Earlier I this week, Lee and I got a text from our friend Lindsey. It read “US National Air Guitar Championship tonight at the House of Blues. Wanna go?!” When someone asks me a question like this, I never turn them down. Monday night we headed to Downtown Houston and had the experience of a lifetime.
Because of other plans, we arrived late and got in free (score!). Air guitarists and fans surrounded us. Moments into our exposure, I realized that next year Lee Mimms should win this competition. I began taking notes on everything she would need to make this happen.
#1: Persona. Competitive air guitarists must do more than play air guitar. They must create an entire persona, complete with costume, personality, and crowd appeal.
In this photo, you can see several personas. Of note include Brock McRock, dressed in peacock feathers and costume lights, and The Pastor, wearing a white suit.
#2: Craft. While on stage, air guitarists must have mad moves. Just playing air guitar doesn’t going to cut it. You must be able to dance and spin and do anything that your competitors just didn’t think of first.
This guy jumped from the stage to the floor to show off for the judges. This is what it takes to win.
#3: Schmoozing. Similar to politics, the air guitarists present really knew how to campaign for the audience’s affection. The audience favorites were clear to the judges.
Brock McRock again, alongside Kid Rock, the 10 year old competitor.
Also, Brock McRock gave us air CDs. Clearly he won us over with these!
The whole experience was rather educational, and we got some attention as well. After the first round, Lee and I were interviewed by a film crew, where we played up our love of air guitar. The cameramen loved us, we’ll soon be taking CNN IReport by storm. Brace yourself, Mom!
And that pretty much concludes our experience at the US Air Guitar Championship. I neglected to mention that Lee almost got killed by an air guitarist that was elevated mid-performance on a wooden plank by his fans and later fell, but that’s really irrelevant to the lesson at hand.
See you next year, when Lee wins and fame ensues.