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Oh No Jury Duty! / You Need to Practice

I had Jury Duty!

Jury Duty!

Seriously, Jury Duty!


Update: It wasn’t that bad. I ended up actually enjoying myself. It is always interesting to see the justice system in action, regardless of your opinions on it’s fairness.

I’m choosing not to talk directly about my Jury Duty experience, instead let’s talk about what I did on my lunch breaks on Tuesday and Wednesday of that week. I want you to remember this phrase:

“If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.” 

Or in other words, practice makes prepared.

When I was growing up, every year, no matter where we lived, we would make a pilgrimage out to a slice of heaven on the central coast that feels more like a home than anywhere else in the world: Pismo Beach.

When we lived in Phoenix, this meant we would load up in our 2003 Chrysler Voyager packed to the gills and embark on an 8 hour homeresque odyssey. Trekking through the hellscape of the high desert through Death Valley, a quick gas / McDonalds stop in Pit of Despair, AKA Blythe, CA. We would brave the traffic of Los Angeles, and finally, reach the glorious western coastline! 

The highlight of any Pismo Trip was if the brakes on the van needed to be changed once we got to Pismo. This happened several times over the years and I believe even a few times in a row. My dad would drop us off at the hotel, Christian Cursing underneath his breath all the way to the local auto parts store, buy the brake pads, and a ratchet set and some clamps so he could perform the brake replacement. Then that evening, I would help him jack up the car and he would change the brake pads.

These last minute, emergency brake pad replacements happened so often that eventually we owned at least 10 ratchet sets, and numerous clamps. 

My dad, finally had enough. He was done!

Buying cheap tool sets that is. After a set of back to back vacation brake pad changes, my dad bought three storage tubs. He loaded each tub with an identical set of tools, fluids, and jumper cables, and we stored one in all three of our cars. He chose to stay ready, instead of constantly having to get ready.

Whether you are starting a business based on a product you make, service you offer, or even just a purely creative endeavor, you need to stay ready. How do you stay read? You practice! There are always areas you can improve, new techniques you can learn and new skills to try out.

While I was trying to figure out what I was going to do during the very long lunches they give you, I thought about what techniques I wanted to try learning. I had just come off a string of Jesse Driftwood, and Daniel Schiffer videos talking about seamless transitions and how to do in-camera transitions. I really like the look of their videos and wanted to add that skill to my tool box. So with one camera (Canon M50) and one lens (EF-S 18-135mm) I started walking in downtown Sacramento, near the K Street mall, which turns into Old Sacramento if you walk far enough. 

We had a pretty long lunch break so I was able to spend a decent amount of time wandering and filming. 

I did the same thing on the third day at Cesar Chavez Park where they do a little farmers market every Wednesday.

Things were going great, and I was really happy with the footage when I looked at in on the camera.

Then I got started editing, and man. It was a good thing I wasn’t trying this with a paying client. It took a ton of effort to get the footage into shape. I hadn’t put enough foresight into the shots I was getting and had to leave a few of them on the cutting room floor. 

There are some really cool shots and transitions in this video, but overall it’s a little rough, and I’m ok with that. It will be a marker for the first time I attempted this, and I will be able to look back in a year or two and be amazed at how far I’ve come. It was a very valuable learning experience, so the next time I want to get a similar look, I have a little more experience with it.

If there are things that you want to get better at, or you are starting a business. Get to practicing. You can start small, but you need to start somewhere. If you stay ready or up to date on your skills, when the time comes when you need them, they will be waiting in the tool box ready to be picked up and used.

What areas are you going to start practicing in? Let us know down in the comments!

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