Recently, I was shooting Christmas ornaments for a Target catalog in humid summer heat, when I received a phone call from a reporter at Forbes Magazine, who said she wanted to interview me for a story about parts modeling.
I agreed to meet her the next day over coffee to discuss the wild world of hand modeling. Yet when I checked my email moments later, there was a message from Natalie the reporter, saying she’d rather I come to the Forbes building, and run some “b camera” as part of the interview. Apparently, Natalie was legit (I had wondered until she stated the address on Fifth Ave).
Suddenly my nerves hit a high note. I’m always up for conversation over coffee, but being filmed in the process of anything impromptu freaks me out.
I may not appear camera shy…
Sure, I’m comfortable communicating with body parts, or posing behind a mask of makeup, or playing a character…but put me in front of more than 10 people, and worst yet FILM me ad-lib, and I can become a bumbling buffoon. Or at least that’s my fear, since I’ve successfully avoided public speaking and/or being filmed in real-life format most of my life.
We all have particular hot spots of fear, and mine happen to be banana slugs…and when certain things are out of my hands. In this case, I knew I’d have no control over the questions, editing, or how I’d be perceived…and was becoming increasingly more nervous at the idea of interviewing for Forbes – in fact, the prospect was more intimidating than anything I’ve encountered on the East Coast to date.
But this is a new chapter dammit, and I’m working in New York to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone and GROW. Of course I would seize this wonderful opportunity!
As I contemplated my new attitude, the universe cheered me on with a horoscope, which read: “Set up an interview, or send out your resume. Do something to market yourself.”
So I promptly answered Natalie, and said I’d be there the next day, and was looking forward to the interview.
When the Target job wrapped, I walked home from Pier 59 Studios, feeling ready for the world!
Until…my ol’ pal Choid, the bastard alien who lives inside my mind and points out potential problems, chimed in with a few warnings: “You know, this could be like that time you forgot what you were saying in college speech class, and stopped talking while the whole class stared, and that feminist lesbian teacher asked how you felt, and you mumbled something inaudible, hoping no one noticed your brain/body collapse, while you prayed you’d become invisible…but of course you didn’t disappear, and you still feel like an ass ‘til this day.”
Suddenly my idea of growth sounded as stupid as I might sound if I forgot who I was tomorrow.
Could I live with myself if I backed out of the interview? Could I be ultimately fulfilled hiding behind my hands my entire life?
NO. Move over Choid, I’m doing this interview. Whether I hyperventilate or not.
The next day, after a few hurried trips to the toilet, I arrived at the historic Forbes building and was led up a beautiful marble staircase, into a library where CEO’s usually sit to analyze big business.
“Good thing you’re not talking trade or politics today, or you’d really embarrass yourself,” said Choid. “You don’t fit in here. This place is for smart, rich, white men.”
“I doubt that old dress is going to work on camera. Most people on TV have stylists, and professional hair/makeup. You have none of that Kardashian confidence that’s so common nowadays. This could be bad…real bad.”
As I took a seat, I informed Choid this is not TV, and to kindly CUT THE CRAP.
Fortunately, once Natalie and I began to talk, I felt increasingly comfortable. I actually enjoyed myself, as if I was chatting with an old friend. It felt no different than if we were having coffee together (except there were two other people in the room operating cameras, and occasionally asking questions).
My wise 91 grandmother has often repeated, “Over 90 percent of my worries never came true.”
Guess grandmother knows best! I had a lot of fun at Forbes, and in the process, overcame an old fear. It was an honor to be invited into an old and impressive world. Heck, I may not fit in…but I did my best, and did my part.
To check out the full interview click here.
To watch the video (where I didn’t hyperventilate), click here, or watch below.