Good evening, and welcome to my blog.
I thought I would bring you up to speed on events my little world, as I haven’t updated you recently on all that is going on.
Just under two weeks ago, I went to a local college to be videoed reciting the Poem I had written for the charity that I am working with: The Hidden Needs Trust. I wasn’t sure exactly what was going to happen, but I knew! that if I was going to be filmed, then I wanted to look my best. Although the poem is about the Hidden Needs Trust, and is going to be on their website I was also representing myself as a poet and a blogger, and I knew that I needed to make a good first impression that will stick in people’s minds, and increase people’s awareness of myself, and the poetry I write. So, on the day before, I went and had my beard trimmed and neatened up, and then on the day itself I wore my best three-piece suit. If I do say so myself, I was looking very sharp.
I the filming was booked for 10am, so I made sure I arrived in good time. I was a little nervous, as I always am before this kind of thing (I do a bit of amateur dramatics for my Village am-dram group), and was repeating the poem over and over again. I was going to be reciting the poem from memory, so had been learning it for the past three weeks. At this point I should state that the poem was actually four poems in one – because Rachel, the founder of the Hidden Needs Trust had given me lots of different information from which to create the poem. In the end I wrote four poems – one about how Special Educational Needs affects the children who live with it, one about the impact on Parents and Carers, one about the challenges facing the specialist pre-school support groups, and finally one about what the Hidden Needs Trust needs in the future to keep doing its amazing work. I submitted these four poems to Rachel, expecting her to choose one, or to pick bits out of each to make up the final poem. What I hadn’t expected was for Rachel to ask me to say all four poems on camera! So, I had been learning these poems over the last few weeks – repeating the poems over and over and over again – in the bathroom, on the drive to the town where I work, on the walk from my car to my work, as I wash up, while waiting for my daughter to finish swimming lessons. It was a war of attrition – I forced those four poems into my head.
And there I was, sat in my car at 9:47am saying those poems in order over and over again. I saw Rachel pull up in her car and got out to meet here. She was with her ‘Right-hand man’, Peter who looks after all the photography and behind the scenes stuff. We said our hello’s and went into the college to the Media suite where the videoing would be taking place. Rachel had commandeered the help of two students from the college to actually do the filming, as this would contribute to their coursework for the year. When we arrived they were already there ready to go. I was taken into a classroom which, at one end had a blue floor and blue back wall. In this blue space there was a solitary chair – on which I would sit and recite the poem. I believe that the blue background is a bit like a green screen, where images can be super-imposed onto it afterwards. I didn’t say anything at the time, but I was a little concerned that they might super impose something that detracted from me and my poem. It is all very well me learning four poems and looking my best, but if all people watching the video can see is a clip of Jurassic Park, or a space battle from Star Wars, then they are not going to be paying any attention. Thankfully I was informed that the Hidden Needs Trust logo was going to be superimposed behind me, so that will be far less distracting.
After a few minor technical hitches with the microphone, we were ready to rock and roll! I took a sip of water, sat down in the chair looked into the camera and……….nailed it. Eight and a half minutes non-stop reciting of the poem without a missed word, or a stumble. One take, that’s all it took. I haven’t seen it back – but I did get a glimpse of a few seconds of me on the small camera playback screen. I was unhappy with how I looked sitting in the chair, and so I asked if I could recite the poems again, but this time standing up. Well, they say pride comes before a fall, and they are right; second time around I fluffed a couple of lines and it was no good. So I asked them to go with the ‘good’ take, with me sitting down.
After that, I just had to record some voice over pieces for some other videos that are going to be shown on the Hidden Needs Trust website, and that was it.
I am very pleased with and proud of myself for doing this. All of this came about from a post I put on Twitter about my bespoke poetry writing service, and Rachel started a conversation with me about what might be possible. I know that all my friends and family tell me how good my poetry is, but to hear it from a ‘stranger’ is especially empowering.
So, it’s all good!!