Last night (March 23, 2014) was my National Television Debut as I mentioned in my last blog post. I was lucky enough to appear on CBC’s Four Rooms. I was there attempting to sell my painting of Gollum by the actor Andy Serkis, who played Gollum in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies.
If you watched the broadcast of the show (Season 1, Episode 6), you will know now that I didn’t sell the painting. And if you watched the broadcast, you only saw a minute of filming which in total was probably an hours worth of material. Even the sellers with more air time were cut way down.
So now I finally get to tell what really happened, and yes, there is some relevance as to why I’m posting this on my Coaching blog.
My first thought after seeing other episodes air and knowing that my segment was cut to one minute, was that I should have been more outrageous, made crazy demands or something, to get more air time, more exposure. But that would have defeated my purspose in being there, which wasn’t entirely to sell the painting. More on that in a bit. But I’m also a firm believer that as a writer and a coach, how I carry myself in every situation represents who I am. If I had been outragious or rude or made crazy demands, that would not have been a representation of me, who I am as a person, as a writer, and as a coach. And I want to be very clear here, I was never asked to be outragious. Well, they did want me to wear a costume, but I convinced them otherwise, and the producers agreed with me.
But I do wish I had been given more air time because there is a great story behind that painting. Two stories. So here they are now.
Story 1: From August 2005 to August 2006, I had the most amazing opportunity. I spent a year in Belfast, Northern Ireland volunteering at WAVE Trauma Centre. Due to the expansion of the European Union and the paramilitary ceasefires in Northern Ireland, government funding was being cut to WAVE. They were on the verge of closing within a year or two and their incredible services for survivors of the trauma from the conflict in Northern Ireland, both Catholic and Protestant, would end. We were contacted by a local businessman, John Andrews, and his friends, who wanted to help us fundraise. What started out as a black tie banquet fundraiser, turned into a Gala Ball, Art Exhibit and Art Auction. The art was supplied by members of WAVE, local artists, famous artists like Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst. Then patron of WAVE James Nesbitt and his agents became involved. They asked many of their clients to paint a canvas for us to auction. We had canvases from Joan Rivers, Jude Law, and John Hurt, among others, including the one above from Andy Serkis. My part in all of this was to organize the paintings, enter them into the catalogue, basically do a lot of the administrative end of it. I also got to help out at the art auction. But of course I had to have the painting by Andy Serkis. What Lord of the Rings fan wouldn’t? The art auction alone raised more money than any fundraiser had in Northern Ireland. The Gala Ball equalled funds raised. And I am ever so proud to hae been a part of an event that has kept WAVE open. I will never forget my time at WAVE. I loved everyone I worked with and all those who participated in our services. They were absolutely amazing people and they made much more of an impact on my life than I ever could have on theirs. One further note on WAVE before I move on to story 2. One of the groups they work with are the Families of the Disappeared. American media has tended towards the glamourization of the Irish Repoublican Army for their freedom fighting. But visit the website for the Families of the Disappeared. Any group who does this to their own people, never mind what they did to Protestants, are not to be glamourized. And fear not, I am not taking sides here. The Loyalist paramilitaries are just as bad.
Story 2: As I mentioned last week, I refer to my Inner Saboteur as Gollum and this painting has become my representation of my Inner Saboteur being captured and silenced, he has no control over me. If I’d had the rights to it, I would have used this as the cover to my book Silencing Your Inner Saboteur. As a writer, my productivity had increased since I’ve had the painting up and have used it to symbolize the silencing of my inner saboteur. Filming of Four Rooms took place in August 2014. I’ve had the painting down since then, and my productivity has tripled since then. The question is, do I put it back up? I’m planning on hanging it back up this week. It will be an interesting psychological experiment which I may touch on in future workshops.
And now back to a few more thoughts on the show. My producer Jackie was fantastic. She made me feel like a star. She’d hand me water while I waited to go on set and when it was time to film, she’d take it from me. Getting my hair and makeup done was awesome. Reshmi Nair was fantastic. We had a great conversation before I met the buyers, about the painting, and the stories behind it. While the buyers were harsh at first, when I met with them one on one, they were great. We had good conversations, even laughed a little. I knew going in that they were the wrong people to try and sell the painting to, but it was an adventure, a once in a lifetime opportunity that I had to take.
I am so happy I did it. I had a blast. I’m always up for an adventure and this was a great one to have. And now there is another story to add to the painting: As seen on CBC’s Four Rooms!