So in this blog I wanted to review a little bit of 101, and then talk about the upcoming 102 episode. In 101 there were no real surprises. I was quite nervous as to how it would be received. And who says a man can’t multi-task? Here I was holed up in my basement, Live Tweeting, answering facebook Messages, Emails, and text Messages. However, when I had a few people actually trying to call, even I reached my maximum of Multi-tasking abilities.
I wanted to comment on the fact that the next morning I was so drained mentally and physically from all the excitement and anticipation that it was a little harder then usual to be at work by 8:00 and put in a full 14 hr day, but as usual, I survived. Sometime that day, somewhere between feeling overwhelmingly like the world and everything was coming at me too thick and too fast, and watching the clock on the wall begging for it to spin faster so I can go home and relax, I found myself questioning how I ever got to this point. How did I allow myself to get to where I have so much going that I am questioning whether I can handle it all at once? Then it hit me. I did this. I brought this upon myself. I am a busy body who loves to have as much going and be as active as possible. It is only on rare moments where it comes at me faster then I can handle. With that thought in mind, I smiled, calmed down, and kept doing what I do.
101: I have to admit, I anticipate that this episode will be the least watched of any of the other 9. I say this because all of us from film crew, office staff, editors, producers, and beginning stages of the cast, were just getting to know each other. It took several episodes to really begin to click. For that reason, I figured the opening episode may not be quite as well received. Also coupled with the fact that as a person who spent probably as much or more time on this as anyone, behind and in front of the camera, I am my own biggest critic. For me, it is always hard to watch myself on TV. I find myself embarrassing to watch, a slow, boring speaker, and in hind sight often wish I had sat a little differently, wore a different shirt, or worded something a little differently. It is also, I might add, slightly difficult to accept, sometimes, when I realize how much time was spent on one particular scene, and how few seconds of it made it to the screen.
From my perspective, the stuff in episode 101, was just the usual things I was used to when I was growing up. In other words, the scene when Chris and his brother Reuben Y. went to pick up Michael in the middle of the night, is something I’ve seen all my life. I take it for granted everyone knows this is how a new kid leaves. Apparently not. I have to keep reminding myself that the things that I would consider good TV, often don’t reflect viewers opinions, because they didn’t grow up with these things. Indeed, many people have never heard of these things.
For Esther M. from Kansas, I lived in Kansas back in 2001 and 2002, and taught an Amish school out there in Yoder, Kansas. This is where I met her and her family. She had already graduated from the 8th grade, but I taught her siblings in school, and Esther and several of her sisters were my assistant teachers periodically during my time there. Great family, and I was thrilled to have someone from my past Amish life come on board to tell her story!
Amos M. and I have always been close, and he was happy to introduce his updated life and the friends he has helped leave the Amish and how, as him and I have called it, “the chain of love” has kept going, from when I helped him when he left to now he is extending the same help to others.
I was sad to see a great friend of mine, Abe S. go back to the Amish, but also knew he really missed his Amish family and past life. I truly believe he is happier back among the Amish, and I do still occasionally stop by to visit him.
To me, by far the biggest story in the opening episode, was the story of Chris L and the cage fighting. A little scoop on Chris L. Him and I have always been close friends, but he has always avoided the camera because like so many others, he has been a little camera shy. When I approached him regarding following his first cage fight, I was thrilled when he willingly participated! Since most ex Amish are fiercely competitive, myself included, this story was my “baby”. also the reason there was so much on the line here, was the fact that if he loses his fight, we probably won’t use that story or any of the footage we had shot of his training etc. I’ve never been prouder of anyone then I was of him when he came out of that cage the victor!
As far as myself, always the humble one, my role in the first episode was simply to be the introductor/ narrator. I got little screen time, and that was just fine with me. However, I promise in the future episodes, you will get enough and sometimes too much of me!
What to expect in episode 102.
Without giving too much away, in 102 we will introduce Michaela, an English girl who contacted me because she is tired of her life as a city girl in a big high school in St Louis, Mo. We will watch her evolve as she wishes to become Amish, and attempts several activities among some Amish families.
And we will introduce my good friend and one of my biggest inspirations among the ex Amish. Cephas Y, where he works, and some of his future goals.
Side Note: It is my goal to post a blog on this web site between each episode once a week. It is also my goal to do LIVE tweeting during each episode over the next 9 episodes. There may be exceptions, like this week when there is a pretty good chance I will be filming with a guy I don’t know by the name of Anderson Cooper for an Interview on CNN. This may be filmed over the airing of 102, but I don’t have the complete times yet. If it is possible, I may just make Anderson Cooper hold while I pull out my cell phone do my Tweeting. Does that not sound like a good idea? LOL. BTW, when my connection from NatGeo contacted me about this interview earlier this week and asked if I knew who Anderson Cooper was, in true Construction worker fashion, I said, “isn’t that a brand of window”?
Until next week: Auf Wieder Sehen!