“Are you as comfortable in front of a camera as behind one? Being written about, as well as writing?”
That is a definite, no! I am so far out of my comfort zone that it is preposterous. Firstly a camera pointed in my direction, must do so at it’s own peril. To put it bluntly, I don’t have a good side! 😉
As far as being written about…
See, I have been writing for such a long time now, that I have erected this protective cocoon around me. As long as I am ensconced safely within my writer’s bubble, or barrier, I am in my happy place, impervious to all outside influences.
As silent observer of events, I can wander uninhibited by social obligation. I can observe and report, and as much as is possible, remain neutrally buoyant.
The moment the tables are turned, when interraction is required, and the scrutiny is squarely on me, I flounder.
Oh sure, I can tread water, and put on my game face in short spurts; heck I’ve even been known to turn on the old charm a time or two. I’ve always got a few cute quips and rejoinders in my arsenal, but the moment I reveal the real me, the facade crumbles.
I become that shy, retiring, socially inept, awkward little boy of my youth.
I remember being interviewed about a piece I wrote in my high school newspaper. The article was a rather scathing and brutal essay about fiscal mis-management in the student counsel. In my defence, it was a very thoroughly researched treatise, and fact checked within an inch of its life. I had truth, justice, and propriety on my side, and I was proud of myself.
A fellow student reporter decided to write a follow up piece. I was happy to discuss my investigative techniques and the essentials of the case, but then she turned the tables on me and started asking personal questions! Where did you grow up? What are your personal and professional aspirations? How has family life molded you into the person you are? What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I know what you are probably thinking. These are not difficult questions! I wholeheartedly agree with you, but I was really put on the spot!
When I go for job interviews, a process I abhor, rigorously but tolerate out of necessity. I am at least slightly prepared for the onslaught. I have some intelligent responses dialled in. Some go-to rhetoric as it were, and I can always duck behind my humor blind if all else fails.
In this case though, I was struck dumb. Cold shivers undulated and rippled down my cowardly spine. My knees turned to jelly, perspiration sprang from every pore, and worst of all, my cheeks glowed a shade brighter than any steamed lobster I have ever known.
I stammered incoherently for a while, then clumsily excused myself. Not my finest hour!
Later that evening, in the sanctuary of my bedroom, I sat and wrote a brief bio. covering the salient points. I was able, there, to quietly ponder each question, and respond to each, fairly eloquently.
The next day I slid the answer sheet across her desk and mumbled some lame excuse about feeling ill. I hated myself for lieing, but, then again, was it that far from the truth, really?
That same day, our basketball team won the finals, and her article never saw the light of day.
To the wonderful people that have taken time out of their busy day to read this post, I extend to you my sincerest thanks.
I also beg of you one teensy little favor. If ever the unlikely occasion arises, whereby you must interview me in person, please give me fair warning. Better still Email me the questions and I’ll answer you properly. 🙂
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