Watch Me On My Video Blog?

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If you’re wondering, yes, the title of this entry is a Beyonce reference. I actually went out and bought Popeye’s for the first time this year in honor of the original premiere day of she and GaGa’s video for “Video Phone.”

Needless to say, I was disappointed yet very well nourished once I found out the video wasn’t premiering. So I won’t be right until I see the video for myself.

In any event, for about two years I’ve been asked the question, “When are you going to start doing video blogs?”

My usual response is, “Uhh…never?” Or, “You know, I’m not sure. Soon?”

Translation: Polite way of saying never.

In hindsight, I wish I had done so before everyone else started doing it.

Then again, I stopped wanting to be in front of the camera a while ago. I was a broadcast journalism major in college.

My cousin was a CNN anchor, so as I kid when I saw my long last name at the bottom of the screen I got geeked. When my mom told me she was kinfolk to my dad, I slowly developed a dream to be on air. Then years later I found out about Katie Couric’s $80 million dollar deal with NBC and decided I was going to be the black male answer to her.

No, not Bryant Gumble. Not Trevor Collins. Katie Couric…but with color and a penis.

And as fate would have it the second I stepped on the campus of Howard I realized that I didn’t want to do that shit.

You have to smile on command. You can’t have an opinion. Well, at the time you couldn’t, but you know what I mean.

I’m not Mr. “Hi, this is Michael ….” as I burst into a big cheerful grin.

I knew that the job wasn’t for me but I never changed my major…mainly because it might have prolonged my stay in college. Trust me, I was there long enough. Most people assumed I was a print major who just looked like a broadcast guy anyway.

And then senior year came and I had to fulfill a requirement — which meant I had shoot, edit, and report on my own news packages.

I hated it.

I had to dress up. Go out and talk to people. I’m the type who will likely talk to strangers, but the idea of doing so to report? Ick.

And when it came time to review my packages, my brilliant professor would let me know that I wrote great copy but spoke way too fast.

Only the classmates born in New Orleans could understand me.

Everyone else thought I was Speedy Gonzalez.

Those responses took me back to the days of me interning at a radio station where I developed a self consciousness about the sound of my voice. One jock told me I needed to become the male version of Wendy Williams. I quickly told her as a man that would mean I would get shot by a rapper, but I knew what she meant. Another girl at Howard used to call me “Star (as in Star and Buck Wild).” I don’t think she meant asshole, but who knows.

They thought I should do radio. I thought they were being too nice.

I don’t really care for my voice (hate is the word) so when I was told on top of that I talk too damn fast I was like, “To hell with this. I want to write anyway.”

However, in the last month two of the media outlets I write for have mentioned me appearing on camera. One has asked that I video blog and comment on the topics I write about, another to ask me to actually act.

And then more memories surfaced.

Uh, I used to act. As previously noted that I starred as the wolf in Windsor Village Elementary’s breakout play, Lil’ Red Goes To The Hood. My mama’s job threw shade by not letting her off work, but the audience at the venue (cafeteria) gave me a standing ovation. Or they were trying to hurry and catch the woman who ran the Cool Cup house for a Cool Cup and Frito-Pie before she shut it down for the day.

During my fat years, I played somebody I can’t remember in a play I can’t recall either in middle school. But I do remember people laughing at me and I in turn laughing to play it off. I might have waved my middle finger in the air, too. Again, my memory is sketchy.

I actually tried out for a performing arts school in Houston (yeah, the one Beyonce went to) but I totally blew the audition. Again: I had become way too self conscious.

So yeah, all of this has led to a rarely vocalized fear of the camera, which ironically I grew up yearning to be in front of.

Last night I took the first step in correcting the problem. I shot a very short video of myself looking into the camera.

Ya’ll be gentle with me…it’s my first time:

My First Time from Michael Arceneaux on Vimeo.

For the record, I wasn’t in my draws. Basketball shorts, but I wasn’t matching…if that’s anything.

And watching this reminds me of another reason I have always been reluctant to video blog: You can really tell how I roll once you hear me speak.

As I’m often reminded you can’t if I just stand silent.

Eh, but one can’t be acting all shy if they’re trying to get ahead, huh?

Baby steps.

Gon’ wear me out. I do it on a daily here.

P.S. Despite the melodrama of this entry, I don’t sleep with a nightlight, nor am I afraid of the monster living under the bed. And I don’t really need to sell Kim Zolciak myself for rent. It just sounds so easy, though.

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