I have been asked to work as an on-camera host and been asked to do interviews on several occasions. All of these videos were shot in just one take and I hadn’t studied the script beforehand, so — while that is good practice — they will haunt me in the internet graveyard forever.
Initially, one of my problems was an abundant use of filler words. I never realized how much I ‘ummed and ahed’ until I joined Toastmasters International, where the number of filler words used by each member are tallied in every meeting. Being aware of it has allowed me to eradicate them when I pay attention.
As is evident below — unless you’re talking about the AP Stylebook — I have an atrocious sense of style. At the risk of offending fashionistas, I couldn’t care less about anybody’s threads. I’ve never read fashion and beauty magazines, hate shopping, and couldn’t think of anything less I’d like to devote my precious brain storage to than knowing what arbitrary style is ‘in’ this season. Nevertheless, as a reporter I covered fashion week in New York. Thankfully, the only styles that didn’t make me ask, ‘Who would wear that?’ were the ones I was there to highlight for India Abroad — the clothes made by South Asian designers.
In my defense, clothes are exorbitant in Argentina and are made in limited sizes. I’m only a few inches taller than the average Argentine woman but the pant legs tend to be too short for me. As foreign residents in Argentina know, it’s virtually impossible to get packages from abroad, and I’ve only left twice in 13 years, so I haven’t had that much opportunity to get my hands on quality clothes. If the pay justifies it, next time I am hired for this type of work I will spring for a decent haircut and find some fashion junkie to help me dress the part.
Despite being a fashion disaster and stuttering like an old steam train, I’ve found that my video appearances receive much more feedback than my other work. I can produce a feature article with good writing and photography on an interesting topic and get a tepid response, but if I share a video there is a slew of ‘likes’. One can only conclude that people prefer video in the digital age, which is why I keep working on improving my presentation and also learned basic video production and editing to keep up with media trends.
Intoconnection — Skype Interviews
Intoconnection is subsidiary of the Dutch company, Samhound Media which aims to connect people from around the globe with interesting content via their video platform. They asked me to come up with a couple of ideas of interesting Argentina topics and subsequently appear on the videos as an interviewee via Skype.
Lose Weight And Get Energetic With Argentina’s #1 Drink
The first video we did was on Argentina’s most beloved morning beverage, mate tea. In the pre-interview I had shared with them how I lost weight when I moved to Argentina, perhaps in part due to trading in my coffee cup for a mate gourd.
At this point, I had lived in Argentina long enough that my chubbier incarnation was ancient history, so I didn’t realize how much they wanted to focus on the weight loss aspect.
But it’s true — not only does it kill your appetite, it’s full of nutrients, antioxidants and ‘modifies cells in the obese state’ one study concluded.
I read through every single study published by medical journals while working on my comprehensive Wander Argentina article about yerba mate.
‘Puertas Cerradas’: Closed Door Restaurants of Buenos Aires
Puertas Cerradas are underground restaurants hosted in private homes or gardens. After Argentina’s turn-of- the-century economic crisis, restaurants struggled to survive. To garner income, both professional and amateur chefs took advantage of Argentina’s relative lawlessness to host dining experiences in secret locations.
Although they operate without health inspections, permits or liquor licenses and obviously only take cash, they are sought out by in-the-know visitors to Buenos Aires.
Argentinian Sex Hotels Are As Popular As Football
Many foreigners who come to Argentina are intrigued by its telos or sex hotels, rented in two or three hour periods.
They are popular with young people who live with their parents, cheaters and even married couples looking to spice up their romantic lives. Not surprisingly due to the topic, this chaste interview was one of Intoconnection’s most popular videos.
Geobeats — Video Host
Geobeats, was featured as the Daily Mail’s ‘Website of the Week’ in 2009. These videos were eventually syndicated to MSN Travel and MSN.com videos.
The Evita Museum, Buenos Aires
A video I hosted on the Evita Museum in honor of Juan Domingo Perón’s first wife, who embraced the working class and ushered in the women’s right to vote in 1947 (!). Better late, than never!
The Theater Scene in Buenos Aires
A video about the lively theater scene in Buenos Aires featuring an interview with actor and director, José María Muscari.
