Sunday, May 15, 2011

grace and showmanship


yesterday was surreal. many things happened yesterday. there is a strong possibility that i will be writing about my various and varied experiences that occurred yesterday over a series of postings.

yet, i will begin with observations regarding grace and showmanship.

ms. tablehopper provided me with an unexpected opportunity to tag along with her to a private event. this was an event that was many things...filming for an upcoming segment of a local show....a food event.....and a fundraiser for food runners. i take my duties as a tag along pretty seriously. from my perspective, ms. tablehopper was there for work and it was my role to be on hand if she needed anything. not like she needed anything though...and the experience was pretty fascinating.

perhaps the most defining moment, for me, is when the james beard + bon appetite awarded owner of the home took some of us on a spontaneous tour of her garden. during the tour....she tore off leaves of rose geranium and verbena for us to smell...and as i inhaled the lovely and intense fragrance ...i felt something settle inside of me...as if i knew that this was memory that would be embedded within me for some time. the owner was supremely gracious and funny during the tour. remember dear reader...i'm a nobody...so...it is always very fascinating to me to see how folks decide to treat me. personally, i think if i had over 100 people in my house, a camera crew, and such stomping around in my beautiful home...i'd be an uber cranky pants. i was keenly aware the entire time i was there...that this was her home....and was muttering to myself about hoping that other folks were aware of it as well. i can only aspire to one day be that welcoming and gracious about having people i don't know in my personal space...but i'm not going to hold my breath.

then there was the showmanship aspect to the event.

those that know me...or read me...are well aware of how much i dislike being the center of attention. over the years, for my career, i've had to work very diligently on presentation skills....because running around on a stage in front of hundreds of people is something that is necessary for the work i do. most of the time, the folks watching me present have no idea that i have to work so hard at it and i have been fortunate to receive some positive feedback. yet, it doesn't mean i like it. because it doesn't come natural to me...i have to work, work, and work some more at it. so it is from that perspective/frame/lens that i observed some rather famous chefs do a "cook off" for a local upcoming segment of a tv show.

just to be clear....i do not personally know any of the chefs....nor have i met any of them. yet, i know who they are. it was truly rather surreal to be observing dominque crenn (atelier crenn), roland passot (la folie), and russell jackson (lafitte) at this filming event.

i should also probably own up to the fact that i don't own a tv and haven't for like...a couple of decades...so i have not seen things like ms. crenn on iron chef. yet, after yesterday, i totally understand why the producers put her on it.

there are some people that have a presence and charisma....that is almost tangible...you can almost touch it. no, i'm referring to physical attractiveness...although she is beautiful. i'm referring to something else....i've met some drop dead gorgeous people that have all of the charisma of a piece of concrete. i've also met people that look like a gnome and have some rather amazing presence and charisma.

ms. crenn definitely has a compelling charismatic energy. i think everyone knows exactly what i am talking about. she has it....and she knows how to skillfully leverage it. maybe it is because she is french? naw, i've also met/worked with french people that have zero charisma. so, while i was observing ms. crenn with the other chefs during the filming, i could feel myself mentally "tipping my hat' to ms. crenn and the other chefs in respect for being skillful in showmanship.

from my perspective, in general... those skills are not easy to obtain....or hone. i also had a moment to appreciate ms. tablehopper getting right in there and holding her own with some dynamic personalities as well. personally, i find the thought of being filmed for broadcast rather terrifying and the one moment where the camera swung in the general direction i was standing...i could immediately feel myself crouching down to avoid being on film. this wasn't hard. i'm short so it wasn't like i a had to crouch down very much to disappear from the path of the camera. i think one of the judges saw this...and found this amusing. oh well.

again, this is just one of the events that happened yesterday. it was a lovely day and i feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to observe this event.

until later dear hearts....

xxxooo

btw....if you are wondering about the top picture....there were desserts from william werner (i.e., tell tale preserve co.) at the event. the desserts were truly beautiful. no surprises there.

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