What The 52 Pioneers Project Has Taught Me So Far.
Looking back, there is no way I could have foreseen what my 52 Pioneers project would do for ME.
We say that we do our work for others. We say that we want to help others.
But the projects, the sessions, the creations?
They're actually almost entirely for us.
52 Pioneers was partially for my beloved pioneers, and partially for you, the audience...but it was also for me.
As the project nears completion, I can't help but reflect on a few things I have learnt from my 2016 project which I did not know before:
- Very few people like seeing themselves on video.
- When you tell people that you want to record them talking about feelings and challenging times, they really don't like seeing themselves on video.
- The focus of the project shifted and evolved WAY MORE than I expected.
- People are SUPER supportive of my evolution (and nobody is sad that I expanded beyond 15 second clips...myself included).
- Almost every pioneer is shocked that the interview is complete as we wrap up. Yeah, that's how good I am at this. :) Easy peasy!
- The best interviews happen when I am totally present.
- When I'm totally present, I pick up on the nuances and slight changes in tone which signal me to delve deeper into a topic.
- Everybody has a topic that is off limits.
- Everybody wants to be seen...but on their own terms.
- It seems that women are much more comfortable talking about difficult times than men. Societal conditioning at its strongest?
- When men do open up, it is a great gift (to me, but also to them).
- Papa Perrot's video resonated the most strongly with people...and while I think I might know why, I'm not fully sure. After all, he's my papa. He was just being himself.
- It's important to ask my pioneers for help in sharing their videos...because while strangers can empathize or enjoy a video, it's TOTALLY family and friends who will love their videos the most.
- I way overthought this project. In fact, I overthought the concept so much that I went way too deep, way too fast.
- It is absolutely critical to ease people in to a story. Flow, baby, flow.
- Let go of technical perfection (or even decency) in favour of the story.
- Everybody is insecure. Everybody has something that makes them light up. Everybody is holding onto stories that they think define who they are.
- The purpose of 52 Pioneers wasn't about helping people to heal (which I had initially thought). It was simply about learning how to tell people's stories (and in turn, healing myself).
The 52 Pioneers project? It has been the greatest of creative and technical teachers.
With 42 pioneers recorded, and only 10 more to go, I would love to have you join the project. There are no requirements, other than that you let me into your life for one brief hour. We talk, we maybe cry (only if you want to), and we most certainly laugh.
You just never know what you might learn.
Shoot me a message. Let's capture a bit of who you really are.
The rest of the pioneers - myself included - look forward to welcoming you!
P.s. Here are our first 42 pioneers! Looking at these screen shots makes my heart SO HAPPY. What a year. Feel free to go back and look through their videos on my Facebook page. These people are some of the bravest I know.