Street Food in Buenos Aires
Join me as I head to the Costanera Sur on a Sunday to pig out on Argentine street food. Featured are choripán (sausage sandwich), and torta de ricota (ricotta cheesecake) and pasta frola (jam tart).
MALBA Museum, Buenos Aires -Argentina Travel Guide
A video featuring the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires (MALBA), which contains one of South America’s premiere collections of 20th century art.
Penguin Watching in Patagonia
This video at Punta Tombo penguin reserve was the producer Ginger’s favorite. We were super rushed as we drove from Puerto Madryn and shot this video and had to immediately return. Ginger kindly lent me her camera so that I could shoot another video before heading back along the unpaved road to Madryn.
Travel Patagonia, Argentina: Punta Loma Sea Lion Reserve
The amazing Punta Loma Sea Lion Reserve in Chubut, Argentina allows visitors to observe a huge colony of sea lions from 100 meters above.
Patagonia Travel: Welsh Tea Time in Gaiman
In this video we stop in the Patagonia town of Gaiman, Chubut. The Welsh came here to escape oppression of the British and their culture is still alive and well here. Cymru am byth!
Whale Watching in Patagonia, Argentina
An amazing (and chilly) shoot we did watching whales in Patagonia, arranged with the help of my darling friend Sanda, who is a whale watching guide.
Scuba diving in Patagonia
When most people think of Patagonia, they imagine tall peaks, wild animals and glaciers, not scuba diving. My old pal ‘Pablo the pajaro,’ who is a professional diver, introduced me to Francisco, who lives and dives in Puerto Madryn.
Buenos Aires: Top Local Phrases
A video highlighting the top local phrases in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Buenos Aires Travel, Puerto Madero
A video on Buenos Aires successful urban development initiative, the neighborhood of Puerto Madero. Buenos Aires’ newest neighborhood features the Puenta de la Mujer (Women’s Bridge) and all the streets are named after notable women in Argentina’s history. I conduct a brief interview with a passer-by named Federico.
Travel Argentina- Milhouse Hostel in Buenos Aires
A shoot we did highlighting Milhouse hostel, one of the largest and most popular hostels in Buenos Aires known for its raucous party scene and ‘Millhouse Marriages.’
Patagonia, Argentina Travel – Driving and Sightseeing in Patagonia
Here I am driving in Patagonia. It worked out well, because my friend Ginger, who produced these videos, is a New York kid and doesn’t drive a standard. I happily served as the driver as well as the on-camera host on this Patagonia trip.
I learned to drive on a standard, and I still prefer them to automatics, especially for the kind of terrain you encounter in Patagonia. A couple of decades later, I’m pretty sure I’m to blame for my dad having to take blood pressure medication. He taught me how to drive in downtown Atlanta and I grinded the hell out of the gears on his beloved old beamer. I did try to pay it forward by later teaching two of my friends to drive on my 5-speed Honda Civic.
There is more information about driving and renting a car in Argentina on Wander Argentina.
Travel Buenos Aires, Top Attractions
At 1:11 you see Ascho, who I’ve dubbed the ‘Godfather of Plaza Dorrego’. If you want to see what a character he is, read my interview with Ascho.
Learn about Argentine Wine Varieties
The Legendary Bauen Hotel
A video on the Bauen Hotel in downtown Buenos Aires. This iconic hotel has a back story most porteños know — it was overtaken by the workers in 2003 and has been self-managed ever since.
Its cafe and lobby serve as gathering place for workers’ rights groups and other leftists political factions. I never featured the hotel on Wander Argentina, as we found it outdated and a bit musty, but it is a worthwhile spot for those interested in labor rights who want to be in the thick of the action. They also occasionally good parties in the basement.
While we were filming here, we were told Argentine rocker, Charlie Garcia (think an Argentine Frank Zappa) was holed up doing drugs and hiding from the press in one of the rooms.
Buenos Aires, Places to Stay, Art Deco Hotel
A video we did on the Art Deco Hotel, which is near the Obelisco in downtown Buenos Aires. This one has an obvious goof — check out my fake typing!