Episode One – Amish: Out Of Order
Episode One recap:
Hello everyone. Thank you for watching the show Amish: out of Order. So, with the new show airing for a period of ten episodes, I wanted to try and blog once a week. I will try and discuss the episode we just watched, and also touch upon the upcoming episode.
I admit that I was really nervous as to how episode one would be received. And who says a man can't multi-task? There I was, holed up in my basement, Live Tweeting, answering Facebook Messages, Emails, and text messages. But when strangers started finding my cell number (online somewhere, but since removed) even I, the multi-tasker, reached my limits.
The emotions I went through while watching my personal life story come across the TV screen for the world to see, left me mentally and physically drained, mostly from all the adrenaline, but also, from so much uncertainty. What if they hate me? What if the show is a real flop? Bottom line, I still had a full time job and had to be a to be at work by 0800 the following morning, facing a fourteen hour day of work, so I sucked it up and pushed through my emotions. Sometime that first day, between feeling completely overwhelmed by how fast everything was moving along and begging the hands on the wall clock to spin faster, I began to question how I reached this point. Then, it hit me. I did this. I made this life, and I can blame nobody but myself. I did it because I am a busybody who loves to have as much going and be as active as possible. Only rarely does life come at me too fast. And I have no doubt that in a few episodes I will adjust to this new stress just fine. So, I smiled, took a deep breath, and calmed.
From the film crew, the editors back in New York, the Producers, and finally, the beginnings of a cast, it took a while for all of us to begin to feel comfortable around each other. For that reason, I figured the opening episode would not be quite as well received. Also, I am my own biggest critic. It is really difficult to watch oneself on TV. I think I am a slow, boring speaker, and in hindsight wish I had sat a little straighter, wore a different shirt, or narrated things a little differently.
The scene where Chris Y and his brother Reuben went to pick up Michael in the middle of the night… I took it for granted that viewers are familiar with this type of scene, but 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 an Amish kid leaving.
Esther M from Yoder, Kansas…
I lived in Esther’s community back in 2001 and 2002, where I taught school. In fact, a few of Esther’s siblings were my students, and Yoder is where I met Esther and the rest of her family. By then, Esther had already graduated from the 8th grade, but Esther and several of her sisters were periodically my assistant teachers during my time there. Needless to say, I was thrilled to have someone from my past Amish life come on board to participate in the show.
Amos and I bonded as soon as he left the Amish. Amos moved in with my wife and I, lived with us for several years, and worked for me in construction. In episode one, Amos introduced us to the Ex-Amish he has helped to leave the community, thereby continuing ‘the chain of love’ as him and I call it.
I was sad to see a great friend of mine, Abe S return to the Amish. But knowing that Abe really missed his family made things easier. I have sometimes stopped in to visit Abe, and he seems happier among the Amish, and his family.
To me, by far the biggest story in the opening episode, was Chris L, and cage fighting. A little backstory on our friendship. Chris and I have always been good friends, but he avoids the cameras like the plague, so hasn’t been on any previous TV shows. But, when I approached Chris about us documenting his journey in the cage, he agreed. This story became my ‘baby’, in episode one. And what a proud moment to see the win come home!
My role in episode one was simply to narrate scenes. I got little screen time, and that was just fine with me. However, fair warning. You will see plenty of me in future episodes.
Episode Two preview:
Obviously I mustn’t give too much away, but we will be introduced to an English girl named Michaela. Michaela contacted me because she was tired of life in high school in St. Louis, Missouri. In episode two we will follow Michaela as she pursues that dream, of becoming Amish.
If you haven’t met Cephas, just wait. Cephas is a bright young man with a brilliant future. You will meet him in two.
Side Note: It looks like I will be in the air, on my way to be on Anderson Cooper’s show when Episode Two airs, so I will be unavailable to LIVE tweet.
Side Note Two: When my connection at NatGeo contacted me about being on the Anderson Cooper show, and asked me if I knew who that was, in true construction-worker fashion, I asked, “Isn't that a brand of window?”
Until next week: “Auf Wieder Sehen!” (See ya later)
5 thoughts on “Episode One – Amish: Out Of Order”
I think your show is excellent! What you are doing with those young folks is great. I try to watch your show faithfully. We visit the Amish community in Clark, MO every week to shop at their stores. I am amazed at the insight we get about the Amish way of life just by driving through the country where they live. I would love to someday meet you and talk to you about the unselfish work you do for the young Amish. Keep up the good work! Mike & Tammy Katz
I am really enjoying the show. I watched you on Amish in the City. I grew up in an area in Michigan with Amish and grew up around some kids that were Amish that interacted with us so I have always been interested in the Amish. The amount of courage it takes to leave the Amish way of life for another is incredible. I enjoy hearing your story and the stories of the others who have left and those who have left and even returned. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us and I look forward to reading your book. Ty
Like the others, I am am enjoying your show and I look forward to it each week. I grew up having contact with Amish in La Grange, Indiana, Millersburg, Ohio and Morgantown Pennsylvania. I have been fascinated by the different Amish sects and have always been amazed that if a group is unhappy enough they break off and start a new sect with different rules within the Amish faith. I do believe they are often faithful Christians, but some of them go to extremes which is dangerous in that the children may wish to leave.
In Sugar Creek Ohio and thereabouts, I am surprised at how isolated the Amish communities are. The young children do not often know English until they grow older.
Thank you for giving us a a balanced view of the Amish way of life.
I am sure you also knew some happy Amish families. I would like to know if you know of those sects and where they live. Thanks, Jennifer
I love your show. You have done a wonderful job with this topic, interesting and fair. I look forward to more of your work. My parents are still friends with the Amish families in Clark, MO and travel to Columbia usually once a month to visit my brother and sister. I am sure they would love to meet you.
I’m really enjoying the show!
I actually descend from the Amish on my dad’s side of the family. I’m not too sure of the details because my grandfather wasn’t much of a talker. He was Amish until somewhere around the age of 16-18 in Dover, Delaware, must have been in the early 1950’s . I know he got in a lot of trouble for having a radio in his buggy and for smoking and drinking…
I’m guessing he decided to leave the religion (not shunned or anything)and he then went on to become a welder and he drove a truck and married a Mennonite woman who was my grandmother. I don’t believe he was shunned due to the fact that he would frequently drop my dad off to be taken care of by their Amish grandparents when my dad and his sister were younger. I actually remember going to visit my great-grandfather while he was being taken care of by Amish cousins of ours when I was around 13. After he passed away we were given all of his things. I have tons of letters and correspondence, dishes, a scrapbook, old German bibles, and etc that belonged to them. I learned a lot by all the papers I have. I know that my great-grandmother only had one child/son who lived past his toddler years (my grandpa) and that they took in foster children through the state. My Grandpa lived with us for a few years when I was a teenager and died a few years ago. He attended a Mennonite church for the last 15 years of his life. I really love watching your show. It gives me a little insight to the views my Amish extended family might have about me, to how my grandfather may have left the Amish – although his separation seemed more amicable – still haven’t worked it all out. There are allegations of abuse towards children about my great grandfather against other non-Amish family members – so knowing that and the fact that I get the feeling , especially back then, that abuse is not acknowledged in the Amish culture – it leads me to understand my grandpa a little more. Interesting how the way that you were raised can have such a profound effect on who you become, I think.