What they Don't Tell you About Your Success
How do you respond when you walk up to purchase a book at Barnes & Noble and the person behind the counter recognizes you from your latest article in the newspaper. This was one of those articles that had pictures and there you were, doing what you do best, and letting the world know how good you were doing it.
However, that was when you knew you were being watched by the camera and you are in the process of an interview.
I have this very thing happened to me, which you probably would’ve guessed simply by the fact that I was so very specific in the question.
It isn’t what you expected to be.
It isn’t that all of a sudden you become humble and make all these wonderful witty remarks and smile because you know that all of your hard work is been rewarded by recognition.
It isn’t that at all.
In fact, it is actually quite startling.
I’m pretty sure I turned pale, looked up with big eyes and said something clever like “Um, oh, yeah, that was…yeah” then just smiled.
I had spoken on television interviews a couple of times, had several newspaper articles devoted to discussing my artwork, and I was used to talking to people at trade shows and other types of venues where I was discussing what I did for a living.
I had even given speeches at a couple of different organizations about what it was like to be a muralist. My favorite line was “I used to work in an accounting office and I hated it, so I opened my own business so that I could be a muralist and now I do accounting every day.” I usually got a little bit of a laugh, which was my intention, but the point is those were the places where I was doing my work.
Suddenly, I am purchasing a book and I look up and someone I don’t know, with whom I am not in the process of doing anything related to my work, knows who I am.
As I said, I was startled.
The moral of the story, then, is if you put yourself in a position where people learn who you are and what you do, then there is going to be a certain amount of local celebrity that follows.
Now, just because somebody knew I was in a Barnes & Noble did not necessarily mean that I was some sort of local celebrity.
What it did mean, however, was that people were paying attention.
This is good for business, but it can be very disassociating when you are going about your business as one of the many nondescript human beings that a population has within it at any one time.
Even minor celebrity is not what you think.
Another thing nobody ever talks about is what it’s like to give an interview on television.
This is also not something that is ever what you expect.
Just as the fourth book of Harry Potter was being released I was able to capitalize on the fact that I had just done a child’s room from ceiling to floor to resemble spaces, characters, and ideas are related to Rowling’s books. My client, who was my friend, called the local newspapers, the local television stations, and anyone who would listen about this room that I had painted for her son.
During the process I was able to give one television interview
The one slightly snarky comment that I made, although it was inadvertent and unplanned, is the one comment that made it onto the news story.
During the entire process I was unprepared for what it felt like to have a light and a camera focused on my face while I was talking. It was something that I had never thought about, nor is it something I’m particularly fond of doing.
Giving an interview creates a certain type of unique cognitive dissonance that I can’t even begin to explain.
What you do need to know is that if you decide to go into business where you might have to speak on a topic or two, you need to be prepared before you go into any kind of interview about the way in which you’re going to present yourself.
Now the comment that I made was not ugly or negative. It just basically made me look like an arrogant ass hole. On the news report. All I knew was that I had just done something that was really pretty wonderful and that I was happy that I was going to get share it with other people.
Unfortunately, what they know for me from that interview, is that I was re-creating the world of Harry Potter from my point of view, said with a tone and sense of arrogance that I have never before and never since been able to replicate.
Books on what you are doing for a living never tell you about that part of the problem.
You can tell this by the way in which public figures are constantly putting their foot in their mouth while there standing in front of a camera.
From that point on I never again judged anyone who said anything in an interview because you just never know what’s going to come out.
As much as you may try, there is always going to be an aspect of id that messes with your mind while you are in front of that camera, creating havoc with your ability to articulate and express yourself.
There’s a reason that television and film production requires multiple takes.
Because of that damn camera that changes everything about behavior and meaning.
And, unfortunately, the news doesn’t exactly let you go through the footage and say,”Ah! There I’m acting the way I want the world to see me.”
Nope, they pick the one time when you said a snarky comment.