Announcing the Resourceful Video Production Guide

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I'm working on a pretty exciting project: The Resourceful Video Production Guide.

The Guide will take you through the video production process, from researching your idea to holding your DVD in your hand.   

As the name implies, we're going to focus on being resourceful.  We'll explore free or low-cost resources that will help you make a professional-quality instructional video for a fraction of the cost of a hiring a production company.

(This is the same process I used to create the Improvisation Toolkit DVDs for less than $100 each up-front.)

I'm shooting to release it in mid-November, but that may change.

I Want to Hear From You!

I already have a pretty specific idea of what's going to go into the Guide, but it's important to me to get your input too, to make sure that it's as useful to you as possible.

If you have a few minutes, please give me your input.


One lucky respondent will receive a free copy of the Guide. To qualify, you must:
- Complete the survey by noon (EST) on October 28th 2011
- Answer all the questions
- Include your contact information

Stay in the Loop

Sign up now to receive the latest news on the Guide project, as well as pre-order specials. You'll also receive "Practice Makes Perfect Videos", my free guide to practicing your video production skills before you begin your dream project.

I'll also send you additional helpful resources and information from time to time, to help you make professional-quality videos on a no-frills budget.

But don't worry: I won't flood your inbox with emails, I won't share your information with anyone else, and you can unsubscribe yourself at any time.

Taktaba Turns Five!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Five years ago today, I released the first episode of Taktaba.

I wasn't able to get a new episode out in time for the anniversary, but I did want to give you a little something today.

This video is a short excerpt from the Improvisation Mastery Mentoring Program pilot. It's a quickie, not a full episode, but it should give you some ideas to geek out on.

You can also download it to watch offline.


Episode Guide

Here are direct links to each episode of Taktaba:

Episode 1: Repetition and Alternation

Episode 2: Long-Term Repetition

Episode 3: Timing Patterns

This page only lists official episodes. Other mini videos aren't listed.

Transparency Time

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's been a long time since my last post. Not because I've been busy (although I have!), but because I've been hiding out.

You see, I'm injured.


For the fourth time in three years.

It's not the injury that I'm hiding

Injuries happen to everybody, especially those of us who are active.

(As one of my mentors would say "it's transparency time.")

I've been hiding out because not being able to dance makes me feel like a fraud.

In the fall of 2008, I was just coming into my own:

  • I was performing a lot, and starting to get higher-profile gigs

  • My first crop of students were starting to blossom into advanced beginners, and having a great time

  • I was filming my first DVD

  • I was working with a business coach, and getting serious about my marketing

I was really proud of where I was, and excited about how much more I had to learn.

But the injuries stopped me in my tracks

Each year has been another cycle of healing, physical therapy, and getting back into training, only to get in a couple of performances before starting over again.

Now that's not all I've done. In the same time, I've:

  • taught over 100 students

  • released two instructional videos

  • designed an improvisation mentoring curriculum

  • studied article writing, web design, and copywriting

  • refined my understanding of performance and musicality through lots of watching and listening

  • run a profitable business every single year, despite my limitations

  • tripled the size of my mailing list (that's all you lovely people)

Now, I think that's pretty damn impressive.

But the problem is not what I think. It's what I believe.

When I feel broken, I don't believe that any of that matters, or that it wasn't just dumb luck.

Being injured undermines my faith in myself

It's hard to consider yourself a dancer when you can't dance. It's even harder to continue to put yourself out there as an expert when your body is broken, and won't let you follow your own advice.

We live in a culture that believes "those that can do, those that can't teach". And when a big part of your identity is being a dancer, when you "can't", it's devastating.

So Why Am I Telling You This?

For one thing, hiding out makes it worse. Nothing makes you feel like a fraud as much as pretending that everything is okay.

But more importantly, a very wise lady told me that sometimes your biggest hurt is your gift to the world. I didn't get what she meant until last week, when a dancer I admire shared her own "broken" story on a private forum. It was such a relief to not feel alone.

So Don't Be Alone

If you'd like to share, tell us your own story:

  • Do you feel "broken", whether physically or in some other way?

  • What undermines your faith in yourself?

  • And what do you do about it?

You're very welcome to post anonymously if that would be more comfortable.

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