Thursday, October 30, 2008
That's a Wrap!
The taping of the Lincoln readings was yesterday morning. It was a great experience. Everyone in the studio was relaxed, and I walked in with advice from friends in the biz.
I also had my trusty technical assistant, Clint, with me. We'd worked out a few signals beforehand: "Posture! Stand up straight! Smile! Fix your collar!" If I had issues, he's be ready for them! With his help, I'd get through this. I'd be poised. Nixon should have had such a plan, yes? We were brilliant!
And then the lights went on:
That's what I could see, from where I'm sitting in that picture above. So much for signals, I was on my own in the sitting-up-straight department.
I didn't do too bad. I asked for a glass of water, and I read as instructed. My speech was shortened, and I could read a comfortable rate.
There was, however, one snafu. This line:
I finished on reading, and everyone said "That was great. Except you said `wars' instead of `fairs.' "
Seriously? Ok. I'll read it over.
Wait. I screwed that one up, I'll start again now.
There! I did it! Flawless!
'Yes. But you said `wars' again."
I read it again, and got through "fairs" with flying colors. Yes! Celebrating my victory, I screwed up a word in the next sentence.
Ok. I'm getting it right this time. Read, read, perfect. No tripping up on any words.
"You said 'wars' again."
You have got to be kidding me. The producer told me not to worry: if we can't get this, he'll dub in the right word.
If I can't do this? I CAN do this.
At this point, I didn't feel nervous mentally, but I was definitely showing physical signs of it. Dry mouth. It's ok. I had asked for water, like Fightin Mad Mary told me. My hands began shaking. It's ok. I pressed my palms together like Boston Pobble taught me.
And I did it. I zoned in on the teleprompter, and focused on pronouncing every word. I "punched it up" in the proper places like I was asked to, and I said "fairs" like I was supposed to, and I got through that reading. YEAH!
I did the 1 minute version, the 30-second version, then read the Gettysburg address straight through, and I was done. Dismissed!
Clint escorted me out, and I was surprised to realize how dazed I felt. My head hurt. My shoulders hurt. I really wanted to sleep. He opened the car door, and for a split second, I felt on the verge of fainting.
I feel silly to be so melodramatic, and to admit how stressful one half-hour was for me.
At the same time, I'm proud. I don't know how it will turn out, or if it will be better or worse when it's side by side with the other readers. I'm proud that I practiced, and proud that I finally got it right.
Most of all, I'm proud that I agreed to do something that rattles me.
It's empowering to do something hard, something that you really think you cannot.
I wonder what else, now, I think I cannot do.
I think I'll go do it.