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Better off behind the camera

I recently had the unpleasant experience of being interviewed by Coast Cable's Steve Sleep. He was fabulous, don't get me wrong.

I recently had the unpleasant experience of being interviewed by Coast Cable's Steve Sleep. He was fabulous, don't get me wrong. The unpleasant part was having to think on my feet, stumbling over every word, losing my train of thought and pleading for more takes.

It reaffirmed my decision to be a writer rather than a politician.

My interview with Steve was on Wednesday this week. It was my opportunity to tell people about the new sea cadet corps I'm involved with in Gibsons.

We've been without a sea cadet corps on the Coast for a number of years, and a dedicated group of volunteers have now pulled together to offer the program locally again. I recently got involved after reading an article about it in our paper.

I was excited because they were asking for interested people to come and help, and I had been a sea cadet in Calgary for most of my adolescent life. I know what you're thinking - there's no water in Calgary. But that's not true; we sailed on the reservoir.

The sea cadet experience helped me gain self-confidence, determination and self-control (of which I was in desperate need as a teenager). It even helped me believe I could go on to become a reporter, which was my childhood dream.

I learned how to sail, how to fire a rifle, how to shine my boots to a mirrored gloss and take pride in my uniform and how to develop my drill sergeant voice, which comes in handy now that I'm a mom. I made friends from all over Canada while attending summer camps on Quadra Island.

I ended up being the coxswain in charge of my corps and even won Cadet of Alberta at one point, which sent me on a week-long trip with the crew of the HMCS Calgary.

Needless to say, I loved sea cadets, and I wanted to get involved in the program out here. I was astonished to find there was no sea cadet corps when I moved here seven years ago.

So I decided to get involved in this new corps that's set to start parading in September. It was soon decided I should become the commanding officer of the corps and be in charge of recruiting.

That's how I ended up in front of the camera Wednesday afternoon.

I woke up two hours early that morning to gussy myself up. I even ironed my shirt, which is something I haven't done since being in sea cadets eight years ago. (I find the fluff cycle on the dryer works well for most things.)

As the interview approached, I got butterflies in my stomach, and once the camera started rolling, I forgot all the fabulous things I wanted to say.

Luckily there is a 17-minute recruiting video Steve said he'd play along with my interview on Cable 11, so whatever I forgot to say is covered in there.

Steve said it should be ready to air by the end of June, so I guess I'll have to wait until then to see how I did. To tell you the truth, the whole thing is a blur - and it dashed any hopes I had of ever being a TV reporter.

By the way, if you want more information about our new corps, call 604-885-1246, or to learn more about sea cadets, visit their website at