Ever stroll into a stranger's workplace and feel every eye upon you? Happens to me all the time. This morning, for example, I pulled open the door of a small chip-dip factory and brought a raucous conversation to a sudden. uncomfortable. halt. I don't what the ladies of Sarah's Salsa were expecting when the boss told them a news crew was stopping by, but as I waded into the estrogen-laden fray, I got the distinct feeling I wasn't it. That's cool, interview subjects often look past me when I arrive, searching for that locally famous face to help them feel better about the idea of being on television. When their hunt comes up empty, they look back at me and wonder if the Gods of Broadcast have somehow cheated them. There are times I'm adept at relieving their unease, but this morning, I really wasn't feeling it. So I struck up a light, slid my wireless microphone across the table and urged everyone to find their happy place.
"We'll get through this ladies. Just act like own my wife and ignore me."
That brought only a chuckle or two, which is a lot more than that tired old line deserved. Within minutes, the women almost relaxed - pretending for the moment a photog wasn't in their midst as they turned their attention back to the not so solemn task of concocting salsa. I wandered around with my tripod in tow, avoiding eye contact and trying not to knock over any huddle tubs of condiment. When the happy chatter resumed, I followed my eye across the room. Those of us who edit what we shoot love repetitive action, as it makes for easy sequencing. Throw in some sharp, natural sound along with a script I pounded out in fifteen minutes and you have a piece of TV that pleases in a way City Council stalemates never do. Sure, no one's ever going to drop my little business profile into a cornerstone time capsule, but as I drove home shortly after it aired this evening, I couldn't help but notice it smelled like victory...
With just a hint of jalapeno.