Today was the second time that I got filmed for TV.
Yes, the second.
I had my first taste of "fame" in Secondary 3 or 4. A bunch of us were filmed recycling paper in our school lab for a programme called Newswatch - it was a feature on Earth Day. (Anyone of my generation will know this to be the current affairs programme targeted at teens.) I remember it to be a pretty nervewrecking experience. Besides being filmed, I had to "'talk" through the process of recycling the paper pulp. Although, in the end, they did a voice over, huff!
This time round, filming was for blogtv.sg, a programme about bloggers by Channel News Asia.
The angle for the story is about people who’ve either become full-time bloggers or have used their blog to help their careers. As we progressed, pointed questions such as: "How has your blog helped you to make money? How much money have you made from your blog?" popped up.
While I had hoped it wouldn't come down to this, it wasn't all that unexpected. These are the kind of details that viewers take interest in, and I say I'm not surprised because it has come up in other interviews that I've been in.
I met FD (Flying Dutchman) who is a co-presenter on the show, and Lin Xue Ling, who contacted me about being on the show. I bumped into Grace Cheng again, whom I first met at the Simply Her photoshoot. The other guest on the show was Victoria Ho, who works for Computer World. We had a nice time chatting briefly before the cameras rolled.
During, and after the filming, I thought about what an uncomfortable experience it was for me.
Being a natural introvert, I prefer to listen rather than speak in unfamiliar environments. Neither am I one to think out loud, or shoot from the hip. When I do speak, I prefer it to be after some thought and contemplation. Which makes it very difficult with situations that need me to ad-lib or answer questions point blank - all of which are involved in a TV interview.
(Conversely, weirdly, even, I can be extremely talkative with people that I'm very comfortable with)
I felt self conscious, definitely.
With the cameras trained on us, I wasn't sure at what point some odd gesture or mannerism of mine might be picked up. My face felt frozen, and I felt weird when I tried smiling. When asked questions that I wasn't prepared for, I found myself forcing an answer to avoid an awkward pause or moment in the fiming. As I heard the words rolling off my tongue, they sounded like complete and utter nonsense. I was like, What the hell am I saying?!!
[In other words, if you do catch the programme, and I appear stiff and weird, it's because of all the stuff happening above]
Thankfully, the producers very kindly explained to us that editing would take care of any awkward bits (I certainly hope so!) I told them to please try their best to make me sound relatively intelligent!
As I reflected on the day's events, it occured to me that this was something that I was going to go through, again and again.
There was nothing comfortable or familiar about it - to put things in the extreme, it was almost a shock to my system.
But after all, isn't that what life is all about; what it should be about? Moving beyond boundaries I know; pushing my comfort zone.
And hopefully, in the process, learning something new; and experiencing something fulfilling :)