When I talked about being on the panels at ConFusion, I mentioned I had another challenge coming up. And now it’s almost here.
The challenge: hosting my own party.
What’s the big deal, you might be asking. My local friends in particular know that I’ve thrown many parties. I’ve even thrown custom-written mystery parties, in addition to all kinds of theme parties and barbecues. I arrange board game gatherings on a regular basis. I convince people it would be fun to dress up to go see the James Bond movie. Event planning is something I’ve had some experience doing.
But when it comes to parties, I never host by myself. I have, in fact, never thrown a party of greater than six or seven people without a co-host. I discovered the amazing reassurance of having a co-host fairly early on, when it turned out a good friend’s birthday was three days after mine. It was only natural that we’d throw a birthday party together. And from there, a tradition was born. Since then, I’ve always found a co-host with whom to collaborate.
But that changes now. I’m hosting a party this weekend. By myself. I’ve been trying to keep it on the small side because of space constraints, but it’s definitely a party. And a themed “narrative entertainment” party, at that.
My biggest fear about hosting a party is always that no one will show up. That’s why having a co-host is so great–you’re guaranteed their presence, at the very least, plus they’ll be inviting all their friends too. It was a great way for me to get experience throwing parties. However, at this point I am 99% certain this fear is ridiculous and completely unfounded in reality. So by throwing a party, I’ll be putting that last one percent to rest.
I recently read an article about a study showing that when you’re experiencing performance anxiety, it’s better to get excited than it is to try to calm down. This makes complete sense to me because it’s helpful to have somewhere to put that nervous energy. I think back to the times I’ve been the most nervous, and in general it was for events that I was not excited about. Auditions mostly, which for me are just not as thrilling as performances.
Happily for me, I’m very excited about this party, which means whenever I start to feel nervous, I think about that excitement instead. I really like experimenting with parties that are a little different from the standard barbecue or “Apples to Apples” type affair, and trying new ideas to see what works in a party atmosphere and what doesn’t. This time I’m using a party game mechanic I’ve never tried before, and it was really fun to do the creative prep work for the game. I’ve had stickers custom printed, a friend has agreed to take photographs, and if all goes according to plan, by the end of the party there should be a physical book with records of my guests’ creative fancies. I expect it to be a memorable evening.
I’ll report back here next week to tell you how it went!