Friday, September 25, 2015

Do You Vlog?

Nope. No typo. You read that correctly. Vlogging. It’s all the rage, apparently.

Vlog: (n.) a blog in which the postings are presented via video.
Now, I’m not exactly a shy person. There are very few topics I feel skittish about and little to nothing about my personal life that I view as taboo. I’m an open book. I’m outgoing. I have a certain ease that allows me to converse with virtual strangers without much awkwardness (that is, unless my filter flees the scene and I start oversharing, which has been known to happen and is usually amusing, if not slightly embarrassing. But I digress.)
We’re talking about vlogging. To vlog. (To blave…. Sorry, having a Princess Bride, Miracle Max moment!) And yet, even given all that I just said about my certain lack of social inhibition, vlogging terrifies me! And not just the nervousness that churns a sea of nausea in my stomach at the thought of filming myself talking inanely on camera… but of having to WATCH said video when I’m done babbling and stammering on and on, waving my hands around like a charades enthusiast, tripping over the words that are supposed to (and usually would) flow free and easy.
If scripted, even though I’ve acted on stage for years, I sound like a robot and the weirdness plays in high definition on my face making my lips move unnaturally, my head tilt like a confused puppy, and my voice sound like a stranger's. If I wing it, I end up repeating myself or constructing sentences that don’t even make sense in the playback.
What the heck is wrong with me? If I’m acting and I’m pretending to be someone else, I’m fine. If I’m talking to a small group of people in the flesh, I’m solid. Charismatic and engaging. I’ve been told I have a nice voice, a pleasant look. The cogs should be lining up here, right?
Wrong. It’s inexplicable. I cringe just thinking about it. But sometimes we suck it up for the greater good. We may look like idiots, but oh the things we crazy writers will do for the love of story.
So here I am, sucking it up. Making video clips of myself talking about my book. Gag! It’s a special brand of torture but I think I’ve made a few observations that can help others with the same type of predicament.
Don’t do a million takes. Do a couple. Give yourself some slack and know that it won’t be perfect. The more you film, more often the more frustrated you become… and THAT will translate into your body language and your tone.
Make notes but don’t script. You’re better off having some talking points and practicing a bit first than trying to memorize something that will come across stifled and unnatural. Remember, if you biff it, you can always take two and start fresh.
Leave your notes propped up so you don’t have to look down. It’s more natural to shift your gaze to one side of the camera. That way you don’t have to smooth the hair out of your eyes and it’s less jarring to watch.
Don’t rush. Sometimes when we’re nervous our words start to snowball. The faster they go the more easily they trip over each other. Make a conscious effort to pace yourself. The delivery will feel more natural and your confidence will grow.
Be you! Remember to let your personality shine through. It’s not about producing something studio quality with poise and polish. You want people to see YOU. Throw in a quirky smile, don’t hold your face so rigid. Laugh a little. And try to think of the camera as a person to converse with.
And maybe, if it’s still too painful, just don’t keep watching it.
Any other advice you would add? Come on now, someone has got to be better at this than me! ;)

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Amy Leigh Simpson is the completely exhausted stay-at-home mama to the two wild-child, tow-headed toddler boys, one pretty little princess baby, and the incredibly blessed wife of her hunky hubby.
She writes Romantic Suspense chalked full of grace that is equally inspiring, nail-biting, and hilarious. And a little saucy! Okay fine, a lot saucy. :) She is a member of ACFW, and now uses her Sports Medicine degree to patch up daily boo-boos. Her greatest ambitions are to create stories that inspire hope, raise up her children to be mighty warriors for Christ, invent an all-dessert diet that works, and make up for years of sleep deprivation. 
Look for her debut novel due out this fall with WildBlue Press!


Angie Dicken said...

Great post, Ames! I am scared to try Vlogging...I don't like my voice...and I often don't like the way my nose looks on video! HA!! Btw, you are awesome at it!!!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh good grief! I am not! I'm super awkward. It's painful to watch! Next time we get together we'll go wild and do a team vlog. That outta be good for a laugh!