Nightmare Gig: Jon Gann
BYT at large | Feb 18, 2015 | 1:00PM |

Jon Gann is the Programming Director and Founder of the DC Shorts Film Festival. This weekend is the DC Shorts WINS! program at the Burke Theater. There will be no green room with local celebrities pre-gaming. -ed.

Planning a film screening is relatively easy. Select films, string them in a sensible order, load into the video server, and at a designated time, turn off the lights and start the show. It runs until it’s over, usually without any hiccups. A control-freak’s dream. That training, however, never prepared me for directing a live game show, where I soon discovered that Celebrity + Alcohol + Double Entendre = Recipe for Disaster.

In the old game show, “Match Game,” that ran on and off from the 1970s through the mid 2000s, the host asked six celebrities to match a contestant’s answers to quirkily, mildly titillating fill-in-the-blank questions such as “The cave man said…,” “I just went to a very unusual wedding and…,” “A dinosaur ______ the bride.

The thrill of the “Match Game” was never in the game play itself, but in the interaction among the celebrity panel, their witticisms and off-topic banter. It was rumored that the panel was loaded before the show began taping and that rumor was confirmed by a friend of mine who had worked on the show: drinks in the green room; drink trolley during commercial breaks, and very likely, the use of some powdered pleasures.

Just the experience I wanted to bring to D.C.

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To celebrate the 10th annual FotoWeekDC festival, FotoDC has partnered with Spain Arts & Culture and the Mexican Cultural Institute as the 2017 FotoWeekCentral Campus. FotoDC & BYT Present: FotoWeekDC 2017 Opening Party! https://fotoweekopening2017.eventbrite.com/ Join us for an exciting evening of photography exhibitions, open bars, small bites, photobooths, music, and more spread across our two-campus FotoWeekCentral as we launch the 10th Annual FotoWeekDC Festival! The FotoWeekDC 2017 Opening Party is made possible with support from The Reva & David Logan Foundation Be among the first to view this year's exhibitions at our two-campus FotoWeekCentral: Magnum Photos Present: Magnum 70 at 70 An exhibition of 70 photographic icons celebrating the diversity of the Magnum Photos agency and how its photographers have born witness to major events of the last 70 years. Including seminal works by Susan Meiselas, Paolo Pellegrin, Martin Parr, and Christopher Anderson, the exhibition spans the globe and covers regional events such as Arab Spring, South Africa under apartheid, and the recent migration crisis. SPAIN arts & culture presents: Cislancerus A project by Thenesoya Martín De la Nuez and Aníbal Martel Cislanderus is cultural project that gives a face to the Canarian descendants in the US. The exhibition shows the faces, and also the voices, of the so called “isleños” from Delacroix Island, the descendants from Baton Rouge, Reggio and San Antonio, Texas. The visitor will delve deep into their work as fishermen and hunters, and discover the ways in which they fight on a daily basis to preserve an unprecedented historical and cultural legacy. FotoDC Presents: FotoWeekDC 2017 Contest Winners See all the winners from the FotoWeekDC 2015 photography contest, featuring both single and series winners in the Fine Art, Photojournalism, and Photographer's Choice categories. View the gallery of 2016 winners here. Also featuring the winners of our 2017 FotoDC:STYLE spring photo competition. Featuring hot jamz from: Ayes Cold & and more TBA! Croosh Deets: Friday, November 10th, 2017, 7:30pm-11pm @ FotoWeekCentral Since FotoWeekDC is celebrating our 10th anniversary bigger and better than ever, FotoWeekCentral will be spread across two campuses this year, @ SPAIN arts & culture and the Mexican Cultural Institute! SPAIN arts & culture 2801 16th St NW Washington, DC 20009 Mexican Cultural Institute 2829 16th St NW Washington DC 20009 Special $45 early bird tickets on sale now! Price goes up soon! This is a 21+ event There is no dress code! Support from SKYY Vodka Stay informed http://www.fotodc.org/ https://www.facebook.com/FotoWeekDC https://twitter.com/FotoWeekDC https://instagram.com/fotoweekdc http://www.brightestyoungthings.com/ https://www.facebook.com/brightestyoungthings https://twitter.com/BYT
>>>>>>>>>>>> Ok, back to the article! >>>>>>>>>>>>

“Match Game DC” ran as a fundraiser for five nights during the Capital Fringe Festival. Each night, six different celebrities — local chefs, politicians, TV personalities, cultural icons and sports figures — were prepped in the green room with a review of game play, snacks, and, of course, a full bar. Some drank to kill off stage fright, others enjoyed because it was there. By the time the Emcee called each to the stage, most were trashed.

The game started without incident, everyone wanting the appearance of professionalism. But one round in, things quickly disintegrated. A celebrity chef hit on a contestant, then her friend in the audience, and finally, on the stage manager. A politician let loose, almost to the point of political peril. A classic TV personality set off a string of obscenities that would make a sailor blush and a cultural leader rose to walk off stage (presumably to vomit) only to knock over half the set.

Alone in the control booth, I watched with equal amounts of horror and disbelief. As I was running the lights, music and sound effects, I could not leave, and sadly (smartly?) did not have the foresight to rent walkie-talkies to communicate with the stage manager. What was I thinking? But with each shocking and charged answer: “screwed,” “vibrator,” “cuckolded,” nervous chuckles from the audience soon turned into roaring laughs, fueling a frenzy that climaxed into thunderous applause.

The shows ended up a success. Money was raised for DC Shorts’ educational programming. Audiences left happy. Celebrities played off their images and excelled. Only I was left with the lasting sense of doom. For the foreseeable future, I’m sticking with the security of programmed entertainment.