So I was standing in the middle of a medical convention holding my trumpet. To be more specific, I was recently standing at the ChopSaver lip care display at the American Academy of Dermatology and the Dermatology Nurses Association conventions, respectively, and I was taking requests. Blowing my own horn – literally.
Now trade show etiquette demands that you do what you can to draw attention to your booth without being rude to the other exhibitors. It is a fine line and most shows have very strict guidelines about loud noises, obnoxious displays, and even the proper use (or in some cases the disallowing of) balloons!
In other words, I can’t blast Reveille or Call to Post (think horse racing) every 15 minutes without getting thrown out of the building. So I use my cup mute, a device that goes into the bell of a trumpet that makes the sound a little mellower. And just holding my horn amongst a sea of medical equipment often makes people stop and look – which is all you need to start a conversation.
And yes, I would play when people took the time to listen, or in some cases, make a request. Funny how the minute you ask someone for a request, they often can’t think of anything. So I would usually play my “go to” song “Smile” by Charlie Chaplin. One time, a lovely doctor from the Philippines began singing along and she explained that her mother used to sing “Smile” when she was a baby as a lullaby. Once again, I was reminded of the power of music to transcend both time and boundaries.
While I wish I had that moment on tape, here is another fun moment with our friend Avi, who was working the booth across the aisle from us. His shtick to get people to stop at his booth was one minute magic tricks. He also does a mean Louis Armstrong, as you will see below