Week 8: My First Standup – The longest 20 seconds of my life

Granby vs. Maury 11-3-2017

*Nothing in my blogs are exaggerated. Anything said and done, was done and said in that exact manner. It’s part of the reason my internship is so enjoyable*

It was a nightmare! Unimaginably terrible! Disdainfully unattractive! I covered my eyes at the sight of my standup. Jeff and I then watched his standup.

We said the same thing in unison, laughing off the mere coincidence, but the truth in the message that I was trying to preach to him still didn’t get through to myself.

“You’re inside your own head! SEE!”

I pointed at Jeff, the morning producer, with these words of encouragement and he pointed at me in the same manner after we watched our standups.

I was telling him this because he thought he looked bad on camera and had lost his standup touch. I told him that he looked good. Granted, he probably only said those things to encourage me and boost my confidence.

I preceded his statement with, “I sound terrible. I look terrible. I don’t know how to talk and it’s too dark!”

An hour prior, Jeff and I stood at the ODU soccer field as Maury and Granby played their rivalry game. It wasn’t cold out and it was my first time shadowing someone who wasn’t Kara or Nathan. I’ve learned well enough that everyone has a different process when shooting. The angle, perspective, and capture vary from person to person.

Jeff handed me the camera well into the second quarter. “Zoom first, then focus.”

I did as I was told, but had a few lingering fears while holding the camera. I didn’t want to drop it. This was an unnecessary concern. I’m clumsy, but not to the point of tripping and dropping a 2 ton piece of expensive hardware. I was shaky since it was my first time using the camera, but that vanished after one play and Jeff’s guidance.

The ball was thrown and the pass completed.

“Did you get that?” Jeff asked me.

I looked at him, shaking my head. “No! I couldn’t follow the ball.”

“What? Don’t follow the ball. I can’t even do that. Just make sure you’re zoomed enough that you can see the play and catch the completion. You don’t have to be focused on the ball alone.”

That advice enabled me to follow the remainder of Granby’s possession a little better.

My spirits were high. I’d done something correctly and learned how to properly used the camera. The clock struck half time and we were ready to depart. My shoulder ached from the not so heavy camera.

“Are you ready to do the standup?” Jeff’s words had snapped me into anxiety.

“Nooooo. That’s fine. I think I can live without it. I’m not good in front of the camera anyway.”

He handed me the camera. “Have you ever tried?”

I shrank. I didn’t have to give it a try to know how bad I was. “No.”

“Then come give it a shot. I’ll do mine first, so you can see how it’s done.”

Now I jumped at the opportunity “No! I’ll go first. If I see how good you are, I’ll become even more nervous!”

He waved off my concerns. “Nah. You’ll be fine. Besides, it’s been ages since I’ve done a standup. I’m rusty.”

The only thing I thought is how much better “rusty” in comparison to me. I hit record and shot his standup. He did fine. His words flowed well and he looked good.

I hand the camera off to him, sucked up my overwhelming fear, grabbed the mic, and looked into the lens.

“Go Ahead.”

The lump was in my throat and and the very thought twisted my stomach in undesirable ways, but I managed to get out a full 20 second standup without stuttering.

“That was great! Perfect.” He said, lowering the camera. Relief flooded over me because it was finally over. Plus his words of praise helped me relax significantly.

When we finally got back to the station to watch it, I was so glad I’d tried it, but it was obvious that I’m probably better off behind the scenes.

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