Friday, December 16, 2011

On courage, fear and opportunity

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear."
Ambrose Redmoon
It's been a week of days that start long before sunrise and end long after the kids are tucked into bed, of late-night writing jags and late-afternoon sprints across town before I jet off to something else barely 10 minutes after I get home. I've logged more than a few sessions in front of a camera, and the early morning treks into the studio have given me ample opportunity to wonder about the wonder of it all.

As I looked at the red light in the leadup to my most recent interview and listened to the producer in my ear count down the time until we were live, I thought about my first-ever television hit just a few years ago. I remember the sick feeling I had in the pit of my stomach, the furtive wish that I didn't melt down on-air, the hope that I'd remember to say all the right things.

In the end, I needn't have worried. I set the nausea aside and focused on just getting it done, and getting it done well. Which I did - or at least I think I did - and as I drove home afterward, I had to resist the urge to high-five total strangers at every red light. Amazingly, the phone kept ringing, and my media adventure continues to this day. I'm no longer afraid as the clock ticks down to air, but I can still understand why some folks might find it more than a little scary. You're always a flipped switch or lost thought away from losing it.

Which got me thinking about fear as I cruised the dark, wet streets this morning and turned into the parking lot, the studio's exterior lights blazing. I guess a while back I decided I wanted to ride the media wave so much that swallowing those pre-air jitters was an easy, or at least worthwhile, thing to do.

And let's face it, it's a thrill to start the day talking about things I love with really smart people who also love what they do. I'm sure there's a little bit of fear still lingering deep down. But it pales in comparison to the soul-stirring joy I feel when everything's clicking along and you know you've just laid down some seriously cool TV.

Not a day goes by that I don't realize how lucky I am.

Your turn: Why are you lucky?

One more thing: I'm back on-air first thing Friday morning - 7:40 a.m. Eastern - with CTV's Canada AM, talking about Facebook's new Timeline feature. But first I've got to drive through the darkened, wet streets of my pre-dawn 'burg. I seriously can't wait.


Janice said...

I love that you embrace the things you are passionate about and ride the wave. You are doing some pretty cool stuff Carmi!

(Nothing beats the urge to high five strangers at a red light!!)

lissa said...

*smiles in light of our conversation tonight*

I have a newfound "stardom" of my own. With the research I have done in the past 2 years now serving me well as - sadly - our world has become one in which cyberbullying and bullycide are household words, I began getting vocal about it, by calling into local radio shows. I was asked, a little over a year ago, to come into the studio and be interviewed on the topic. I was given the whole hour (in a 2-hour stretch where no guest saw more than 1/2 hour, this was head-reeling).

You, Carmi, had given me some advice the day before I went on the air. You said, "you're the expert in your topic. Just think of it as a chat around the kitchen table, and you'll be fine. Have fun!"

All three points were well met that interview, to the point where - when the hour was up - I was seriously disappointed that I had to relinquish my chair!

Last week, I got a call from the station asking if I would be available for another interview, this time in the evening. As my son was in his end-of-semester concert at the time I was needed, we pre-taped over the phone. That, in and of itself, was a new experience. And I got tremendous feedback from those in my world who had listened. Your advice had been in the forefront of my mind, again.

And today, after a 3rd call back, I did my 3rd interview, in the studio. I have also been promised that they will be calling me again in the New Year, and while the topic is a serious one, it fills me with excitement.

At my age, to have discovered yet another niche into which I have carved my name, to be discovered and valued for my knowledge to the point where I can share that knowledge publicly, and - as today when my son was able to come to the studio with me - to be able to have my kids see me in this new professional light...

So much that came from one decision, 5 years ago, to return to school for my Masters degree. And it makes me feel incredibly lucky.

And I'm lucky to have someone in my life who could give me the advice that has carried me through the excitement and nerves of being the center of attention when the big mic is in front of me!

Michael Manning said...

You have a thoroughly cool career, Carmi! And I would like to hear one of your shows. If we were neighbors, I'd hire you to bring me up to speed on basic stuff, like operating my camera, LinkedIn and so forth. It would be easy money! Congratulations and keep doing what you enjoy!

Pat Tillett said...

It's nice to be doing something that you love! Not many folks ever get than chance! ENJOY!!!