So last Saturday, we had a book launch party in the afternoon at the Hothouse. I'd somehow talked a whole bunch of my talented local friends into performing, and we had a nice line-up of assorted artists. We had a table full of samosas (twice as many as needed). We had programs. We had a bookseller coming from Women and Children First. It all looked good...
But I was tremendously nervous. For a variety of reasons. 1) I had never read in front of my parents before. 2) My parents had never met Kevin's parents before. 3) I had realized after arriving that I had forgotten to do any publicity for this event, so that even though it was open to the public, it was unclear whether anyone other than the performers would show up. Argh! I felt like an idiot. The moral of the story: do your publicity.
Luckily, we did have quite a few friends and family coming in, so it wasn't likely to be actually empty. At first there were only a dozen or so people wandering around, which made me feel pretty ill, but in the end, about forty people showed up from our guest list.
There was family (Mirna, Sharmi, my parents, my aunts, Sharmi's boyfriend Ryan):
There were friends (Dan and Carmela, Ajna, Elissa, Sharmili, Sapna, Dave, Karen and Par and Jeremiah, Jed, Kam, Ryan, Todd, Tasos):
There were great performers (Lakshmi, Nilofer, Sachin, Sadaf, Sarwat, Nikhil, Sapna, Rasaka Theatre, Angeli, and Sharmili):
And in the end, there was a respectable-sized audience, with about two dozen strangers (probably brought in by the Chicago Reader piece, which did mention the event):
I think everyone had a good time, enjoyed the samosas (one of my friends ate eight of them, I heard), and enjoyed the show. I'm still a little frustrated with myself for not promoting it better, because I think lots more people would have come and enjoyed it. But ah well. Once I finished my reading, my ice-cold hands started to warm up, my stomach settled down, and I pretty much had a great time the rest of the day. Of which more to come shortly.
And look! My family, talking to Kev's family, and everyone getting along just fine! :-)
Adam's photos of the event, including video clip