Back in the spring, I was up for a position as a Pop Culture Blogger for a national website. After several article submissions, I was shortlisted (yay!) & a new task was given: post a vlog of a movie review on Youtube (ack!). This terrified me.
While I have always loved the stage (come see me as Tzeitel in Fiddler on The Roof next month!), without a written script I can be awkward. Not quite as awkward as 12yr old me, but enough to be anxious in social situations without bourbon:
I'm a fast-talker: I stumble over words, having to repeat myself.
I'm a loud-talker: I don't even know how it happens, but I often find myself yelling about there being no bourbon (oops, I just woke your baby up).
I'm a hand-talker: I'm constantly knocking things over, so I need a 3' buffer between myself & all glasses of wine (& also babies).
I'm a blusher: If I misspeak, I will know it, you will know it, we will all know it. I'll probably yell about it later & wake your babies so I can spill wine on them & embarrass myself some more.*
I am a disaster at parties where I am the DD, so posting a video of myself casually chatting was going to be a problem. Looking back, I should have just filled my coffee cup with Woodford Reserve instead of coffee & WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THIS EARLIER?
I really wanted this writing position, though, so I jumped in with both feet. Choosing a movie to review was the easy part...it happened to be the opening weekend for a movie I was already very excited about: The Cabin in the Woods, which was released on Blu-Ray & DVD today.
The vlog didn't have to be perfect, or professional - it was mostly to get a sense of the personality behind the writing. The last thing I wanted to do was submit a bland webcam video, so I enlisted my son to help. Watching it now, there are moments I regret cutting, & I really wish I had taken my husband's advice & left one part in particular out. Ugh. I hadn't made a point of sharing this video with anyone, aside from family & close friends (& a "blink & you'll miss it" appearance in the first ever Confectionery) but here is the result (spoiler-free):
So, making that video was fun...putting it out there on YouTube? Not so much. YouTube is full of people who post videos of themselves rambling incoherently with piles of dirty laundry behind them in their messy bedrooms. I will never understand those people; I was stressed that the fireplace wasn't consistent. I had over 2 hours of footage to edit into this 5 minute video. Perhaps I spend too much time trying to ensure that anything I post is up to my standards, but in my defense, I'd like to remind you that tweets are being archived by the Library of Congress, so...the internet is forever, people!
I don't understand the Dirty Laundry YouTube People**, & I feel the same when it comes to writing. One blogger in particular irks me every time I see a post retweeted on Twitter. The issues I have aren't typos or little grammar mistakes (please don't go "Grammar Police" on me), or even the no-punctuation-writing that's become a style of its own these days - it's just awful writing. There is a lack of basic sentence structure that makes me question whether or not this person can read. How could anyone write so poorly & present it to the public? And how in the world could anyone else think it was decent enough to be shared? Am I the only person who reads what I've written out loud before publishing?***
This video helped me make it to the Top 3 out of many candidates. While I ultimately didn't get the position, I was pleased with the response. Stepping outside of my comfort zone to do this vlog was scary, but I'm so glad I made & submitted it. My friend Allison Baggio once told me not to wait for a writing opportunity - just write, write, write. Well, she's a published author, so I listened to her, & she was right. If I hadn't started writing my Survivor recaps & various other blog posts, I wouldn't have had anything to show for this job application. I wouldn't have made it to the shortlist, let alone the Top 3. One of my ideas for that gig was a series where I would share my favourite pop culture tidbits of the week. Once I realized that I didn't have to give up on that idea just because I didn't get that job, The Confectionery series was born. No, I don't have the readership they would have given me, but I've kept writing & you've kept reading, & I thank you for that.
Now please watch The Cabin in the Woods so we can talk/tweet about this incredible film, spoilers & all!
*Hmmm...I may also be an over-analyzer. I will look into it.
**Amazing band name. You're welcome.
***OK, I see it now. I will work on this for really reallz.