How many times on this website have I written the words “life is about_______”. Life is about a LOT of things so I suppose it’s not surprising that I use (and overuse) this phrase a lot.
Anyway, part of being ALIVE is knowing that you’ll probably be humbled at different points of your life in a few different ways. It is not always a bad thing to be taken down a peg or two. Speaking for myself I know I definitely need this to happen on occasion.
And although when this occurs I tend to get defensive or bitchy and it brings out the worst in me, I am usually and reluctantly in agreement of being reminded that I although I might excel at something on occasion that I am not flawless.
A few years ago in therapy I worked on the extreme swings of feeling like I was queen (or king) of the world and feeling like I was the worst person alive. These feelings were prevalent in all aspects of my life/lives… whether it was my femme world or my career or hobbies or relationship.
Therapy, perspective, medication, and time helped modulate this. And I am thankful for this. Keeping my ego in check is healthy AND being able to bounce back from a bad day or a disappointment has helped me with everything.
Sometimes a reality check can stem from being humbled. Falling flat on one’s face (whether metaphorically or otherwise) can be humiliating but sometimes it pushes your ego down a few notches.
Of course, sometimes a fall is just a fall and not a life lesson but sometimes you’re reminded that God or life has a sense of humor.
How many times have I strut through a mall thinking I was The Most Beautiful Girl in the World only to catch my reflection and see HIM staring back at me? How many times have I prided myself on my skill in stilettos only to trip?
On my best days I laugh and tell my ego to calm down a little when these things happen.
You can’t live a life without mistakes. The more you do, the more new things you attempt, the more often you go out of your comfort zone the more likely you will stumble. It happens. It is inevitable. They could be big mistakes or a zillion small ones, but try not to expect flawless results when you do anything… whether it’s something new or something you’ve done countless times.
Every person reading this knows the challenges with this side of us. How many times have we thrown down a makeup brush in frustration when we just couldn’t blend our foundation the right way? How many stockings have we run? How many times have we screamed because our eyeshadow and eyeliner is perfection on one eye but a complete disaster with the other?
Oh I could go on.
The only way to avoid these moments is to never pick up makeup or pretty clothes. Ever. No matter how much time passes I know I will struggle with some aspect of my transformation. I might have a day where I just can’t hook my bra for some reason or I run three stockings or my hand shakes when I apply my lipstick.
We’re going to have off days. And we’re going to have days when we soar.
I have to remind myself of all of this whenever I do ANYTHING… whether it’s something new or something I’ve done every day for years… or something that I do en femme that I can do blindfolded or without a second thought in boy mode.
Case in point:
I work in education and I’ve been put on the spot in meetings or whatever countless times to chat about something. I’ve been asked at the last minute to take over someone’s presentation at my college’s orientation or what have you. And sure, easy. I am somewhat comfortable with public speaking and I’ve done it pretty often.
But it’s a new world with Hannah.
With my website I can write and rewrite and replace words or edit something, even after it’s posted. In the real world Hannah’s interactions are either small talk with a cashier or chit-chat with a friend. Easy-peasy.
I knew doing videos wasn’t going to be like that. And it terrified me. I knew it would be humbling. A photo doesn’t show my movement, you can’t hear my voice, or how quickly I speak. I would need to be spontaneous and relaxed (which are not words ANYONE I know would use to describe me).
I was, and am, terrified I will disappoint or underwhelm En Femme, to be honest. I am excited for this new project in our partnership but I don’t want to let them down. These videos rely on the technology cooperating and my performance, I suppose. Everything needs to work, everything needs to click.
Thank God Shannonlee is there. Doing anything with a professional takes the pressure off. Doing anything with a friend keeps it fun.
Life is about (see? Here’s that phrase again) bouncing back from an error and being able to laugh at yourself. When I do stumble in heels I get embarrassed but I do think it’s a little funny and my ego goes back to normal.
I think it’s good for me to humble myself, to be honest. To put my feelings and thoughts out there that remind me that I am not perfect. Not that I think I am perfect, mind you. But I think it’s important to remind myself that I am human and I’m going to make a lot of mistakes. It’s okay to post a photo if I really like it, BUT it’s also okay to post something that is flawed or a disaster. I suppose it’s not unlike a peek behind the curtain of the creative process.
It’s not a bad thing (for me, anyway) to intentionally humble myself. Sometimes to prove a point I will post a picture that I feel is, well, not my best. Maybe it helps other? I get very nice emails saying very nice things about my picture or my presentation but I also have hundreds of photos on my laptop that are…horrendous. We all start somewhere and my early photos are examples of that. I am not a beauty queen and my presentation didn’t just happen… it took years. Time, patience, and money, remember?
