Who have I been, the last three years?
I was a film maker. I agonized over the story, the casting, the music, the editing. I spent a couple of evenings hiding in the editing room with my group, huddled up in front of the Mac as we fixed last minute glitches. There was even an evening where one nice member of the support staff let us stay on, on the condition that we needed to keep all the lights off as it was way past gate-shutting time. I sat on location with my shot-breakdown and screenplay, changing dialogues and re-changing them. I yelled and screamed when things didn’t make sense. The night before screening day, I didn’t sleep, I spent the night wondering what reactions we’d get. I cried when I watched my film being screened in front of a full auditorium. I felt pride when I heard the praises, and took deep breaths to calm myself down when I listened to the critics.
I was an editor. I read, and re-read. Sentences were snipped off, probably written with so much passion, but they were eliminated. New words were nudged in, my words mixing with their words. I hoped the writers wouldn’t kill me. Whole paragraphs were relocated, until everything made sense. Spell check was ruthlessly enforced. My editors sense constantly fought with my writer’s conscience. How much to change, how much to interfere, always an uphill task but when I was done, it always seemed to be the best I could do. Holding a copy of the final product is the best feeling in the world!
I was a radio show producer. Sat in the studio for hours, all other sounds blocked out. Planned out segments, ads, PSA’s and what songs to put in where. Watched my RJ try to sound as unartificial as possible, and smiled when she got it right Battled with Pro-Tools, tracks, time limits and sound effects.
I was a graphic designer. I battled with making the tools work in Gimp as efficiently as they did in the tutorials. I cloned, and cloned, and cloned, and cloned some more. I looked for the perfect bases, the perfect brushes and the PERFECT font. I put my work up for criticism, and smiled when people said ‘Oh! So pretty!’. I went to the printers, hoping there weren’t any mistakes that would get magnified, and nearly cried out with joy when I saw our beautiful film poster and invitations ready!
I was an intern. My first day at work, full of apprehensions. Would I be the girl who makes the coffee? I can’t make coffee! Would they notice me at all? What if I screwed up? Then, the friends that I made. The nice ones who helped me out, the mean ones who sniggered as an attempt to cover up the fact that I seemed to doing a better job than them. There were people who invited me to sit with them at lunch, gave me advice on how to deal with the boss, the work and life in general. There were other interns, some who thought they knew everything and fell flat, others who smiled nervously and soon became “my work buddies”. Learning to deal with office politics and policies.
I was the author of a research paper. Reading up on methodology and pouring over literature of previous studies. Studying subjects, preferences, attitudes. Creating sample groups, analyzing data and working out tables and charts and explanations. Formatting the paper into MLA style. Printing it out an hour before submission deadline, racing to college bleary-eyed and sleep deprived but OH SO PROUD.
I was a speaker. I slaved over my slides, obsessed over making them pretty but not flimsy. I stood in front of an audience and made eye contact. I talked, asked questions, hoped people would laugh when I needed them to (and they did). Applause is such a wonderful thing.
I was an actor. I put on a costume, got on stage and played Su Li from Mind Your Language. Like most actors love to say, in my case acting really DID happen by accident. Make-up, green room chatter, the nerves that hit you just before you walk on stage. Did I mention applause is a wonderful thing?
I was a writer. I wrote articles, business proposals, invitations, press releases, creative briefs, poetry, flash fiction, short stories, features, news reports, television news scripts, screenplays, exams, tests, formal letters, editorials, essays and notes.
And through all of this – I was me! And that’s the best thing of all!