A few weeks back, we lived the life of reality television stars. For six days a crew from the BBC followed us (mostly Ella) and the rest of our family to see what it looks like to be a WCMX skater, and how we live with a superstar in our family.
It was odd to let strangers with cameras and microphones into the little bubble of our lives. I’m not sure what they expected of us, or really what we expected of them either. I’d like to think that we were completely normal, but just slightly cooler than average. I think in reality that we were pretty awkward, but only the edited project will tell us for sure.
With cameras rolling, we shopped, stopped for ice cream, hung out with friends, and went to the skate park. Reality TV people always say that they “forget that the cameras are there.” I think they’re lying. It’s impossible to forget them when you have to wait for the crew to get the cameras in place and check your mic before you can have a conversation, or when the camera gets moved for a better angle and you are told “I need you to say that again exactly the same way”, and you have to quickly figure out what it was that you said so that you can say it again.
While you can’t forget the camera, it’s easy to forget the mic. I can see why so many politicians and celebrities have gotten into trouble with a “hot mic.” Our lovely crew (Kate and Freya) probable overheard many things we wish they hadn’t including the many times my daughter said some version of “this is so weird” or “this is so embarrassing.”
I don’t think Ella has any plans to have a TV career any time soon. She was happy to be out of the spotlight which comes from having your own camera people following you around. While she did admit to missing Kate and Freya around, she’s happy to slip back into the semi-anonymity of normal life until it’s time for our next big adventure.
As for me, I’m glad we did it. It was an incredible experience for our family, and because of the people we got to meet. Freya (behind the camera) was funny and wry, and I had the pleasure of introducing her to Texas Bar-B-Que. I think she may come back just for the food. Kate (the director) is quickly becoming one of my favorite people. I’m up late in Texas while she’s having breakfast in London, and we chat about marriage, babies, books, and life. There are many times that I wish she lived next door, and could just hang out in the kitchen laughing and drinking tea.
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