For the first half of this week I have been in Bristol. Although I was born and brought up in Essex, a large proportion of my family live here as this is where my maternal family reside. I always fall more and more in love with this city the longer I spend here and am seriously considering moving here in the future. The down side, if I spend any period of time over a day here I always pick up the west country twang; my accent is currently somewhere between farmer and sheep shagger status.
At the moment I am, amongst other things, eating copious amounts of pasta salad, leeching off Prêt a Manger’s internet connection and being genuinely moved by the courage and persistence of the Iranian people.
Whether those elections were rigged or not (I personally have my doubts as to whether they were, but that is another story) you have to admire the movement and excitement they are creating.
Last week I entered a competition to appear as the ‘people’s panellist’ on the BBC show, ‘Question Time’. I want this, a lot, and I suppose that is why I am so intensely nervous about it. I was adamant about making my minute long audition video in one take because this is how all the other applicants had approached it, I therefore spent over an hour trying to not stumble over my words or spend too long uming or erring. Scripting it perfectly beforehand took the best part of a few days. I got quite flustered towards the end. It was very frustrating not having my limited editing skills to hide behind.
I eventually got a half decent take done, posted it, and received a wave of lovely comments from people saying that they could think of no one better to take part in the show.
Thank you for that, but…
The truth is I have no idea whether I would be the best person for the job. I, unlike the vast majority of the applicants, do not have a history in debating. I am also not studying politics or a similar subject. Yes, I am keen on my newspapers and current events, but I am nowhere near an expert. These people (the other people who have entered) have decided to spend their further academic career expanding their knowledge on the subject. I read Chinese short stories about lesbians with TB and persist on trying to master the subjective and all of her Spanish forms and applications.
My political vlogs are scripted and I hide behind many takes and the ability to edit and make my arguments look slick. I have no idea how I am going to react to a live situation; thinking on my feet, having my argument directly scrutinised and not having Google to verify my statistics. Making that video was the easy bit; that was my turf, my comfort zone. I believe there is a part of the audition process where the applicants form a panel and debate on various issues amongst themselves. This is where my expertise ends and the majority of the other applicants’ begins.
We will see how I deal with it. I hope more than anything I can do this; I want it a lot and I would like to believe I would do a good job.
(Ready for the horrifically cheesy part of the blog?)
The greatest advice my parents ever gave me comes from a hugely generic song, “Qué sera sera, whatever will be will be.” They wrote that inside my good luck card for when I was due to take the 11 Plus. I failed. But I took from their advice that sometimes things just aren’t meant to be. If I am meant to get on this panel and do well, then it will happen. Nerves are not going to make me any more adapt at occupying the YouTube niche in which I have comfortably resided for some time now.
All I can do now is keep reading papers, keep debating within YouTube or BlogTV, and believe I can do well.