First Ethical Dilemma: Was I Being Intentionally Too Out Outrageous?

I’ve run into my first non-technical issue during the recording of an episode.  Heads up, I scrapped the episode after I posted it within the first 24 hours.  Why you may ask?

Well…It was a situation where I was really trying hard to be funny and outrageous.  This was no bueno.  Now, while I was spewing the verbal garbage, I thought I was well on my way to being the next Bill Burr or Howard Stern.  Silly Vincent, you’re nobody and you need to remember that when you’re speaking into the ether.  You’re an infant, if not newborn, in the realms of Podcasting; stop worrying about how amazing you sound.

So what if I was trying too hard to be funny, shocking, or interesting?  The problem really lies not within my delivery or effort necessarily but in the actual content and dialogue.  When you don’t really know what you’re doing and trying to figure it all out, you don’t really have a voice if that makes sense.  Not in the literal sense, but in the craft of creating a running dialogue.  So when this is the case, you pull from experiences you’ve had and what you already know.  I hear Stern, Burr, Rogan, and others every day and collectively tried to pool their verbal characteristics if you will.  Sounds like an award winning combination right?  No.

When you’re a super newbie, that is a train wreck waiting to happen and you’re just bastardizing you’re own presence and not being genuine.  And I think for sure that if you were one who wanted to create a persona or play a “character.”  But this podcast is about me, so shouldn’t I talk like me?

So the the big ethical issue that I found was I was being very offensive, rude, vulgar, and crude.  Am I those things in real life? Sometimes, sure.  However, I was going really above and beyond a believable level.  By nature I like to exaggerate details with certain things for comedic benefit; that’s a 100% truth and any close friend would agree with me.  What  I was doing was so far past it that you could hear the struggle in my voice as I was trying to think of stuff outrageous stuff to say right there on the spot where I had no ability to pause, edit, critique my self; much like a text message.  I was trying so hard to be shocking that I would frequently pause as  I was saying something in a loud, or excited way; which totally ruined the delivery of whatever it was that I was saying.

On top of those things, I was being hurtful in regards to people that work where I work and features they possess both physically and mentally.  Enough to the point that I felt remorse after uploading the episode.  Even though I didn’t think anyone was going to hear it that mattered, it was out there, public, for anyone to just stumble on to and hear what a jerk I was being.  That didn’t sit right with me.  Now, I’m ok with being outrageous, shocking, sometimes rude; as long as its truth and real to me.  But since I was going past what my normal was, it became fake and not believable.

To ease my woes and fix my error, I made the difficult choice to take down and scrap the 1 hour of edited audio and start over.  I didn’t change the talking topics even a little bit.  To really fix the situation to become more “me,” I simply talked like I talked and stopped trying to be the most exciting guy in the room.  I have no right to be trying that hard to be a nut job when I don’t even have a lot of experience in podcasting.  I totally jumped the gun and tried to do way too much too soon.  What do they say? You need to crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run?  Yah, I sure learned that the hard way.

And what I was left with, was a much more polished audio file that while was less harsh, it was an overall better episode from start to finish.  I don’t need to play Mr. Crazy right now.  I need to focus on my delivery and giving myself enough room to be organic and talk fluidly.  So, lesson learned!  I dialed back and created a more polished piece of art.  And it wasn’t all bad either.  They say you learn from your mistakes right?  As a silver lining, I was left with an additional hour of recording experience whether I used that file or not.  I learned a hard lesson about being true to yourself, and how to not offend other people; well, as much anyways.  The episode I ended up running with was anything but polite.  But it was me, not someone else.  It was funny, interesting, and allowed me to vent without being fake.

Every episode I record, I can physically feel my mind relaxing and my delivery improving.  I’m not struggling to think of what to say or stretching for the next great pun or funny metaphor to slip into my mind.  I am getting comfortable talking to the wall and not thinking about how ludicrous it is that I’m technically just talking to myself like a mental patient.  Who knows, maybe one day I bring a guest on, but for now I am getting by just trying to learn about myself and see who I really am outside of my mind.


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