Ask Hermie: What Shocks You?

Hermie is the consummate AV Professional, having lurked behind the scenes at Herman Pro AV and Herman Integration Services for years. When it comes to the professional audiovisual business, Hermie walks the walk and talks the talk. In fact, he doesn’t just talk about AV stuff until he’s blue in the face, he’s done it so much he’s blue all over! So, if you have a burning AV question, just “Ask Hermie!”

Dear Hermie,

Since I’ve been spending a bit more time at home these days I decided to leverage my Pro AV skills to turn my humble home into a veritable haunted house. I’ve used enough cable, lights, speakers, motion detectors, and displays to wire a small stadium! I found one of my kids sleeping under a web of coax, and don’t tell my wife, but I still can’t find the family cat. I think Snuffles may be living inside one of the 14 giant woofers I strategically placed to create earthquake-like vibrations to ensure any neighborhood trick or treaters stay socially distanced from our front door. This has been my scariest installation in years.

Hermie, you’ve been with Herman for many Halloweens. Do you have any tips to avoid having a scary time during an AV installation?

Signed – Horror-fied in Houston

Dear Horror-fied,

As you might guess, Halloween is one of my favorite days of the year. Since I am already blue from head to toe, it’s the one day of the year I actually look normal compared to all the other folks in crazy costumes!

If you must know, my scariest installation happened a long time ago, when I was young and green (well, still blue, but green as far as my Pro AV experience was). Back then I had nice curly hair… but not for long. The straight and spikey hairdo I sport today might look like I am just incredibly fashionable, but the truth is, this daring-do was not my doing. In fact, my scariest install was quite shocking. Literally. 

Me and my curly hair were helping to remove an old video wall and install a brand new one at a local venue. The old system was a pretty shoddy setup and backed by a spiderweb of dusty and frayed wires. Without thinking to check if the power was on, I just grabbed a bunch of wires to pull them out of the wall and got the shock of my life! ZAP! I jumped two feet in the air (pretty high for little me) and every hair on my blue body stood on end. The next thing I know I’m lying on the floor staring at a smoky ceiling. I got off my blue butt and in the reflection of one of the displays I saw my once curly hair standing at attention on top of my head – and it’s been that way ever since.

So, if you want avoid your own shockingly scary installation, make sure the power is off before handling any old wires!

Stay safe and have a happy and healthy Halloween!

Do you have a question for Hermie? Email and he may answer your question here in a future column.