Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Learning my place

Okay. So I'm not an actor. I may have appeared in a couple of school plays long ago in my childhood (and even sung a couple of songs in one) but my recent participation in the creation of a "pitch" video has confirmed that I have no theatrical talent.


My colleagues Nancy Lynch and Gary Belding asked me recently to take part in the recording of a "pitch" video to be sent to a funding body to seek financial support for our Abigail Massey web-series project. As part of the Creative Team for the proposal, I was kind of obliged to contribute my face (and my voice) to the endeavour.

Oh my. Gary made me feel better as we rehearsed our parts -- he seemed to bumble and stumble as much as I did. Then, the camera turned on and, well, so did he. He did his entire two-minute bit in one take! Not a stumble, not a bumble, not even a pause for thought. He was smooth, professional, convincing. His delivery sounded unrehearsed and natural.

Nancy was just as good. For a person who describes herself as a writer/director, she sure can deliver her lines with conviction and power.

And then there was me. I think the raw footage has more of me saying "Can I try that again?", "Let's do that over", "Sorry", "Oh crap", etc. than my actual lines. To be honest, I finally had to release myself from the requirement of actually saying the lines of the script, satisfied instead to convey the gist of the message. Even then...

I'm happy to say that Nancy, Gary and our videographer, Joel from East Lens, were all very patient with me and never once lost their cool. Wore down their batteries, for certain. But never lost their cool.

And I'm even happier to say that our editor, Tom Belding, managed to weave a remarkably effective pitch video despite the mess I, for one, delivered to him. It's nice to work with such pros.

And it's nice to have the final proof I needed to convince myself that I am a writer, not an actor, and that I may be able to create the dialogue for our web series but I should never attempt to deliver it on camera.

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