Personal, UXPaul McAleer

That's me in the spotlight

Personal, UXPaul McAleer

Today was the first day of UXMAD, and I had a most enjoyable and enlightening day. Every talk today was a good one, without exception. The day began with a "playnote" from Jessie Shternshus, in which she not only had everyone on stage (all the attendees!) but also had us throwing paper airplanes at her.

After we did a great meet and greet with everyone else, Jessie asked for 5 people to volunteer to stay behind for another improv session. I stood still and watched as nearly everyone left the stage. It was funny but while a part of me wanted to go, I didn't. I wanted to play along and it sounded like way too much fun for me to be in my seat. So I raised my hand along with 5 other people (plus my coworker Marteki, who ultimately declined) and... It was show time.

At this point I felt like a little kid. I was on stage under bright spotlights - this was the stage at the Overture Center - standing on a rug, with 5 strangers. No idea what I was going to be doing. Jessie informed us that we were going to be a discussion panel... a one-word discussion panel. Each of us needed to reply to an audience question on any topic (!) in order from left to right with just one word each! So, we each built on each other's word and gave a signal when we were done.

It was a lot of fun. We were asked about the meaning of life, what was happening on Dexter (my word: "spoiler-y"), and buttons versus links. During my brief time on stage, I was so excited and thrilled and just in the moment that I had no chance to worry or fret. No chance! I had no butterflies, no nervousness. I felt as comfortable as I could be, just letting the moments be and realizing, hey, when am I going to have THIS opportunity again?

And you know, just like that, it was over.

It was a blast. I had a great time and I can't wait to see what's in store for tomorrow.

Photo by Naa Marteki Reed.

Photo by Naa Marteki Reed.