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Greetings from Nashville

Yo, from Nashville. Indeed, Strangewaze is representing in Nashville this week! At the PCMA convention (the convention for convention and tourism pros– kinda meta-meta but it’s really quite cool), I presented a DIY video strategy workshop at the start of the conference at the gorgeous and LEED Gold-certified Music City Center, and have since been holding it down and filming interviews in the Video Capture Lounge.


An interesting epiphany happened: after my presentation, a man appraoched with a sour look and scolded me a bit with something like, “I’ve Googled you. You could have done a 301 of this class at least; why bother with a 101?” I explained how I was specifically asked by organizers to give a beginner-accessible presentation, but that generally my philosophy is in the “rising tide raises all ships” vein, in that I’ve always wanted people to walk away from my presentations feeling like they can do something, and that the material was accessible, and never that is felt over their heads, or that it made them feel ashamed or flustered. I want to meet people where they are.

He scoffed, then explained that my philosophy is “wrong,” and that the “actual way” to approach speaking is to not care whether anyone learns from you, but to dazzle the audience with how much you know so they will hire you.

I see what he’s aiming at, and while that might work for him, I couldn’t disagree more. One of my superpowers is explaining complicated things in a way that is accessible to people. I don’t stand for exclusionary and jargon-y language; I want to connect and share with accessible language. I don’t want to “dazzle” people with my knowledge; I want to share knowledge and skills and learn from each other.

Po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe. While that was a weird and mansplainey interaction, I can’t say I’ve previously been challenged to analyze and define my presentation motivation or philosophy, per se, so there’s that.

I rolled in to town with exactly the amount of equipment I can physically haul and carry and not a USB cable more. Walking away from baggage claim with a bigass Pelican case all stamped with your production company is kiiiinda in my top favorite things, right up there with walking through a casino in a good suit. It says, “Now there is a woman doing. the. work. she. wants. and if you’re in step with her, you’re adding something to the party. You’re a motor or a sail, not an anchor.”

I had a production teammate meeting me there, so I wasn’t even trying to solo-shoot, but admittedly, I vowed to always bring a partner-in-crime along from here on out. Not only is a shoot just more fun with someone you’re used to working with in a way that has you already in-sync with someone, but there’s kind of a weird feeling that falls over you when you’re carrying at what is literally the limit of your ability to lift and carry. It’s the opposite of feeling limitless, and the opposite of feeling supported. Truth.


For the videos in the video capture lounge, I’m asking vendor partners and leaders of convention and visitors bureaus from around the world simple questions about their work, how their work is impactful, and what diversity and inclusion initiatives they have in their organizations. Psyched, of course, to be meeting such interesting people doing such interesting work, and very, very psyched to be shooting with people from around the world, and in front of a giant wall of windows with gorgeous natural light. (Still, I wish I had one of my other fill lights with me. See previous comment about the schlep, though. That was not going to happen.)