The Video Coach

Tors Grantham

Get On Camera Challenge

Day 2

 
 

Exercise

I don't know about you, but when I get anxious or afraid I start worst case scenario-ing the shit out of things. Often they start with those stories I tell myself about my looks and my worth, and then they start to spiral until I'm sitting in a corner struggling to breath against a panic attack thinking I'm about to lose my house (my family have a tendency towards drama).

You've spent the last two days getting up close and personal with the shit your brain tells you, and you've probably been worst case scenario-ing stuff too. So I'm giving you full permission today, to worst case scenario yourself out of it all.

So here's what I want you do to:

+ grab a pen and some paper.

+ write down all the worst case scenarios your brain has been coming up with

+ fully flesh them out, make them logical instead of just knee-jerk

+ note down what emotions are coming up - I want you to be able to fully follow the cause and effect of the thoughts to emotions to inaction that's going on

+ Now put them in order of scariness, worst at the top. If it helps to rate them out of 10 (with 10 being pants-shittingly terrifying) then go for it.

Logic can help with fear, you can start by writing down the worst case scenarios for each of your fears. Real worst case scenarios, not the ones that end up with you on the street just because you put your face on YouTube. There's a lot of mis-steps you'd have to make between a YouTube video and losing your home, I doubt you'd take all of them. This is practical brain time now, keep asking yourself 'so then what' until you get an honest answer out of yourself.

+ Review your list of worst case scenarios. Were they really as bad as they seemed? And are they your opinions or the opinions of people who are also scared but have no intention of doing it anyway?

+ Keep that list somewhere safe. I like to refer back to my list of worse case scenarios whenever I get too scared about something, it's like checking myself before wrecking myself. Cos, really, those worse case scenarios aren't actually that scary.

For those curious, my excuses have run the gammut from I need a haircut to not having a place to film that looked good to oh my god what will my friends think of me?! I had a lot of issues around what my professional friends would think about me going into business to teach DIY video when they're all still making professional television. All of them are rubbish excuses with logical (and in some cases, easy) fixes, the key is to work on recognising they're excuses created through fear and work on removing them.

Okay. On to the practical side of things now.

I have never wanted to be the centre of attention, and having a camera pointed at me used to make me feel sick.

And because my thought processes are sometimes a little bizarre, it's why I started working in television production. Not the whole reason admittedly, but it was up there.

Because no one could make me go on camera if I worked in telly. Right?

Much to my eternal surprise (and possibly yours), it actually worked. I've been approached by a number of crews over the years, all of them backed off the moment I told them I worked in television production.

But then I noticed something strange happening.

I was becoming less stressed out about being caught on camera.

It started when I moved to Wales in 2006 to work with the BBC. My role was firmly in the production office, I worked the equivalent of the 9-5 in television. But occasionally I was allowed out onto set, where all the cool stuff (and cameras) happened. And because we filmed behind the scenes of the major dramas coming out of Cardiff, I was also caught on camera and am in the background of various shots immortalised on DVD boxsets across the world.

I couldn't protest, not without looking like an unprofessional idiot. And I really wanted to go hang out on set because we made stuff for Doctor Who, Torchwood, Merlin andBeing Human - who wouldn't want to do that? If it was a choice between getting caught on camera in the background or not going on set, I knew which one I'd choose.

But what I discovered about my exposure to cameras was that I was becoming less bothered about being on camera. After a while, I found I felt comfortable enough to stand facing the camera on set instead of turning my back or looking down, so much so that I started allowing friends who wanted to practice their filming to interview me, I even got into filming short lifestyle videos for my personal blog.

I started small and built from there - that's the second rule of great drama by the way (the first is suck in your cheeks ... kidding). Now I'm recording videos for my business, and you'd never guess I used to be a stammering, blushing mess.

So that's where we're going with this today: starting small.

And exposure therapy.

So:

+ I want you to get used to having a camera pointed at you, so whenever you do the washing up or brush your teeth or sit on the couch watching Netflix I want you to set up your camera (or smartphone) so it's pointing at you. No need to film, just have it there pointing at you so you get used to it

By getting used to the device, with none of the pressure of actually recording, you'll gradually become more comfortable with the idea of being on camera.