Give Me More Work ✚ Tuesdays with Tish

Just this evening, Juliana (best friend, podcast co-host) and I decided that we will be taking on the possibly overwhelming work of preparing and presenting TWO panels for Ottawa ComicCon in May.

Last year, we presented the panel Because We Wear Glasses: Women in STEM on Screen. In February, we submitted our two applications. Two, because the email I got about the application being open suggested submitting more than one idea because they wanted a variety of topics. Last week I got the two emails, one for each panel, saying they’d been selected. I sent the screenshot to Juliana and she appropriately responded “Wait… both?” We were not expecting that. We’re choosing to believe it is because they loved us so much last year that they want to have even more of what we have to say this year. We’re not totally delusional- the panel was well received by the audience and both the programmer and the con director talked to us about our panel and how glad they were to have women-centered content there. So, yay, us! But, uh, can we handle two?

We took a few days to talk it over and think about it… Yes, it’s a lot of work and we’re busy women (I have a 17-film film festival to work in April) but… it would be awesome!? We didn’t want to choose between them, really. I made the case that we actually procrastinated a lot last year and put together the bulk of the content within two weeks, so if we actually stick to a schedule this time, we can get them done. But, then, I enjoy taking on a lot of work and feeling busy. I will feel overwhelmed at times, for sure, but I will love being able to say I am busy working on these two panels; because of their content, because I feel special being chosen to present them at ComicCon, because writing about movies & media is WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH MY LIFE. We’re not getting paid to do these (other than the three-day Ranter pass we each get) but how much do I want to be a person who has to work on basically two massive essays on Studio Ghibli and Doctor Who? A lot. I really want to be a person whose work is stuff like this. And now, it is.

So, we decided we can and will do it. Yay! We’ll be so proud of ourselves after. Before, we’ll both be dangerously nervous, but we were last year, too, and managed to do it, so I’m confident we’ll be slightly less nervous this year and do just fine again. The thing about me and public speaking is… Anxiety? Stage fright? I don’t know what to call it, I mean, I definitely have anxiety in general, but I actually look forward to opportunities to speak in front of people (hello, self-centered attention-seeker). Last weekend I had to introduce the films at the film festival I was running. Not usually my job, but literally no other staff was in town. I looked forward to it; I wrote out my spiel, and was excited to get in front of all these people, who see me at screenings all the time, and introduce myself and, of course, feel important being the one representing our organization. Despite all that, when I stepped behind the podium, it was the same things that always happen... My brain goes blank, so I rely on my written speech more than I really need to; my voice sounds shaky and tight; I talk too fast, in a rush to get it over with I guess. All the while I am internally yelling at myself to CALM THE FUCK DOWN. It’s a battle in my brain- I know what I’m doing, I know there is no fear standing up here; I’m confident in what I’m saying and my position. But dumb old brain has interpreted the sight of all those people and a light shining in my face as DANGER and is acting appropriately; body is tense and ready to fight or flight and you gotta get out of this situation as quickly as possible, so hurry up! By the sixth and final introduction, I felt less of the physical panic and was able to speak at a more reasonable speed. A nice reminder of how I am public speaking as I contemplated whether I want to do one or two public speaking things. But, the biggest difference is Juliana. Sitting next to your best friend, who is in this with you, makes a big difference in confidence. The fear of messing up isn’t so end-of-the-world when you know someone has your back, and if you do fuck up, well, you’ll both laugh about it at least, even if everyone else just thinks you suck.

So, what are we doing?

Brave Girls Break the Mold: Studio Ghibli’s Heroes
For over 30 years, Studio Ghibli has been defying animation expectations by putting girls at the helm of action adventure films. Why are these representations so important and how do they tackle stereotypes of femininity? Let’s discuss the traits these memorable young girls share that have made them so influential to fans of all ages and genders.

The Historic Women of Doctor Who
Through all of time and space, The Doctor has met quite a few of Earth’s historically important women. How well does the show portray these real women and their real history? Let’s discuss how storytelling, sci-fi, and history came together for The Doctor to meet Queen Victoria, Rosa Parks, Agatha Christie, and more.

We’re excited about both, so all this work is going to be enjoyable. I mean, if we didn’t want to watch all of Studio Ghibli’s movies again and research some women of history, we wouldn’t have submitted the ideas, would we?

I think I’ll wear a suit.

I think I’ll wear a suit.

See you next Tuesday!