Through a lens

A couple of weeks ago, someone posted a challenge, daring us to be bold enough to fall flat.  Oprah Winfrey was gearing up for OWN  TV online channel and who amongst us was brave enough to dare?    I decided to take the plunge.  How I made my OWN show. Venturing into a place of fear.   For a long time I have been mulling over the idea of creating a show that brings simple ideas and style into everyday homes.

For people like my client’s who often want the steps and the sources to create their own delicious home style.

I have been thinking about it, but the reality of creating a show was fraught with ifs ands and buts.

Being a woman with a big but, I figured if I don’t take the plunge I will have no way of knowing if I can do it.

I have discovered I cannot do a video without an audience.  The electricity isnt there.   And the video had to be 3 minutes.  I didn’t realize it could be less than 3 minutes.

I planned and prepped. Finally I found a place of no distractions.

Donned an outfit that would be camera friendly. Roped my daughter in to play cam man  and begun.   Over and Over and Over.

One time the ambulance went by, another time  (on this video) the dog barked,  sometimes I was laughing so hard I couldnt talk.  And sometimes I couldnt think what to say.

Anyway it was an adventure.   I have critically watched most of the videos and cant find the perfect one.
I did submit my video  on the last day.  It was too long.   but it was the last one.

I thought I could upload and edit. However the OWN upload was jammed with people uploading before the midnight hour.

At that point I was enjoying a drink with friends,  and I was not sure if the video took.  Do you know they had this long long questionaire you had to fill out?

Full of very personal questions about your hat size  ( I put that my head was very big)   and your favorite book.  I don’t have a favorite book. I have many.

Your favorite movie. One of my favorites is  Shirley Valentine.

I was excited and afraid.

Then I forgot about it, and on Tuesday I got an email.  Your video is too long.

That was it.  End of the dream of being a chosen star on the OWN channel.  My hopes dashed.    Really silly.  I can still do the TV show even if Oprah rejected me.

What do you think?  Do I have a dusting of star quality or do I look and sound completely idiotic?  Don’t spare my feelings,  truth is a wonderful thing.

I am on a journey to live mine,  what about you?

I would love to hear your thoughts.   and if you want your home filled with a stylish delicious feeling, call me  Jen Duchene 650.644.8592

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Through a lens — 42 Comments

  1. I loved it! From your opening statement, I was entranced, waiting to see what you would say next. Your humor comes across nicely, and of course, there’s that great accent of yours. I especially love that you did an example of decorating the tray. Very simple and easy, inexpensive items, and yet so very effective. Very nice, Jen. My only suggestion goes to the camera person, and I would recommend doing a shot of just the tray, once it was decorated, showing the entire tray, leaving you out of the picture for a few seconds while we look at your creation.

    Carolyn CJ Jones

    • Dear CJ, Thank you so much for your delightful comment. Glad you enjoyed it, and I am so happy you liked the tray example. That is what I was aiming for – something doable for the everyday person. You know I really like your suggestion for the end
      My Videographer probably did a couple of those as the day wore on but my editing skills leave much to be desired! I will keep your suggestion in mind for the next one! Jen

  2. Great video content! It was informative and I think you did a great job. Now, keep practicing. Confidence is built up through such practice and before you know it, you’ll have as many viewers as GaryVee.

    • Dear Dave, love your comment. Thank so much for the encouragement. Yes you are right I need to persevere and do this weekly. Confidence is essential in this game. I dont know who GaryVee is so I will have to look him up. Sounds like a great

  3. Good for you Jen for going for it and what a sexy voice you have. I thought you did a great job and I loved your intro. My 12 year old daughter came in on the action too (she’s very stylish in your way – whereas we have mountain style in our home) and she wants the chair and the tray and everything on it but thinks chocolates would have been better than cranberries (only cos she doesn’t like cranberries – lol)

    I’m working on myself to get to the point where I do video.

