Saturday, March 28, 2009
L2 Audition Dry Run
Yesterday’s dry run was interesting. Cheerios and I were having an off-day, which shouldn't be surprising after the last session and the super-cool discoveries. I should have realized breakdowns precede and follow breakthroughs. I was tense. I knew that. He knew that. I kind of regressed from where we were last time. I was kind of pissed that we couldn’t “perform”, and worried that I’d never be able to finish my L2 in time to make the free deadline May 1st, and because of “how things are” with my financial life right now, I worried whether I’d ever be able to afford the fees (which haven’t been published or alluded to yet).
And my friend the videographer, whose horse experience is limited to having seen them on TV or petted one once, asked me what the plan was. I said “the thing with horses is, whenever you have a plan, they come up with a different one, so I don’t know”. Ha ha.
Yep. I know.
I should not have said, thought, or even imagined all the things I did, because...
Of course they all came true. Dang, it’s easy to manifest the stuff I don’t want. (How? I think or say it once, then forget about it. Ha ha. I bet if I could do that with “house sale”, and not think about it for a day or three, stuff would budge. Of course.)
Turns out, it’s a good thing it was a dry run, because I need to educate my friend on what to film and how to do it. Had our performance had rocked, I would not have been able to send it in because the footage wasn't usable by Audition standards. The entire horse and human did not appear in all frames.
I think she misinterpreted what I needed. She was shooting footage trying to make it “interesting”. So sometimes it’s close-up on the horse only, or on me (and my Gawd I am large, either I need to be on a diet TODAY or I need to find more fitted clothes up top) or the horse veers off frame then back in, or I’m trying to move a part that isn’t on film... When I watched it at home, I was very frustrated.
But, I realize it’s my fault. I wasn’t clear. I wasn't a good leader for her.
What I need is a continuous shot, from beginning to end, of the 10-minute audition, and at all times every single hair or toenail on both parties must be visible within the frame with a bit of air space around the borders. The camera should remain motionless, and zooming should be limited to only when necessary. At no time should there be a zoom onto one or the other, or should parts of either be excluded.
The reason is, the Parelli Faculty is looking at the relationship and communication between the horse and human, and to do that they must be able to see the entire bodies of both at once, so that they can review who did what to result in the outcome. It doesn’t need to be that close up either, because the Parelli Faculty are so well-trained to read body language that they can spot a one-degree ear swivel on a horse that is 200 yards away. In the dark. (Just kidding on the dark part.)
And as for me, uh... I need to "forget" the camera and camera person is there. I caught myself looking AT them and interacting. Well, that's not the purpose. The purpose is, the camera(wo)man does not exist; they are invisible, and it is a fly-on-the-wall secret look into the relationship with the horse and human. Nobody should be aware that there is a person holding a camcorder. If that makes sense.
I’m going to tell her "good first attempt", then describe what I need in the footage, then point her in the direction of some other audition examples and Parelli vids so she can see what it should look like.
I’m also going out a few times this week in between (I hope) job interviews and applications to play solo and work out a PLAN so I’m not trying to come up with it on the fly, testing things during filming. (Flat out: I was prepared, but unprepared. I had the music ready, batteries charged, fresh tapes, tripod, boombox, and clean clothes... I just didn’t have a plan or any rehearsal before hand and this was our third visit after a long winter. And I could use a refresher course on the 22-foot line. We both could.)
On the upside, there is some cute stuff, like Cheerios’ expression when I scritch him good, and there is proof that I can canter, and dang it, I really look like I’m finally riding better. (All I wanna do is canter all over the place.) And when I removed the 22-foot line and played at Liberty, IN AN ARENA, he stuck to me and it went really nicely. Which is L3. Which doesn’t go on the tape (I don't think). But it’s cool.
So while I don’t feel confident about passing L2 anytime in the future, LOL, I’m happy to note my progress, and I guess it’s a blessing in disguise that it DIDN’T go perfectly yesterday. And I’m grateful that I HAVE a video camera to tape it with, and that I HAVE a friend willing to stand out there doing so. And she brought carrots. (And it'll probably go better when it's done "for real", and we'll have that blue string in hand before my birthday this summer as "planned"—because I have been IN L2 since August 2003. That is LONG enough. I have let far too much "life" get in the way of my progress.)
And I got to see Cheerios interact with the foal! Wish I had that on camera. I was untacking him in the barn, and the barn manager brought in the momma horses for the night (we have mare and foal and one mare due any second now), and the foal was following momma mare, and saw Cheerios and got confused. The foal approached Cheerios, and Cheerios took on the expression of a worried parent, turned, looked at the foal, and started NICKERING at him. Hoohoo hoo. Hoohoo hoo.
I was gobsmacked. Who knew he liked babies. Luckily the barn manager got a hold of the little colt before he tried to nurse my gelding. I doubt that would have gone over well. LOL!
And the weather was beautiful, the sunset on the ride home was spectacular, and I'm very grateful that I actually have horses, and that I get to experience all of the wonderful miracles that being a part of the PNH program has given us.