Moral of the story: When you record, it helps to know a bit about the topic and its context ahead of time. The more you know, the more you can support the client. And sometimes, you just can’t know, so you have to wing it.
I was asked to record at a 5 day conference where the topic was UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects). It was coordinated by a man in Boulder, Colorado, where the session was held. This was early on in my career and this was a paying job, so I automatically said yes. Five days was a good and rare gig at the time and, I was intrigued by the topic, UFOs. It turned out to be an experience I will never forget.
The conference was held in a beautiful room that was a round of tiers with desks, a sort of academic amphitheater type venue with a large screen at one end. I was stationed next to the big screen at the bottom of the tiers, which was the stage. So, I was front and center.
Each day the format included a presentation on the stage, followed by a panel of experts in the UFO and related fields, followed by overall conversation. The panelists sat in the tiers; that is where all the dialogue was happening, across tiers. My job was to capture the summary/synthesis/gestalt of each presentation as well as the discussion.
Over the course of the 5 days, the panels included such topics as theology, philosophy, writers, new age scientists, abductees, and more. The common thread was an exploration of what it would mean for these disciplines or what might be the implications if, in fact, extraterrestrials come in contact with Earth (or in the case of the abductees, already had).
It was an extremely ambitious agenda as well as an extremely hard task for me to go 5 full days. I could hardly research this topic ahead of time for recording purposes. I had to take it as it came. Talk about needing to expand your mind. Fortunately, I had grounding in the panels’ topics, some more than others, and that gave me a foothold, but it was challenging. Imagine putting visuals to things you don’t quite yet comprehend. Anyway, it was a stretch but really, really fun and engaging.
Meanwhile, I met some interesting people, needless to say. The most fascinating people for me were the 5 abductees who I found to be normal people who happened to have a weird experience. After 5 days of spending time with them, it was hard to see them as anything but authentic. Their stories were captivating, to say the least. I came away thinking, these people aren’t lying, and they obviously did have an experience they, or no one else, can explain. They kept the intrigue alive for me.
It was a good conference. For me, I learned two things: “I can record for anyone, about anything, anytime”, and “the world is probably bigger than we think.”
- Susan Kelly's blog
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