    • To funny Louise, I have a sexy voice? My daughter was telling me to tone it down. Thank you so much. I thought quite a bit about drawing the viewer in by making an interesting intro – who doesnt love dessert? Too fun that your daughter came
      in and loved the chair & tray. Tell her to start hunting thrift stores and consignment stores thats where I get most of my stuff. I love chocolate too – my first choice but I didnt have any in the house that day.
      I cant wait to see your videos. It was a big leap for me and I feel a lot better after doing one. Now to the next LOL!

    • Dear Ann, Thank you so much. I am so glad I have you as my coach. You have changed my life. opened up gates! Jen

  4. You have the passion and the spirit to offer a show that would be inspirational and fun for tons of people like me that love being surrounded by beauty but don’t always know how to accomplish it! I am sorry your video didn’t make it through to Oprah, but that could have actually been a blessing. There are so many other less intense, less restricting opportunities out there, I think, for what you would love to do!

    • Dear Donna, I am so appreciative of your encouraging words, because that is what I want to do. Make a show for regular folk like myself. You know its funny you say that about Oprah, because I realized after they rejected me that I can still do it. I can still follow my
      dream and find a different outlet. Less restricting is a great point. I can build my rep and then have people like Oprah coming to me to do a show. Oooh I like that visual. Love it. Thanks so much for your positive spin.

  5. YOU GO GIRL! ROFL! You have given me courage in so many ways I can’t list them all here so I will tell you just one, with a bachelor of fine arts in theater, and training videos in the marketplace you would think I would be quick to do a video BUT have not yet done one. I am inspired by your process. I will be doing my first video probably in August. On what – I HAVE NO IDEA!

    Lisa Ann Landry – Corporate Trainer –Unleashing the Genie!

    • Dear Lisa, Thank you. Happy to inspire you and give you courage. Cant wait to see what you create. I know it will be wonderful. What I learnt is that you just have to dive in to get better. Good luck and keep me posted!

  6. Jennifer, don’t ever give up your dream. I thought your video was wonderful and you had a great presence on camera. Oprah is not he end all be all of the world. There is another path that you can follow – you just need to find out what that is. Good luck in your journey.

    • Thanks so much Chris for your kind and encouraging words. Gives me confidence. True there are many roads to get to my destination. I like that idea, and I plan on pursuing my dream.

  7. I LOVED this video. I loved your spirit, your voice, your offering. People have suggested I try something similar, not so much to promote my photography, but to promote my soon-to-be Blurb Cookbook. We’re new friends but I want you to know I am a gourmet cook; it is my other passion and people relish coming to our home for love, friendship, art, wine and food. Thank You for sharing your gifts and thank you for inspiring me!

    • Bruce, Thanks so much for your kind words. Ooh Blurb cook book sounds fascinating. I am learning so many things about your Bruce. You are an artist, and I am hoping I get invited to dinner someday! Sounds like you have all the ingredients for a perfect life. Yes go for the video.

  8. i’m impressed! i thought you were charming on camera + i really liked your tray-tablescape design. i’m sorry that the video was ultimately too long for oprah, but i think there will be lots of fabulous opportunities for you in the future. i hope to see more videos on the site in the future — and i’ll send good vibes to keep the barking dogs + passing ambulances quiet while you tape. 🙂

    • Amy you made me laugh, with your kind sentiments and good vibes. I appreciate you and with so much encouragement I am definitely ready to create more video. Thank you.

  9. Good for you Jen! I actually like your idea and it is viable! I think if you had more time to put together, edit and create the set it would be great. I actually never heard from Oprah, although OWN did start to follow me on twitter…but as you do, I think it was a great exercise to get our thoughts down in a form to present. Congrats!

    • Thanks Irene. Yes editing is the hard part and the long part 🙂 Thank you and I agree I need to put the time in. Cool about OWN following you. I guess they were impressed, which could be a sign of things to come!

  10. I loved the video.
    I have done one video blog and I agree that it is hard to talk to a camera. If I had an audience I would be much more comfortable and engaging.

