Tuesday, February 15, 2011
A Chance to Dance
Nervous laughter filled the air as the ladies filing into the Randelman Road RUSH realized a hairy cameraman was sitting in on their Aquatic Zumba class. I however remained silent, hoping they'd soon forget I was even there. That didn't seem likely, as several were silently eye-gouging me from across the pool. Taking note as to who might meet me in the parking lot afterward, I centered in on the friendlier faces and tried my best to disappear. Soon however my presence was forgotten entirely as a strong Latino hook overtook the room and the ladies got down to the rhythm at hand. It. Was. Awesome. Why? Because I was able to flit about the place like a fly on the wall, zooming in on whatever I saw (un)fit while trying to suppress my white man's overbite. I don't know how successful I was, but forty five minutes later the music ended and I lay spent on a nearby pool drain. But I couldn't rest. No, I had to jump up and convince a few ladies to let me interview them - despite the fact I'd spent the better part of the last hour isolating their O-face.
Fast-forward a few weeks, in which I used ten minutes here and five minutes there to cobble together a report that quickly turned into my favorite Sweeps piece. How could it not be? Dizzying visuals, warm characters and not a body-bag in sight. When I told the ladies to act like ever other woman and ignore me, they wisely obliged, losing their calories and inhibitions to a lusty Latin beat. All I had to do was point and shoot. Later on, I culled a few soundbites from the interviews I conducted and draped a few words around them. From there, I handed my script to senior reporter Bob Buckley for proper enunciation and any credit reception. The rest was gravy, as I noodled in the edit bay between drive-by's and live shots. All in all, it was MY idea of the perfect assignment. Will it spark outrage among the shut-ins? Slow global warming? Win me some tacky trophy to show off to my friends? Nyet. But neither should it, for stories like this are reward enough. Best of all, no one jumped me on the way to the car!