Since doing the on-camera interview last week, I have been wondering how I can minimize â€œMASSâ€ â€“ â€œmedia-amplified spaz syndromeâ€, a term offered by fellow CPer Spashionista, that I am so stealing!
MASS bugs me. Every time any camera in the vicinity is turned on, MASS kicks in. It doesnâ€™t allow me to put my best self forward. That isnâ€™t to say I donâ€™t have spaz out moments when there isnâ€™t a camera around, because I do. Peanut butter often goes flying off of the knife at breakfast time in our house. Sometimes I think I could have acquired Parkinsonâ€™s Disease and not even know it by of my shaky cerebral palsy. MASS is more pronounced than the everyday spaz outs.
Anyway, the interview was done in two parts: 1) the question and response segment, and 2) the online demonstration segment. For the first part, the interviewer sat off-camera and asked me the questions. I responded with my prepared responses that were on my iPad, on my lap. The thing is, once I tapped play, I wasnâ€™t sure what to do while the device spoke my response. I knew not to look at the camera, but rather to look at the interviewer. But what should I do? 1:30 minutes is a long time to sit still, especially with athetoid cerebral palsy. I remember Roger Ebert being quite animated while using his device when being interviewed by Oprah. I am sure that had I tried that, it would have looked like an extreme spaz out.
Likewise, during the demo, I went through a section of my previous weekâ€™s presentation because it addressed one of their questions. (Did I re-use content? You betcha!) Typically when I deliver a presentation, I make eye contact with members of the audience. That seems to (slightly) minimize the spazing. But this time I didnâ€™t have an audience; only a few people watching from behind me, trying not to make a sound. Once again I didnâ€™t know what to do. Do I stare at my computer screen and laugh at my own humorous bits? Or do I stare mindlessly out the window? What do I do?
After much thought and pondering, I have concluded that a portion of (perhaps an extremely small portion of) MASS in this particular situation is due to not knowing what to do, where to focus my attention. When talking people give an interview, ideally they focus on what they are saying and how they are saying it; that might help to divert some of their nervousness. Butt when a device on my lap is speaking for me, I donâ€™t have the same diversion; I have time to focus on the fact that a really expensive camera is capturing every jerky movement, which, in turn, makes me even more self-conscious.
Once again I need to learn the rules and then figure out how to adapt them to fit my own jerky needs. Either that or write my dang own rulesâ€¦before the next film crew encounterâ€¦!If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.