A Few Secrets About My Appearance at TEDxNYED

Jose Vilson Jose

You didn’t think I’d let the weekend go by without talking about TEDxNYED right?

I was honored to be invited to speak (second!) at the TEDx conference at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens yesterday. You often hear notes from the audience’s perspective, but the speakers who don’t post as often as they should. Part of it might be that speakers may feel weird about saying, “Mine was the best talk, but here are other ones I liked.” It could also be that they’re so into their talk that they didn’t hear the other ones until later on. Whatever the reason, I decided to shed some of those notions.

Let me share some secrets.

1. Every speaker who was good on stage was nervous as hell backstage.

Sorry for putting that out there, but it’s true. I won’t say which of the talks resonated with me, but all the speakers who resonated with me paced back and forth in the green room. I know I was a complete mess; I occupied the backstage mirror trying to convince myself that I had it in me to do this talk. I can only imagine what went through the minds of my other colleagues after I told them my “What’s the worst that can happen?” philosophy.

2. Unlike the other speakers, I was more nervous after the talk than before the talk.

I don’t know what it is, but the other speakers felt relieved after the speech. I paced back, forth, up, and around the museum. I felt like one of Jim Groom’s GIFs the way I kept looping through emotions. Not sure why.

3. My reason for rapping came from a Dance Dance Revolution session.

I’ll leave it at that.

I’ve spent enormous amounts of time thinking through the speech, but once I got up there, I just started to talk naturally. I appreciated the support because I felt I got a lot more personal than I usually do. The intimate audience helped with that. Big shout-outs to Basil Kolani and Karen Blumberg for inviting me to share this pertinent story to friends and perfect strangers alike.

I shoot for the moon, but I’m too busy gazing at stars. I feel amazing, in awe …

Jose, who goes back to teaching for real tomorrow …