About two weeks ago, I was contacted by the Associated Press to be interviewed about the vegetable garden in my condo. Yeah, I know.
They found me via Kitchen Gardeners International. KGI has been getting a lot of publicity lately. It's really a terrific group, full of passionate and very knowledgeable people. I love it in there- though, truthfully, it can be a bit intimidating, too. I'm relatively new at this. A lot of them are gardening lifers, gardening professionals, and all-around well-read, plain-old brilliant folks. And I'm just smart enough to know I'm not that smart.
Ok, so the AP is doing a story on folks who vegetable garden in apartments. I'm one of only a handful of gardeners on the site who grows food in containers, so a reporter in DC contacted me through the site.
Can I just say it's been a totally nerve-wracking experience? Not due to the reporters and the photographer- good guys, all. I'm afraid it's all due to my own ridiculousness.
I suffer from pretty brutal stage-fright. My mind goes as blank as a sheet if I have to speak extemporaneously, even about a subject I know inside and out. It takes me some time to get over this with new people, and especially in a group setting. Everything I say comes out with long pauses, a whole lot of stammering, less than stellar word choices, and sentences that don't make much sense. It's torture for me, and probably not all that easy on the other party. It seems to be getting worse with age, too.
Well, that's pretty much what happened yesterday.
At first, I was just going to be part of the written story. But after an editor heard about the house rabbits and worms and how it all works together, he wanted to do an audio-visual slide show to accompany the written piece.
I think I did moderately ok with the written interview. It was over the phone; it was conversational and as comfortable as it could be. I still couldn't think of words, but the reporter was kind enough to help me fill in the blanks. But wow, I'm really despairing over the audio interview from yesterday.
Because they need clean, wide sections of just me speaking for the voice-over accompaniment, the reporter would ask me a question and I would just-- go. I never really knew when to stop, I decidedly could not think of words, sentences were completely mangled, I spluttered through nearly all of it. There was no start or finish, no beautiful arc. Everything I ever knew flew out of my head via my ear-holes. It was awful. I dreamed about it last night. Though I didn't sleep much.
I fear I'll come off as an idiot of sizable proportions. I just hope it can be made to sound better through the magic of digital editing. Gah. Please, please, Mr. Audio Editor, be kind.