A millisecond early, a millisecond late, you hit GO at the wrong time. You know it, the performer on stage knows it, and unfortunately, so does the sound guy. Inevitably, you get the cold sweat feeling on your back and the knot in the pit of your stomach is growing. You are already anticipating the conversation at the end of the show between you and whomever and you are not looking forward to it.
If you can identify with the above, relax, you are completely human and we have all been there. The key is how to recover. You have to let go of the bad energy as quickly as it came up. You have to remember that this is live and there is no going back, so deal with the present. Move on and keep going. Don’t let one bad cue wreck the rest of your otherwise excellent show.
I am not sure why, but people in our line of work tend to be perfectionists. We accept nothing but the best and are down on ourselves when we deliver anything but. The mark of a true professional is not the mistake that happened, but how we deal with it. There is saying that I have heard often and it goes something like this, “I have messed up way more important shows than this!” The point of this saying is not to belittle the show you are working on, but to give yourself perspective.
So, go forth and produce amazing light shows. Do your best to hit GO at the right time, but don’t be too hard on yourself when you miss it by a millisecond or two.