Do you count on hindsight to teach you what you need to know?
That's how it has been for me since I started working with the videos for the Friday Video Series. Watching myself tell the stories,
re-visiting tellings that occurred months before,
and hearing the stories over and over -
are teaching me valuable lessons.
I find myself, like Special Agent Jethro Gibbs of NCIS, naming rules to follow - based on my own mistakes.
For instance the current video, The Dalmation Dog. screams out two pretty obvious lessons which I now counter withRule3 and Rule 12.
RULE 3 - Think about what you are going to wear and opt for something that does not compete with your story.
What was I thinking to wear this loud patterned shirt that over-shadowed the story and was actually clownish. Who can take their eyes off that bold design? Cringing, I admit it, the outfit is atrocious. Since watching the video again and again I know better, I hope.
Guess where that shirt is - GONE! I put it in the Am Vets donation bag to protect myself from ever again wearing it on a stage.
Do you have a stage mistake in your wardrobe????
RULE 12 - Watch out! Check temporary stages, before you perform. Make sure the folding legs are locked. Judge how much space you have to move around in without falling off. What's behind the curtain hanging at the back of the stage? Does the curtain hide a short drop to the floor or a gaping coal shute to the basement?
What about my mysterious and graceless stage exit on this film? Let me assure you that everyone in the room watched the acrobatics when the stage-legs folded under and one side of the platform tilted down. Jim was sitting near-by and, arms flailing, I did a sort of running quick-step into his lap. People gasped. My body was in one piece. What dignity?
Until I worked with this film I had no idea the dark and light pattern in that shirt was such a stage disaster. I liked the shirt. Everything in your closet doesn't work at the front of the room when you are telling a story.
And, since I walked out of the room that night on my feet and was never on crutches or in a cast, I forgot about almost falling off that stage.
Whenever possible tape your performances - and then review them - for the lessons you will teach yourself after-the-fact.
Today the simple flip video cameras, digital cameras and telephones make it pretty easy to record our performances.
Capture the lessons - - you know, teach yourself - - with HIND-SIGHT.