Yesterday, I added a short video to my scroll sawing class lesson. I was kind of amazed that even though the video is only just over five minutes, it took me over half the day to do. I say ‘kind of’ because one wouldn’t think that something that short should take so long to accomplish. Especially when you see the quality. Not that it is really ‘bad’ mind you. I think it gets the point across Ok, but it isn’t really something that I would call ‘fancy’ either.
I don’t think Martin Scorsese has anything to worry about.
Doing videos is really somewhat hard for me. I don’t know why it is so difficult. I think that I have this mental block about it and I just need to get over it. I have spoken to others who make them and they have given me some good pointers and ideas and I do try to follow their advice, but it seems to me that once the camera is rolling, I just get tongue tied and goof it up.
It isn’t that I don’t have confidence in what I am doing. Scroll sawing to me comes very easily to me. Many times when I am scrolling a project, I think of how I would present the particular technique that I was working on so that I could share what I know with others. I like the thought of sharing information and teaching. It does me good to see others learn and appreciate what I offer them.
But put a camera in front of me and I just seem to go blank. What was I going to say? What was I doing? Why am I even here?
I found myself questioning if it was really necessary to add a video to the lesson. After all, there were step-by-step pictures. Would a video really add anything to what was already said?
But part of me knew it would add to the class. And with me being me, once I came to this realization, I was not able to put the cat back in the bag and ignore that it would be an asset. The teacher inside of me wouldn’t allow me to let it go. So I bit the bullet and just went for broke.
I think a large part of it is me. (Obviously!) when I write here every morning, I do so with the attitude that I am just thinking with my fingers. I don’t think too much about my audience or who I am talking to or the number of people that will read this. I just type off the top of my head most of the time. I find that if I do think too much about things and think to myself ‘what would this person or that person think about what I am writing here’ then I tend to shut down and have a difficult time. It is very hard to write to particular people or a particular group and think that you will say what everyone will want to hear. People are all different and rarely will you get a large group to agree on everything.
Just in stating that alone, it helps me see what some of my problem is with the videos. I am trying to make them with a certain group of people in mind, instead of just doing things as I normally do. I think that messes up my thinking and makes it very difficult for me to pull off.
In thinking back to yesterday, after several false starts, I finally got frustrated and came to the choice of either giving up altogether or having a ‘this is me and this is what they will get’ attitude and just shooting it. Although the results were nothing that would win an award, I think that I got the points across that I had intended to and even though the pattern did want to come off a little at the end, I feel that the important things that I wanted to show were there and it was a ‘go’.
It reminds me of when I used to play the piano. When I was on my own, I played much better than if I knew someone was listening. If someone were there watching, I would be thinking about them instead of the task at hand and it would be inevitable that I would make mistakes. However, when I was on my own, with only my cat Jasmine listening (she loved to curl up next to me as I played) I did fine. I remember one particular time when I was working on Chopin’s Military Polonaise which was an exhausting piece to play. Playing it was like running a marathon and usually by the end of it I would feel like a noodle and certainly make errors or just give up. Once and only once, I played it start to finish flawlessly, with only Jasmine to hear. I don’t think I ever accomplished it at that level again, but it didn’t matter. My favorite critic had heard it and that was enough for me.
What helped me finally get through making this little video was that I had to just stop thinking and do what I knew. I realize that I still stumbled a bit here and there, but for the most part it was acceptable and hopefully it was helpful to many.
I truly admire those who shoot videos and look so naturally at ease on them. I think that it is probably due to the fact that they love what they are doing and want to share it more than they fear the camera. I know that with at little work that I can have that attitude too. I just need to act confident and I will be able to get through it.
I thank you all very much for your cheering and nice compliments on the videos. After reading them, the first thing that came to my mind was “Really? They liked it?” and hearing that it helped some of you better understand what I was explaining was the best review that I could have asked for.
I will get over this fear I have. I am sure of it. To be honest, there have been times when I have dreaded doing this class, not because I don’t want to spend the time and teach, but because of the impending videos that I knew would be required to do it properly. But I have made the commitment and I promise that I will do my best, as I believe my desire to teach and share exceeds my fear of videos. So I will give it a try.
Thank you as always for your kind encouragement. I truly appreciate it very much and I believe it will help me be a better teacher.
Have a wonderful Friday.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"