Behind the scenes of a story

I can make stuff up quickly and for fun. That’s why I love performing improv. What’s the worst that can happen? People don’t laugh and then everyone goes home. No one other than the people in that little theater have to know.

My idea of scary is having to 1) memorize something and 2) have it on video. So while I was very excited to be a part of TEDxUCLA 2012, I had some other feelings about it, too.

Here’s what you don’t see in the video:

Shortly after arriving in LA, Cornelius, our car, broke down at Pico and Centinella (at rush hour on Friday) so I had to leave it at a garage. That night, while setting aside my TEDxOutfit for the next morning, I realized that my shoes were in the backseat of the car. I’d have to wear my gardening clogs. They didn’t really match.

Second, during the talk, I blanked out. Did I mention I don’t like to memorize things? We could have no notes. I got through my first paragraph then stopped. Time passed. I stared at the fibers on the TEDxCarpet I was supposed to stay on for the camera. I soon realized that enough time had passed that the audience was starting to worry for me.

I then made a joke… That helped me remember. This dramatic pause was cut in TEDxPostProduction.

However, I was frazzled, so I misspoke. I said, “international Switzerland” instead of “interdisciplinary Switzerland” which ruined my metaphor about the library being a neutral place.

Once my time was up I said thank you and promptly forgot the talk forever.

Now it’s a thing that lives on the internet for all time. It turned out fine. Sure, I’d redo a few things, but, you know, it was cool to get up there and talk about the collaborative and experimental work we’ve done in the last year.

Photo: TEDxUCLA Facebook


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