Kinkaid video catastrophe: projector malfunctions during Upper School pep rally

Cheerleaders+and+Drum+Corps+perform+at+the+Upper+School+pep+rally.

Lexi Guo

Cheerleaders and Drum Corps perform at the Upper School pep rally.

As the lights began to dim, anticipation for the Kinkaid video swept through the crowded theater. Yet, before the student-produced video could play, the projector suffered a malfunction. 

On Oct. 29, the afternoon before the annual football game against Kinkaid, all students grades nine through 12 gathered in the VST for the Upper School pep rally. After watching performances by the cheerleaders and Drum Corps, students directed their eyes toward the projector, where the Kinkaid video was set to play.

Senior Joseph DePinho filmed and edited this year’s video. During the rally, DePinho realized his computer needed to be charged, but nobody backstage had a charger that fit his laptop. DePinho returned to his house to get his charger, a 30-minute round-trip drive. 

While he was gone, his computer fell asleep—and so did the projector. The tech, audio and lighting crews backstage sprung into action and initiated a total shutdown and restart, a 15-minute process.  

“I’ve been doing this since freshman year,” said junior Drew Adams, a lighting crew designer, “but with all the shows I’ve done, nothing has gone this terribly wrong.”

Fortunately, by the time DePinho returned to campus, another computer was hooked up to the projector, ready to play the Kinkaid Video when the projector finished restarting. 

While the backstage crew addressed the issue, the audience was still waiting for the video to play. 

To keep the students occupied, Dean of Students Bailey Duncan requested an impromptu dual-performance by Drum Corps and the cheerleaders. After taking a few moments to prepare, both groups gathered onstage to perform their routine to “Tricky,” a staple at Friday-night football games.

While the performance energized the students, there was still time that needed to be filled before the projector restarted. Spirit Club, with nothing more than a pad of paper, writing utensils and a microphone had to come up with another idea. 

What resulted was a game of “Who Knows Your Captain Best?” featuring the fall sport team captains. Each captain called up an underclassman member of their team to the stage to answer questions; the underclassman that answered the most questions correctly won. While the game was unprecedented, it captured the audience’s attention just in time for the projector to begin functioning. 

DePinho was thankful that backstage managed to get the projector up and running so the audience could watch the Kinkaid video.

“I had a great experience creating the Kinkaid video,” DePinho said. “It was lots of work but it was definitely worth it.”