    Doing the demonstration was perfect. As soon as you started the demonstration your creativity took over and you were in your element. You no longer needed an audience. Great job.

    I just asked my daughter to return my flip camera I have so many ideas!!

    Julia M Lindsey
    Our Little Books

  11. Hi Jen, I thought your vide was a lot of fun and I liked your description of the process 🙂 My favorite part was the jewelry on the vase. This may sound silly, but since I live in an old house, one thing that lept to mind was…won’t this just attract more dust? LOL!

    Brandy Mychals
    Jewelry for Your Target Market

    • Thanks so much Brandy, you know you are right about the dust! LOL indeed! and who needs more cleaning?

  12. Oh, Jen… I Love your video! And, yes, you do have a certain je ne c’est pas… You are delightful and engaging. And, as some others have pointed out, your voice is fantastic! I think you are onto something here… I especially love your line “recipe for delicious living success”–a great tagline! Good job 🙂

    • Thank you so much Heidi. It feels good to get such flattering feedback.
      Motivates me to keep on doing it.

  13. Love your accent and the content of your video. I would love to see a follow up video of you in a thrift shop picking out things that could be used in decorating…sometimes it is hard to pick out the gems in the mass of stuff. Keep it up…now that you have started, keep doing videos and putting your best stuff out there…I’ll be watching.

    • Darcie how kind. Funny the thrift store video idea is one I had thought of, but not exactly, so I am glad you mentioned it here. Love to get helpful feedback. And doing this video with so many positive encouraging words I am inspired to keep doing it.

  14. Jen,
    I LOVE your video! Your description of the process had me laughing out loud. I really enjoy videos that are natural. And yours filled the bill for me! The dog barking just made it more authentic and real. You have such a flair for decorating and make it sound so easy. But it’s not for most of us! You have a lot to offer to the world and I know you will be hugely successful. So thankful to know you!

    • Renee, thanks so much for your lovely comment. Makes me feel good. Glad that I make it look easy & natural. I need more people like you in my life. Me to, I am thankful and blessed to know you! Jen

  15. Love the word pictures you paint in your video! And the simple, yet elegant, decoration you created with things from the thrift store was amazing.

    • Thank you Ron. Love your comment. Hope I have inspired you to change up something in your home. How we live does effect our lives.

  16. Loved the video Jen-

    I think that despite the fact that you didn’t get your change at Oprah, that it doesn’t matter because look at what you did do! And think of what her challenge did for all those people who got out and made a video. She got people to get out of their comfort zone. Now that you have done it, you are all set to go!

    I can really see your monthly (weekly?) 5 minute TV show, doing exactly what you did here. Take one little suggestion and then show your viewers how to put it together to be gorgeous. Another thought which I love also, is that in a few of your segments, you could go out to thrift stores and show people what to look for and then how to use what you got. How fun would that be!!!

    Candace C. Davenport
    Our Little Books

    • Candace what a great way to look at it. Its true her action had a galvanizing effect on so many. Yes it feels good to step out of that cozy spot. I love your idea of doing a monthly or weekly TV show. I am going to do it. I just need to map out some ideas. And yes
      would definitely enjoying shopping and showing ! Thank you so much for encouraging me to change. I need that.

  17. Don’t know how I managed to let the week end without viewing your video, but I did — and now I’m sorry I didn’t allow myself that lift earlier in the week! You are beyond awesome, my dear Jen — just as if you’d been doing this for ages. Everything was appealing: your voice, your face, your clothing — and definitely the contents of the tray! I’m just in awe of how you’ve “come out” and let your light shine these last months. You’re onto something, girl — keep taking it higher & higher & higher. Can’t wait to see the next phase!

    • Beth, how lucky am I to have you in my life? making me smile and making me feel so good. I am definitely going to keep going on and yes higher and higher would be awesome. Love the idea of growing and getting better. Thank you so much for your uplifting note.

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