I got the application for Season 4 off last week, completed/edited the video over the weekend, and dug around until I found a recent picture of me without my baseball cap and shooting glasses on. Now that everything is off the the casting producer, I have time to obsess and think about What I Should Have Said.
1st, the application:
There was a section on the application for me to rate my skills with different types of weapons, it was a 1-5 scale, with 1 being no experience and 5 being expert. For the most part, I chose 4s across the board. I'm better than your average bear with most weapons, but I don't consider myself an expert. Why? Because even if I was an expert, I'd never consider myself one. The shooting sports are constantly evolving, there's always a new gun, a new techniques, a new gizmo out there. As a shooter, I have to continue to elvolve as well just to keep up.
There was also a section to list our our shooting achievements/education. Mine was pretty boring, in fact, I may have left that section empty. Of course, after I sent off the application I realized that I could have put down that I'm an NRA Instructor and that I've qualified for the NRA's Distinguished Expert (pistol). The thing is, there are thousands of people with those same qualifications, and truth be told, I didn't find the testing for the Distinguished Expert anything to brag about. Everyone in the shop qualified in an afternoon at the range. The most difficult part of the testing was controlling my shivering - it was about 20* outside the day we tested.
2nd, the video:
Oh Lord, where to start with this one...In real life, I'm a teacher. I lecture for four hours at a time. I can talk. I'm also on a prescription that really dehydrates me, so I usually have a piece of gum in my mouth. Except on the day we shot my submission video, I ran out of gum. I look like I've got Tourrette's on video, what with the constant swallowing trying to generate some saliva and lip-licking to keep my lips from sticking together.
Beyond that, though, talking to a camera is a whole lot different from talking to a class that can interact. Before I started, I actually thought I was going to throw up. Once I got started it wasn't so bad - not sure much of my personality came through, but I managed.
Three to five minutes sounds like a long time. Should have been plenty of time to answer all of the questions, throw in a personal story or two, and add some shooting clips. Riiiiiiiggghhhtttt... I cut about four minutes of talking out and could only squeeze in about 10 seconds of shooting. Most of what I cut out were my personal stories, where my personality really came through. So, personality is now on the cutting room floor due to time constraints. Maybe once the application process is closed, I'll do a montage of "outtakes" to put up here, just for fun.
The thing is, if I had a chance to do my video over again, I don't think I would change a whole lot about it. Maybe make sure I have some gum and water handy. Maybe run through a practice or two of what I wanted to say, but the instructions were specific about not reading cue cards or giving a presentation. I had a mental outline of what I wanted to say, but that was it.
3rd, the photo:
I've gained weight in the last few years. A lot of it. I'm working out religiously, watching what I eat, and the pounds are coming off oh, so slowly. I haven't spent a lot of time in front of a camera since I gained weight. I had to provide a recent picture in which my face was not obscured by a hat or glasses. I live in a baseball cap and/or my shooting glasses. It was unbelievably difficult to find a picture without them. After much digging, I found one from March that I sent in today.
Believe it or not, I almost forgot to send in a picture. Maybe it was subliminal :)