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Cynthia Wisehart on Social Distancing

Necessity is the mother of the videoconference.

AV has always been there. Much of what we are doing now to survive—both professionally and personally-we could have done before.

In some cases remote and virtual experiences are a poor substitute, so we naturally preferred the bricks and mortar. But other things will suit some of us better. My high schooler likes remote school and wishes it had always been a part of her scene—not all remote, but some. My yoga studio has realized they’ve invented a solution to their continually sold out studio classes; they’re looking forward to keeping the new revenue stream. I may never go to the grocery store again. Instacart was always there. How did I miss that?

AV has always had to deal with some form of reluctance to adopt. We can explain the benefits of AV to people, but we can’t understand it for them. That’s just a reality and part of natural reluctance to change–being too busy to change, or being paid to do things a certain way and not wanting to rock the boat.

Now the boat is pitching and yawing. We have had to change. So in the last two months—has it only been two months?—AV is a lifeline for so many, even as our own lifelines—live sound, theme parks, museums, theaters, restaurants, and stadiums are painfully, temporarily, out of reach–and much missed by the entire world.

I look everyday for projects that can still go forward— SoFi Stadium in my hometown will soon be one of the most impressive venues of any kind in the world, and one of the biggest digital communication platforms ever built. Dodger Stadium, which I can see from my house on a clear day (we’ve had a lot of those), will reopen reimagined. The plan to support its role as a live sound venue looks pretty spectacular.

It’s a strange time of so much pain and so much potential. Sorrow and gratitude, optimism and frustration. The pain in live sound is extra real in my family due to my brother in law being Live Nation. And if I think about it, I can become desperate for things I love, things that are still awhile from coming back. Sometimes I just binge watch old concerts on YouTube and have a cry (and sometimes a laugh).

I hope everyone’s balance is bearable, and if it’s not, I hope it will become so. I hope we will all have the strength we need to hang on, to be of service as possible, and to get to the opportunity and potential to come–in world that really, really needs what we do.

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