There was a time, long ago, when I used to spend my summers with my aunt and her family in Pittsfield Massachusetts. I was young then, but for a kid from Kingston Ja, those were the best days of my life.
I remember going to a native-american camp where I learnt how to braid (is that the right term) straw baskets, we made clay figurines and bowls, and I learnt a great deal of their culture, even though I don’t remember much of it now.
One summer in particular I remember being apart of a group of kids who got the opportunity to work at a local television studio. We learnt how to operate the mobile cameras and the in-studio elephant-sized cameras, how to work in tandem with the producers behind the glass wall who told which camera to zoom in, and who to zoom out, all that lovely stuff. We also learnt how to conduct interviews, and how to edit the program we were working on.
To be honest with you, I don’t remember much about my life growing up as a child. I remember very rare occasions, and experiences but the details of the years elude me. But one thing that has always stuck with me was that experience in the television studio.
There was something awe-inspiring about putting together a program on television for the viewing audience. Knowing that I worked the cameras, and I was the one who zoomed in on that guy who was talking at that moment; knowing I helped piece the program together; and seeing my name scroll up the screen at the end of the program, it still brings a certain amount of accomplishment to mind. And I was only a child back then.
This was one of those opportunities in life, that as young as I was, I would never trade it for the world.
I also remember working on, and by working on I mean directing a multi-cultural play at my church when I had just started college.
I was in a drama club for a while and learnt a lot about stage presence, and overcoming my fear of performing in front of a room full of people. I was also a kid back then, but obviously a bigger kid than when I worked at the television station. But these kind of experiences have stuck with me like a bad hair cut before the school photo day, but in a very goooood way. Y’all know what I’m talking about.
The play was written by myself along with several other teens in the church. It included much singing and dancing and other artistic forms of expression. With the help of some of the elders in the church, we organized the entire play from rehearsals, to costume and set-design, to lighting and camera work. And as I sat with the lighting guys during the play I remember thinking “this is so much better than being on stage”.
From my spot I could see the entire play unfold before the audience, and I knew what was going to happen next so I could indicate to the lighting guys where to go and what to do. It was all exhilarating and I loved every minute of it. It was a bit hectic, but again, I wouldn’t have changed that experience for the world.
So when I saw today’s Daily Prompt which asked If you were involved in a movie, would you rather be the director, the producer, or the lead performer? (Note: you can’t be the writer!) I immediately remembered my summer television producing gig and my work with the cultural showcasing play, and knew I could only be Le Directorrrrr (with a significant rolling of the Rrrrr).