Friday, May 10, 2013

My "HuffPost Live" Experience

Yesterday, I received an invitation from Allison, an associate producer at "HuffPost Live," to participate in an online conversation about being gay and an overachiever.  In her Google search, she must have found this post, which I wrote on that very subject over two years ago.  I was nervous about participating in a live discussion, but I was excited too.  And thrilled to be asked.

Following a few exchanges with Allison, the conversation took place earlier today, and there I was, along with the moderator and four other guests.  I'd like to say I was coherent in everything I said and came across as a seasoned pro, but I wasn't and I didn't. Although I knew the general direction of the discussion, I had no idea how and when I'd be brought into it, or what questions I'd be asked.

I've had a look at the video of the discussion, and my performance made me cringe. There's good reason why I'm behind a keyboard and not in front of a camera.  But it was an eye-opening experience, I learned a hell of a lot, and, if I'm ever fortunate enough to be invited again (I doubt that will happen any time soon), I hope I'll perform better when I'm lobbed unexpected questions and all eyes are on me.

In the meantime, everything I wrote in the post I referred to above still rings true for me, and if you too are gay and an overachiever, I hope seeing yourself in my words will help you be more aware of what this habit is doing to you.  And how unnecessary it is. Because you're important and worthwhile and special just by being you, and not for doing a damn thing more.  How I wish I'd gotten that years ago.  


  1. It's a stepping out thing, Rick, and I am proud of you for doing this.

  2. Wendy, at one point, it looked like they had enough guest speakers and wouldn't need me. I was hoping that was the case.
    But, for some reason, I had to go through this experience. Live. No preparation. No redoes.
    Trying to juggle the technology (Google Hangout dropped me four times, once just after I was asked a question on air), pay attention to what everyone was saying when I was a wreck inside, and thinking fast on my feet. One of the most nerve-wracking experiences I've ever had.
    Chris watched it from work and said I did just fine, but I think he's being very kind.
    Glad it's behind me, but thanks for the encouraging words. I appreciate it.

  3. Congratulations! To me that is a great honor to be asked and to participate! To have the opportunity to put yourself, knowledge, experience out there like that is a great opportunity. You are your own critic and look too critically at yourself.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Topper.
      Yes, it was an honor to be asked and to participate. I just wish I'd been less rattled by the experience and better able to communicate what I wanted to say. Still, I hope I contributed something worthwhile.
      And, of course, you are right. I am my own worst critic. Always have been.
      Isn't it ironic that the post I wrote, which led to this great opportunity, was about being an overachiever and a perfectionist? And how disappointed I was that I didn't live up to my own expectations? Some lessons are so hard to learn, aren't they?
      Thanks again. I appreciate it.