Dissecting poly on TV
Nikó Truffelish, correspondent from the land of Oz (Australia), writes that she and friends appeared on TV for two minutes explaining poly to the Australian nation. "We were all hoping for a longer, more in-depth edit out of our shoot," she writes, "but we're grateful for the opportunity to put our alternative views in :)"
Watch here; their bit begins 2 minutes in. It was on the public television network SBS, as part of a series titled "Sex An Unnatural History." Despite the title the series seems thoughtful and intelligent. You're watching Episode 5, "Love" ("Is it really just all about neurotransmitters, dopamine, serotonin, vasopressin and other chemicals getting released at the right time? What about our heart and soul?) The full episode starts here. (First aired Aug. 26, 2011.)
Congratulations to these folks for putting themselves out there.
The filming was done a year ago, and it seemed at the time like something bigger would result. At the time Nikó wrote,
Spent Saturday shooting for SBS with a bunch of people who are close to my heart. The shooting rocked!! We were all on message, lots of wonderful things were said and shared in an articulate way, the crew were awesome and the shoot was smooth. I spent months with the researcher and other personnel working on the poly segment and spent weeks organising the poly ‘tribe’ for the shoot.
...After the shoot we had a fantastic party! A large portion of the Sydney poly community gathered for the party and there was much, ahem, celebration to be had :)
Loving my tribe so very much! Hoping this segment, which will be the first such on Australian TV, will pave the way for an even bigger growth spurt for the community and help many people out there who are questioning their life, sexuality and relationships and who have little information or knowledge of the alternatives.
It's too bad most of it ended up on the cutting-room floor. The segments that aired do look like fragments of larger discussions that were happening. But the fact is, you usually get much less air time than you think.
After watching a bunch of these types of appearances, I would offer two tips for anyone going on camera:
1) Practice not going stiff, not even for a moment. Your body language says more than your words. Move and be demonstrative (notice how the host does this). If you're with partners, put your arms around each other! Hold hands, make faces, laugh and smile. Record practice interviews at home, critique them, and re-do them to hone your natural style; it will not come across by itself.
2) Choose some key messages that you want to put across, and practice delivering them as cool sound bites. Whatever you get asked, turn it around to deliver one. And it's okay to repeat it. The show will only air your best take.
Remember, you're not really having a conversation with the host. You're feeding the camera with hopefully rich material for them to use. Feed the camera with the good stuff you want to air. Feed it nothing you don't want to air, not a moment.
Want to become a poly media star? You actually can (gulp!). Go to the Polyamory Media Association (PMA), which is run by the brilliant polyactivist Joreth, a co-host of Polyamory Weekly, and ask for the free training in presenting yourself and your message like a pro. Get trained (Skype works), and you can list yourself with the PMA as available for the shows that are looking for polyfolks. This is for real.
The PMA is a project of the Polyamory Leadership Network.