I practiced daily. I never, ever went over 20 minutes. I launched over the time limit, didn’t do the last tea justice. I have been remotely poised, young but professional. I had no business being on stage. My inexperience showed and I’m embarrassed by that. When I saw the ship going down, I should have faked a heart attack or aneurysm. I had also been practicing with room temperature if not cold water. We had 204 or 208 degrees fahrenheit water. I realized that right before going on, even though I filled the carafe myself. That was my fault. I then registered I’d be adding boiling water to boiling water in attempts to cooling it, which might work in a different universe but not on a Sunday in Las Vegas.
When I was backstage tearing down and packing stuff up, my competitors came up and told me, “Great job! Very nice presentation.” Yeah, I just left the scoreboard open for you. You’re welcome. I do appreciate their kind words. I am proud how I handled that. I could have vented, blamed everything other than myself, but I smiled and thanked them.
I’m disappointed in my performance as a competitor and tea professional. No matter what is thrown at you, you should be able to rise above it, adapt, take it in stride. So what the tables are chest height and you have to go on pointe to measure and read your thermometer? I’m upset I let myself get thrown. I used to be amazing at saving sinking ships. I’d even make them better. I came off as young and that was humiliating, but I didn’t die. It reminded me of a time I was watching my brother play hockey. A kid on the other team broke his skate blade. Instead of going to the bench the poor baby tried to keep skating. I don’t know if he had been shorted on time and was going to use every second of his shift to prove what he had, but he looked like he had a broken leg. I’ve only been in tea for a good two years so I have time to develop. What doesn’t kill you makes you makes you stronger, right?
Also while tearing down backstage, a young man came back and asked me about my writing. He’s going to school in Chicago and wanted to know if I have any shows up. He’s attending Columbia for film so who knows? I might be assembling my crew for the film.