Almost four weeks later and my TED talk is not online.
I practice my ZEN patience and wonder if:
When one does a TED talk and nobody can see it, is it still is a TED talk?
As I write this I have not seen myself TED talking.
I am glad it is over.
Was it fun?
Did I do good?
I did terrible in the dress rehearsal. Like really awful, like I wondered if they could fire me.
It was the clock. Right in the middle of the audience, at perfect eye level, is a monitor. It shows the slides or video that is projected behind the speakers so we don’t have to keep turning around to address our images. Its about 3ft by 18″. But I could not really see because over my pictures there was a giant fluorescent 13 that took up the entire screen. 13 minutes for my talk. Seconds and minutes passing backwards, like the proverbial bomb in James Bond movies and I was James, responsible for saving the world in 13 minutes.
At 8 minutes I thought.
As I was talking my dress rehearsal TED.
I thought. 8? 13 minus 8? Thats is 5 minutes done. Is that all?
Seriously, I did math while I was still speaking. Isn’t it amazing? The gymnastics of which the mind is capable.
Then I worried. Could I fill those 8 minutes?
I lost my train, my momentum and I blanked.
Mouth and head full of cotton wool.
Nothing came to mind. Nothing came out.
Was I stupid?
I had felt really stupid late August when I had written my entire talk and started practicing. Almost 2000 words. I did not really memorize, which, as I was told by both husband and Gina from TED, was a bad idea, but I did have an order and a rhythm for what and how I would TED talk.
Besides I had a 13 minute multi-media show which played behind me.
Not that I would talk to slides.
Like manually click them.
I hate that format.
“Oh, and here we have me, at the beach, finding my beach plastic…”
Too much like those family vacation slide shows of our neighbors that my parents sneered at as ever-so bourgeois.
Anyway I was stupid when I started working my TED.
Unable to memorize anything more than one paragraph.
I got advice from everyone.
Do it in the mirror. In the car. Film yourself and play it back. You will be fine, wing it, you know your stuff , just make it up as you go along…
I felt so dumb that I bought Gingko.
I almost overdosed on Gingko.
I still felt stupid. I am too old I thought.
I have an old brain.
Then I worried about what to wear and I felt shallow.
I had my roots done, but did hair dye kill more brain cells?
I told husband who was still in Milford.
I had not seen him in weeks but he was coming to Miami for my talk.
He sounded sharp, bright and cheery.
“Not to worry, you’ll remember when you’re up there.”
Then I remembered.
(Yes, at least I did remember this!)
The Seinfeld Theory.
Do you remember?
Put to the test and proven in episode 143.
Husband was away. But husband was coming to Miami three days before my talk.
That would give me enough time to clear my mind.
And he would love it.
As soon as he arrived I started clearing my mind.
Wow, he said. This is great. I should stay away more often.
The next morning I practiced my TED and could remember four minute spans. I had two days left to dress rehearsal, three to actual night. That was four to five mind-clearing sessions.
It so happened to be our 21st anniversary.
An excellent excuse for siestas. Back rubs. Jacuzzi’s and what may ensue…
By Monday morning, driving back from Iona’s school, I remembered my entire TED in exactly 13 minutes. What had been the big deal? I could do it backwards…
There was the clock.
The unknown factor.
That screwed me up.
“Its why we have dress rehearsals,” Gina said. “Now go home and forget about it. Do not look at your speech again. Relax. You’ll be fine tomorrow.”
I did relax on Tuesday the 13th of September. I had a pedicure and told husband I was having a nap at 2pm.
Afternoon delight, he hummed rather absent mindedly.
Afterwards I confessed that I had been using him.
“What do you mean?” He asked.
“You know, the Seinfeld Theory?” I hinted.
Wha’? he said.
You know that episode where George thinks lack of sex makes his mind sharper and he feels smart, then Elaine uses this abstinence method but she becomes more stupid. So she begs Jerry to have sex with her just so she can clear her mind.
You know? No? You don’t remember?
Nah. I don’t think so. What day is it again? shall we go and see a movie tonight or something…?