In high school for our “final project”, I made a video.
I don’t remember what everyone else did. I only remember what I did. I had a voice and it was so silent. So without really thinking about the consequences and how I would feel, I decided to make a video that showed everything that I was. A voice that often was covered by social anxiety. A voice that was squashed by all the middle school bullying. A voice of an outsider in high school.
It started with me moving from Hercules to Lafayette—perhaps a symbolism of how it was easy…then suddenly hard. The video showed all the accolades that I had received over the year. That confirmed my intelligence and academic aptitude. And then it showed me going to prom. Senior prom where I was set up. To me, it was an embarrassing moment. But I wanted to show how I desperately wanted to fit in and how I pretended to be like everyone else, but I couldn’t be. And an empty bag floating in the air a la American Beauty.
I remember mumbling some words as a I presented my final project and finally just started the video. When it started playing, I realized that my work was on screen and everyone was watching. The feeling of being in the spotlight overwhelmed me and I wanted to hide although I really wanted to watch everyone. I felt so…vulnerable, scared. That I stood at the podium and put my head in my arms, trying to duck and shrink into a small person.
My teacher Mr. McAllister came out to give me a hug. I remember him trying to assure me from behind, but I don’t remember how I reacted. I was proud of my work. It meant a lot to me, even though nobody else probably understood the inherent meaning.
Likewise, for my Kickstarter video, I wanted to hide. During my launch event, I wanted to hide behind a door, but I forced myself to smile as I spoke on screen. The words that I had said…10…20 times while Shaun listened and asked me to do it this way or that way. I was impressed with his direction. Fortunately I had seen it so many times that my embarrassment threshold got already so low. Most people were watching the video for the first time and had never seen me so poised, so well-spoken. But well, there it is.
I hope that I get there. But who knows. I am excited to see what happens.