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A few weeks ago I found out that I won First Place in the Alliance For Community Media North East Video Festival for episode 005 of our show. The timing was significant because just the day before I visited the CT School of Broadcasting to see if that was the direction I wanted to go in to get more training in news and magazine writing.

I loved visiting their studios, but I was looking for more content driven coursework with time to practice on camera reading techniques. I wasn’t sure that  I wanted to learn video production again, as I already know how to use a lot of it and although its helpful, I just don’t want to focus on being a videographer. I was originally excited that this was the place I needed to go to, but then I wasn’t sure enough.14856198_1236610253069021_7838277234724167577_o
After the visit I began to wonder if I should continue with video format at all, as it has some challenges for me.

I have a hard time switching my brain from story and content to video and technical – combine that with the fact I don’t love post production as much as I love pre-production and marketing. For me, if video production was a cat it would be a Tortie and story would be like a sweet old tabby cat.

Maybe I needed to focus on just writing again, I thought. Knuckle down with writing a book or my blog or magazine articles. Or maybe I would try doing some radio stories, which I also love. Or maybe even still, I should focus on just doing voice overs and use my voice all day instead of writing stories. I was driving myself crazy with the direction. Then, my husband called and asked if I heard the news? I said “No.” He said,”You won.” I said “What did I will, a gift card to Dunkies or something, what are we talking about here?” I had completely forgot that I submitted my episode to the video festival. He said “You won first place! In news/Magazine in the video festival.” I was so excited that I couldn’t stop screaming. Similar to one of those weird excited people that you see on TV that people make fun of for winning something, that was me!

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Once I got done with the initial response, I had this overwhelming feeling of fear and thought. “Why did they pick me?” So much pressure and insecurities rolled in, right behind it like a wave. I questioned the skills within myself, and then I had another feeling roll in right after that one, and I suddenly felt like I was given a sign from God to keep on moving forward and not give up.

I know I have a lot to learn about story telling within video, but cats make such an amazing impact through video, and I know I have to keep practicing  stories.  I felt much more confident with my skills as a cat care specialist, and I know that world inside and out because I have done it for so long. But I also believe that I have a passion for communications within me and a mission to help animals, and if I can tell stories that give a voice to the voiceless, I want to continue moving in that direction.

Last weekend, Dustin and I went to Maine to collect my award in person, and I had a great time meeting new people who are also creatives as well. They asked me if I wanted to say a few words when I got my award and this is what I shared. “Sometimes when this video production thing brings me challenges, I sometimes think maybe I should just do radio stories, (Which I also love and think Id be good at)I think, I can’t, cats don’t look as good on radio as they do on tv!”14715423_1236607049736008_802362451091433737_o

Im grateful for my award, and for being up against a lot of other creative people doing amazing work in community media, and I hope to bring more content forward in a professional newsy format soon.

Tonia