Friday, January 22, 2010

The Message vs The Package

Do you all remember my Oscar-worthy performance that was filmed by the American Red Cross for an upcoming fundraiser? If you don't remember, the link is here.

There was no sound for that taping - I was told then that I would be called to come into a recording studio for a "voice over" not to worry....

Well....we need to worry....

This week, I got the call to head to downtown Kansas City, to a local recording studio, for the voice over. No problem, right? Other than the day of the taping, I woke up with a horrendous sinus headache and congestion and an over-all "bleh" feeling. The taping wasn't scheduled until 3:00 p.m. that day, so I had plenty of time to buck up, suck up and get better. In the meantime, knowing it was just a voice over, I didn't bother with make-up...or even hair...the way I was feeling, my hair was lucky to get brushed that day - let alone styled. Sinus headaches will do that to you.

I threw on some old clothes that only come out when I don't feel good - they're for comfort and warmth, certainly not for style - and headed downtown.

I walk into the studio - and immediately alarms start going off in my head. If you in you're 40's, and ever watched "Lost in Space", on television, my head started sounding like that Robot: "Warning, Will Robinson! Warning, Will Robinson! Danger! Danger!!"

There is a chair - with a bright light - and a camera....and the "director" tells me to go sit in the chair, so they could adjust the light and camera.

"Whah???" I say in confusion...."I thought this was just a voiceover....? Why is there a camera here??"

"Oh - we're going to have you sit in the chair, and film you while you talk...don't worry; all you have to do is answer the questions; there's no acting involved today. Just an interview....Piece of cake."

"But...! But....! I didn't know I was going to be on CAMERA!" This was said in my best whiny voice - which, if you know me at all, you know that I can do a pretty damn good whiny voice. My whiny voice could win awards. My parents tell me that when I was a little girl, they actually heard me sitting in my room, practicing my whiny voice. Seriously. I PRACTICED my whiny voice. After 47 years of practice, I have it down to an art.

"I'm not dressed right! And I don't have any make-up on! And my hair - OH MY GOD! My haaaaaaiiiiiirrrrrrrr!" More whiny voice, mixed in with a bit of pleading and a little bit of theatrics - hoping against hope that the studio will magically produce a miracle worker who can instantly make me look beautiful - and not

"Oh, it'll be just fine. Have a seat!" The director - so chirpy and cheerful - made me want to just shoot him. Easy for him to say - HE wasn't going to be on a giant screen - in high def - in front of hundreds of people. Looking like death warmed over.

So - what was I to do? I bucked up, sucked it up - and gamely did my best - all the while knowing that I looked like a cross between Casper the Ghost and the Wicked Witch of the West......all the while, saying a little prayer that the patrons of the upcoming fundraising ball will look past my appearance ("Oh my God, Herb - she looks like walking death! Is that what volunteering for the Red Cross does to you?!") and focus on my words and will whip out their checkbooks and be very generous in their donations.

Thirty minutes later, it was all over. Everyone in the studio was very effusive in their praise ("You did GREAT!" "You're a natural!" Blah, blah, blah), but all I could think about was my hair. And my un-made-up face. And my wrinkled, old shirt.

Later that night, while watching the news - and once again, seeing images of Haiti on the screen, with the horrors that the people there are going through - I mentally gave myself a big slap upside the head and realized that every now and then - I get my priorities really screwed up.

I realized it was the message I was sending in the studio that was important. Not the package that it came in. People at the fundraiser aren't going to be looking at ME, the Drama Queen...they'll be looking at an American Red Cross volunteer who is passionate about what she does and believes in what the ARC stands for...

...and maybe...just maybe....they'll believe in it, too...and they'll whip out those checkbooks and show us just how much they believe in it.



1 comment:

Mental P Mama said...

That was funny. And sounds a little bit too much like this ol' Diva. But we eventually do come around...I cannot wait to see it!