photo by Julie Herrick, VidCon 2013
I can’t believe that we’ve uploaded more than 40 videos and here we are, nine months into our project, halfway across the country from where it all started.
Could I have predicted where I would be today back in December? I was taking a leap of faith, jumping in with both feet first. Imagine the first time I met Michael - I asked him if he wanted a tour of the Museum, and Hank said we would wait to start until the mic was on. My thoughts were Wait, what? we’re filming this? A few weeks later I invited Michael over to help me decorate Christmas cookies because, well, now we were in it together for the long haul.
I thought once the videos hit a certain subscriber or view number I would be able to relax. That once a thousand, fifteen thousand, 30, 40, 100, 140 thousand people subscribed, I would feel as though I had done an adequate job. That once we had 1 million, then 2, 3.5 million views, that would be enough and I could relax.
But I can’t. This pressure - and don’t get me wrong, it’s a good pressure, a motivating pressure, a happy pressure like the bubbles waiting in the bottom of an unopened bottle of champagne - it never lessens, it only intensifies. It compounds. I feel a strong obligation to do better, be better - but I’m still so new to this, will it ever feel like I’ve got it figured out?
The criticisms are manageable until they become cyclical, self-referential. It’s that fear of not being able to live up to what you’ve already done, like we’ve already peaked and the anxiety starts, like what if we already did the greatest thing we’re going to do? what if the magic of the show was because it was our side-project in Montana and now that we’re here and we actually have funding and I can pay my rent, that magic is over and the mystery is gone?
I know these are the common fears and anxieties of many creators and artists, singers and performers and musicians, authors, doers, thinkers. But I still think it’s worth sharing them because with some common ground we can better understand one another, we can appreciate the individuality of the human experience, we can humanize those around us. Because in the end this is a collaboration between you and me, it’s a group effort in showing the world what a supportive community can do for science education, and I really do believe we are all in this together.