Expanding Awareness #11
How to be natural on camera, Stoa recording, course updates
Hello hello hello!
First of all, I’d like to nod to the fact that there are now a little over 600 of you receiving this! A very warm welcome to those who are new.
This edition of Expanding Awareness comes in three parts:
How to be natural on camera by expanding awareness (video)
The recording of the session I did on Alexander Technique at The Stoa (video)
A course update and next steps
I’m also going to have some major life news to share in the coming weeks that will have a huge and positive impact on how this newsletter and the course evolve. Do stay tuned for that 🙂
How to be natural on camera by expanding awareness
I’m currently part way through a project to ‘make 100 YouTube videos’, the idea being to get comfortable on camera and to eventually become some sort of YouTube influencer guy. Or something.
Most of these videos have involved me screaming into the void, but this one struck a chord (already viewed >2k times). It’s about how I use AT style expanded awareness to come across naturally, or authentically, on camera. This is something that I believe can be taught very directly online and will be the focus of future course modules. Let me know if more of this kind of thing is of interest to you.
Before you watch it, though, let me address one fairly common comment, which goes along the lines of “you’re just not narrowing your eyes, moving more and relaxing your face, what’s the big deal?”
All of those things are true, but those are not the things that I am doing. I am not consciously coordinating my body in any way. What I am doing is playing with expanding my awareness above and behind me. I’m also ‘allowing’ the space between me and the camera to be there, rather than compressing it.
This is a huge distinction. Adding layers of ‘doing’ to my face and body would not have the same effect. It would instead look like I’m trying to ‘do’ being natural. No! The way to be natural is to stop doing all the things that aren’t natural.
With that, here’s the video. Notice, in particular, how your body responds as I play with my awareness…
(Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe! I’m about to start a 4 week accelerator programme for YouTube creators, so there’ll be a lot happening on my channel.)
Session at the Stoa
A few weeks ago I was extremely happy to run a session at a thing that Twitter folks will know well – The Stoa, run by Peter Limberg. It’s a digital campfire where people “can gather and talk about what matters most right now”.
The format is 30 minutes of me doing a guided introduction to Alexander Technique and then 30 minutes or so of Q&A. There were about 50 folks in the audience, which means there were some great questions.
One thing to highlight here is that, since the Stoa is quite high profile, I was pretty anxious in the hours leading up to it. I knew it would be recorded, I knew a lot of people I know and respect would probably show up, and I didn’t want to mess up.
Fortunately, Alexander Technique is a fantastic tool to allow anxiety to be there without getting caught up in it. Here is a thread I wrote on how that works. Mental health is a potentially huge topic that can be helped by Alexander Technique — this is another area that I plan to get into in a big way over time.
One thing I wish I hadn’t done was try to talk about F. M. Alexander’s own discovery of his Technique. I’m not yet good enough at distilling it, I think.
And with that, here’s the recording!
It took me longer to create all the content for the course than I had expected, but — let’s be honest here — obviously it did. Turns out that recording hours of high quality content is difficult, time consuming, and highly prone to having the right hardware (and learning how to use it).
But I am pleased to say it’s live and the first cohort is currently going through it. I’m also thrilled that many are already giving great feedback on things that are good (and not so good) in the forum that I set up alongside the course. I have a long list of improvements that I plan to make so that the next version will be better.
Speaking of the next version, the current plan is:
Continue to collect feedback from the first cohort
Make improvements and add new content
Re-open sometime in early December
I’m really valuing the approach I took to keep numbers limited in the first iteration, because that’s given me the space give appropriate attention to everyone’s comments. I will likely do this again the next time (another 50), but please note that the price will be higher this time (probably around the $100 - $125 mark). This is because the $50 was significantly discounted in my mind for the first cohort who have had to tolerate a lot of janky, and because it was my first ever launch.
Long term, when I release the final version of the course for general purchase, it will probably be around $200 - $300. In my mind I want to keep the price at something equivalent to ‘a handful of in person AT lessons’. And of course, everyone will always have lifetime access to all future upgrades.
With that, here are some behind the scenes views! This is all very exciting (though perhaps only for me).
Thanks for reading this far! If anything here resonated with you then please hit reply and let me know.
By the way, I also write articles on my website and run another newsletter called Thinking Out Loud. That’s where I write about stuff like building in public, Total Work, solarpunk, carbon removal, sense-making, building communities, creating positive narratives for the future, identity and various other things. I invite you to check them out.