When Shannonlee and I started filming last week I had no idea how these videos would turn out. Annnd I didn’t want to, lol. Sometimes creation is ugly. Sometimes you feel creating something decent is impossible when you are up to your neck in the process. During the shoot I would look at a clip that we shot and it was… well, humbling. Part of me wanted to scrap everything and rethink and redo it all. Part of me wanted to quit.
But we soldiered on.
Yesterday I uploaded most of what we shot and with a wish and a prayer I hoped that En Femme would be happy with what they have to work with. But honestly? If we do need to reshoot I am happy to do so. Shannonlee learned a ton from this shoot and I honestly think the next videos will be better. I am more excited than ever now that the first session is out of the way.
As I said, I need to intentionally put myself in situations where I know it’s not my best work OR I’m opening the door to criticism. So! Here’s a short clip of what we shot that day. I don’t think this will be used in the final video but it’s very much behind the scenes and one of the first things we filmed that day.
So that’s my voice and my constant fidgeting.
What do you think?
16 thoughts on “Hello, I’m Hannah McKnight”
I think you look and sound very natural and I wouldn’t call your movement “fidgety” at all….and that’s coming from someone with an extensive background as an actor and director.
Thank you! Your feedback is reassuring, especially given your background. 🙂
I love it and you look lovely as always. Looking forward to seeing the final version. Honestly, I find your reviews super helpful so thank you in advance for doing this.
As you say, a photo is one thing; to write, another. But to be filmed where our movements and voice are laid bare. Well, that’s quite something else in terms of exposure. I happened to try a video of myself being out…. and while others might be kind, I’m not sure be confident to post it.
To answer your question, I didn’t pick up on the fidgeting you mentioned. I’m not saying that out of false kindness, but as genuine feedback. The video felt like a professional lead in to something. Was it rushed? No, I didn’t think it was. We all talk differently – even in a small country like the UK – and your voice sounded clear.
FWIW, I’ve given a number of talks over the years in bloke mode, performed a few times too, and if someone says “we could watch it back”, it’s a no from me. 🙂 Doing so just makes my mind hyperfocus on how I sound, move, and look – which is very much not how I think of myself. And no, I don’t mean some graceful swan like person, just not some honking, orge like figure 🙄
So, why am I sharing the above? Do the filming if *you* want to. If you’re enjoying doing it, do so until you don’t. Remember your previous posts about self criticism. Feedback from others? It’s just their opinion… and don’t listen to trolls.
You go, girl! From someone in the closet like me, I admire the courage to be YOU! Nancy
I think you have a lovely voice and look great in the video! Can’t wait to see the finished project! You’ve got this! 🙂
You look good and maybe a little sign of nervousness. What I found when talking to a group is to use some levity – this is relaxing to you and the audience as well. Voice is good too. Looking forward to seeing more…
Hannah It took a lot of courage to put your self out there, you must remember the first time you sent your first post. Patience & practice, your doing what many of us only dream of. Good luck and as they say, Break a leg. Hugs.
You look great and it is awesome to hear your voice. If your first video is this good, I can’t wait to see you blossom. I admire your bravery.
I think you did a good job in the video. Seeing you in pictures and reading your blog are one thing, actually seeing you in a video makes it a little more personal.
Its a great start! If that was your nervous and fidgety self, then you have nothing to worry about! You looked as lovely as ever and your speaking voice was pleasant. Can’t wait to see a full video!
I thought the voice and mannerisms were good. You did appear a bit rushed to me like you launched immediately after the director gave you the Que to start talking. Also the acoustics created an echo so I could not hear your name. It might help to take a deep breath after the Que for a slight delay before speaking. I don’t know how to address the echo other than possible speaking slower.
I just watched your intro video several times. It is excellent! Your look, your voice, and your phrasings are like a smart and elegant tv talk show hostess……I’m thinking of a Kelly Ripa or Savannah Guthrie type of girl. Your voice is very nice; it sounds natural, relaxed, and comfortably confident. I agree with some previous comments: You’ve got this!
Best to you,
Marissa in Ohio
You’re way too hard on yourself love. I’ve done some video work in the past and seen some of the most charismatic and talkative people absolutely freeze when that camera turns on ( personally I think its the little red light that gets people lol) you looked like a natural on camera. Can’t wait to see and hear more from you!
BTW, when the first of the videos is posted on En Femme, will you link to it on your blog?