Task #98

Something Out of Character

Most people would describe me as analytical, focused, a rule-follower that is very goal oriented. My achievement orientation often causes a lot of mistakes or humorous experiences. For instance, I often miss details. I once wore a pair of shoes for two months with the new shoe tissue in the toes until a friend who borrowed them pulled them out and laughed “what is WRONG with you?” I am a do-er a mover, a shaker, I’ve got places to go, I can’t slow down for tissues! So you get the point. I am far from creative.

But in doing this list, I am forced to try things perhaps I wouldn’t do on my own. I use the list as an excuse to experience new things and try out different versions of myself.

Embarking on task #98 has brought a lot of laughs out of my circle of loved ones…”you’re doing what?”

“I am making an audition tape to be on a reality TV show.”

“But you don’t watch reality TV…do you?”

“Only ones with food…:

And thus, I began to prepare an audition tape for the Next Food Network Star. I basically spent all weekend thinking of my unique perspective, of designing a fun recipe, of organizing a spontaneous script. I wasn’t going to write anything down. I was just going to practice the words and phrases and follow my gut…and that’s what I did this weekend…I creatively shaped and plucked and paid attention to details. The words. The ingredients. The instruction, the inflexion. It was a masterful exercise in creativity, not taking myself too seriously, but trusting myself as well.

My friend Yvonne came on over and filmed it for me, and then kindly stuck around to make sure my fabulous Break-up brownies were mildly edible (they were! I ate almost half the pan that afternoon!). It was embarrassing at first to be speaking this to an audience, but I quickly became comfortable…I was having fun!

Watching yourself brings about a whole new self-consciousness that defies even middle school angst. Have you ever made a tape of yourself? There is a degree of foreignness there: that’s my voice? My demeanor? Could that really be me? Yep it is…that’s me.

Watching the video releases a small cringe in me. I hope to be creative and enjoy myself, but the task reveals an undertow that says “I have something to say. I want to be heard.” It’s an audition after all: I am attempting to convince the judge of my value as a contestant.

This is one task that is not about the end result. It is HIGHLY unlikely that I will be taken seriously, but that was not the point. The purpose was to engage in something I’ve never done before that others would say “wasn’t typical” of me….but perhaps, as I check off task after task, I become a person that defies typicality in whatever I endeavor.

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