Taking a short break from my homework to reflect on my Voices of Hope shoot this past weekend.
So a little more about why they decided to re-do my shoot. From the word of the producer himself (Kerry Harding) apparently I looked depressed in my original shoot, like my “dog had just died”. Talking about hope and the Atonement, but looking depressed, they decided to have me re-do the video.
Fair enough, I figured. Actually, I was pretty excited. When Ty first mentioned to me that they wanted me to re-shoot my video, I was relieved. I did my original shoot in November and it was fine. I felt like I was in a good place and I think I was, after I’d come out and had such good responses to it. However, in the months that followed I felt like I fell apart emotionally in many ways. After all the work it took to get myself back together (including going to my Journey Into Manhood weekend), I had actually been thinking that I wished I could re-do my video, having learned so much in the months following my shoot.
I got my wish! And this past Sunday was GREAT! I got to the house where we were filming and I was nervous! I don’t really get nervous. Well, that’s a lie. I get nervous, but it never hits until a few hours before. At the earliest, I get nervous earlier the day of a big event. I was too busy being excited to be nervous about my shoot. It wasn’t until I was about an hour and a half away from the shoot that the anxiety hit and I was looking through my notes, sure that I would forget to say something that I wanted to. I felt like I was cramming for a test, even though the “test” was on my life. What did I need to study for?
Shortly before the shoot, I got a blessing from Garrett, who came to support me. As the shoot before mine ended, we hung out with some of the people who had been in the room for that shoot (including Kerry, Ty, and some of the crew). Finally the camera was ready for my shoot. They got me wired up with a microphone and into the chair. As I got going, telling my story to Ty (he was my point-man, the person I talked to, in order to give me somewhere to look), it just came. Things that I had intended to say came easily, things that I had hadn’t planned to say came up, and other things I had planned to say felt unimportant.
I got to testify of the Atonement, the love of God, and the purpose of the trials in my life. At one point I think I started crying. I felt the Spirit testify of what I was doing. A lot of my story had to do more with my mission than with my SSA, but it was all told anyway. Afterwards, Kerry Harding, in contrast to what he’d said about my last shoot, said that this one seemed more like my dog “had had a litter of puppies” (for the record, I don’t have a dog, but I decided not to tell Kerry that).
I’m very excited for it to be released, but as it was just recorded, it’ll be a while. I don’t know how long, but in the meantime there are plenty of other videos already released for me to watch, re-watch, and draw strength from. As such, my next post will probably be another Voices of Hope post (since I haven’t done one in a while). Until then, whoever you are, reader, I want you to know that you are infinitely loved of God and no matter what you do that will never change.