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Friday, April 23, 2010

wax on, wax off

I may not know karate, but I do know crazy.

There are so many times in my life when I feel like I'm going to have so much fun being a kung-fu fighting journalist (hi-YAH!).  I love writing about others, and serving the public in that way.  Peeking into someone's life, being the vessel that allows their story to be heard.

It's such an honor, and I get a kick out of thinking that I'll be able to do this for the rest of my life.  It's poetic, really.


Those of you who know me well know that somehow, through my last twenty-one years, I have become nothing less of a humongous magnet for incredibly uncomfortable situations.  Here's your challenge for the day:  try to out-embarrassing story me.

Oh, by the way, you can't.  Unless your story involves pooping your pants on a roller coaster.  Then we're even.  

So anyway, there I was.  Enjoying my life, looking forward to graduation (15 days!) and working for a news station, or writing for a news website until my brilliant partner and I decide to do a video feature story, on a local Karate instructor.  For the purposes of his protection, he will henceforth be referred to as "karate man," or "KM" for short.

Do not get me wrong, awfully nice guy.  Great to talk to, truly believes in his work.  Doing a lot of great things for the community.  Had a lot of opinions on how the story should be done.  And of course a karate instructor, one who is a ninth degree black belt and spends his life teaching his little karate kids how to be confident and strong leaders is going to have some strong opinions. Several obstacles arose with this.

First of all, our professor had just told my partner and I that we need to be more firm with our interviewers.  He instructed us, saying that sometimes you need to be a little rude in order to get exactly what you need from people. He the proceeded to look at my partner and I and say, "I know that will be really difficult for you two."  The whole class erupted with laughter.  Hahaha...

What?  Like I can't be firm?  Like I can't get in there and take care of business?  Like I'm too sweet (other people's words, not mine) to be able to get things done?  Hah!  I'll show you, I thought in my most vindictive inner-monologue, You'll all see!  I can be firm, I can tell people like it is...

No, I can't.

There are three obstacles that occur when combining the world's most confident KM and the world's sweetest journalism students.

Obstacle one: What is the story about?
  This conversation lasted a good twenty minutes as we tried to explain a story that we had not explored yet.

"Okay," said KM as he pulled us into his office.  "I want to know what this story is about."
"Well, we were kind of hoping to do the story on you," I said.
"Right, but what's your angle?" said KM.
"Well, we were kind of hoping to do the story on...you?"
"Okay, okay.  But, what's the angle going to be?"

Obstacle two: Video editing.
This happened several different times.  Our reply was consistent.

"Here's an idea, this might be good.  Oh, yeah, this will be good," said KM.  "You get me hitting this gong.  Then, quick, zoom out!  Then fade to black, then fade into people doing tricks..."
"Thank you, those are very helpful suggestions, we will definitely take them into consideration,"

Obstacle three:  Give me my energy back!/Don't beat up my partner!

 "Now, I'm going to take out half of your energy, then put it back in," said KM.  He placed his hand about two inches away from her face and made a slicing motion from the top of her head all the way to the floor.  "Now, make a fist with your hand and hold it out to your side," said KM.  My partner, though she looked a little scared, willingly obliged. "Resist!"  he cried, as he pushed her fisted hand down to her side.  She couldn't.

He showed different pressure points on the hand and somehow, through pushing a series of these "buttons" sent a shock wave up her arm.  I just stood there and blinked at the two of them.  Praying that he would not try to beat me up.  Because he was the KM, and he could take me out in a snap. 

Don't worry, he pushed his hands on her lower stomach area to "give her energy back."  Because your energy is stored in your genitals, according to the KM.  That's where life begins.

After two days of shooting, and over two hours of footage (including a choreographed nun-chuck routine to "the Devil Went Down to Georgia" complete with a nun-chucker playing the "devil" wearing little plastic horns) my lesson of the need to be a firm journalist was learned.

Wax on, wax off, right?


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