This column is written by Sally Hassan, the creator of Ghetto Nerd Girl. I talk about how to get through the vital steps of making a web series as smoothly and painlessly as possible.
One of my favorite shoot days during Season 2 because I finally got to sit!
If you’ve been following my microcolumn on Stareable, you’ll notice a recurring theme within my posts. Every step of the way I’m battling my natural introverted state to get my web series off the ground. It is quite exhausting, but the longer I do this the more I realize I’m not the only one going through this internal struggle. I use pre-production and post-production phase as my time to recharge as crazy as that sounds. If you agree more than disagree with the following, chances are you might be an introvert too.
1.) I rather listen than talk.
2.) I don’t like it when someone calls me on the phone because I prefer text.
3.) I’m content with being alone.
4.) I rather spend time with a few close friends over a large group of acquaintances.
5.) I hate being the center of attention.
6.) I need to go ‘off the grid’ so to speak in order to recharge myself.
Some of you might be thinking, “How the heck do I do this if I don’t like attention?” I still want to make my mark in this world artistically, but at a comfortable distance. There are more of us in this industry than you think! Check out this list of famous introverts here. Also, this doesn’t necessarily mean I hate being around people. I just need to do it in small doses so my energy isn’t zapped immediately. If you’re an introvert who’s struggling with the web series life here are some of my tips for you.
I can tell my energy is about to hit zero in this pic. Need alone time stat to recharge!
1.) Be Prepared - During production it’s nothing but interacting with people. Everyone is going to ask you everything and that can get overwhelming. Have some key people to be the point of contact to delegate some of the responsibilities away from you. This will be especially important when you are directing.
2.) Ice Breakers - As a web series creator, you’re going to bring a lot of people together who might not know each other. Make it a little easier by giving them something to talk about. For example, when we got together for our table read I had everyone take turns telling the group how long it took them to get to our meeting place. It’s corny but effective.
3.) Ask Questions - Networking events used to be the bane of my existence. Luckily I found my way to survive them. Use the fact that most people love to talk about themselves to your advantage. It will take the heat off of you and people will be drawn to you for genuinely wanting to know about them.
4.) Team Building - I’m very uncomfortable around strangers and don’t do well in big groups. I like to schedule social events with my cast & crew so we can know each other on a more personal level. It helps me to be more open and communicative come filming time.
5.) Practice Your Authority - I do small exercises before set days to project my voice and exuberate confidence. “Red leather, yellow leather,” is not just for actors. I look in the mirror to make sure I stand tall and keep my posture in check. It sounds silly, but body language is a lot of what you communicate and can help you run your set effectively.
Directing with authority!
The web series medium is perfect for introverts because you can work with the same people over and over again. It is a tight-knit community that looks out for each other because we are all the “little guy.” I can honestly say that 9 times out of 10 the people I met within this community had a genuine interest in me. As a result, a mutually beneficial relationship formed. That rarely ever happened when I was in the independent film scene. It seemed like everyone had ulterior motives. The web series world, on the other hand, is the place to be if you’re an introvert. Welcoming people make it much easier for me to travel outside of my comfort zone.
Are you an introvert too? How do you get out of your hermit-like tendencies? How do you stay energized during social engagements? I’d love to hear about it. The Internet is the place for introverts to unite!