Lights, Camera, Humilitation!

One year when Curtis was in the Air Force, and we were stationed far from our family during Christmas, a camera crew came to videotape short messages for our families to be aired on our local channels back home. I don't know why I was nervous, because it was literally just Curtis, myself, and the dude behind the camera - but the way my stomach felt, you'd have thought I was about to take the stage on American Idol or something.

Of course Curtis was his usual, disgustingly confident self. "I'm A1C Curtis Templeton, and this is my wife Rita, and we'd like to wish our family and friends in Missouri a very happy holiday season," he breezed effortlessly, like he'd had a camera pointed at him since the minute he popped out of the womb.

But me? Not so much. "Merry Christmas!" I squeaked, smiling so hard that my lips were trembling. A deer in the headlights would've envied my huge eyes and startled expression. And when Curtis introduced me in his little message? I waved. Waved. That's just painfully dorky.

That was approximately nine years ago. And I haven't been in front of a professional video camera since then - until yesterday, that is.

I'm not even going to elaborate why I was being filmed. I may show it on here, when it's finished, IF it's not too humiliating ... but judging from how it went down, it's gonna be humiliating. Because y'all? I'm not what you'd call a "natural."

I tried not to be nervous. I mean, seriously tried. My logical mind told me, "There's nothing to worry about; this isn't even a big deal." But my irrational mind (the part that takes over most of the time) was shrieking, "OMG, you're going to look like a FOOL!" So of course, I was feeling shaky inside. My mouth was so dry that my lips were sticking to my gums, and my tongue was sticking to my lips, and I was making gross little smacking sounds as I talked, and I was so preoccupied with all that, that I could barely concentrate on what I was saying. I asked if we could start over, and the lady with the camera was like, "Oh, we can edit it, so just keep going." Gah!!

To make matters worse, this chick was trying overly hard to make me feel comfortable, which made me feel even more uncomfortable. I know she was trying to help a sista out, but damn. She used my name in almost every sentence: "Rita, why don't you make yourself comfortable on this stool. Now Rita, can you tell us your story?" She said, "Cute shoes!" ... even though I was wearing plain black flip-flops. And the whole time I was talking, she was nodding and smiling, wide-eyed, trying to feign interest - but it was in an "I-look-this-interested-in-everyone-I-film" way. You know?

I guess it was better than her acting bored and disengaged. But still. It didn't exactly help my nervousness. And you know what else didn't help? The lights. The LIGHTS. Big bright columns of light directed right into my face. And the fact that it was so hot that I may as well have set my little stool right on the edge of a volcano; sweat was trickling down the sides of my face and down my back. I had powdered my face so I wouldn't be shiny, but I hadn't taken into account the fact that I might be sweaty instead. I don't think they can edit that out.

I talked. Nervously. Stammer-y. I sounded nothing like I sound in real life. I ended every other sentence with ".... soooooo ...." because when I'd finished, the lady would just look at me like she was expecting more. I tried to think of things to say. My well of wittiness had run dry.

Kinda like my well of spit.

All in all, I felt like a giant, bumbling moron by the time I finished. Not a good way to feel. Before the shoot, I had briefly fantasized about someone spotting my video and being like, "Wow, she's awesome! Let's pay her large sums of money to make vlogs or something!"

Guess I won't be signing a contract for a reality show any time soon.


  1. Jessica armstrong lasaAugust 5, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    LOL. that is funny. but judging from your "Your old friend Rita" post, you are probably exaggerating. :)

  2. I can talk all day long in front a crowd, even a huge crowd, put in on camera, ugh, forget it.

  3. I can SO relate to the dry mouth thing! That happens to me every time I speak in public....and I always have to pee, even if I've just gone recently! I fanticize about how confident I'll be and how impressed everyone will be, but the reality is that I'm scared witless and it's really obvious. Ugh! You have my sympathy! Still, I'll bet it's better than you expect. And I can't wait to see it!


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