Smile, You’re On NAA’s Candid Camera!

If you want a free trip to Las Vegas, here’s your chance.

In recognition of National Apartment Careers Month in February, the NAA Education Institute (NAAEI) is calling for submissions for its “Get Reel” Career Video Challenge posted on YouTube, where you are eligible to win a trip to the 2011 NAA Conference & Exposition in Sin City. All you have to do is submit a 30- to 60-second video covering a day in your life as an apartment industry professional. It’s that easy.

Now before I get into the nitty-gritty, I want to reach out to those of you who cringed at “video challenge.” The ones who swear there aren’t enough buffets and slot machines in the world to get them in front of a camera.

Well, I’m here to convince you otherwise. Take it from a dark horse who once took the video world by storm…

The year was 1997. I was in sixth grade and I had to videotape a “How-To” speech for my English class, teaching any skill of my choosing.

Shockingly, my acting debut did not garner Oscar buzz. In a performance that would have made Miley Cyrus look like Meryl Streep, I attempted to bake peanut butter cookies while my mother-turned-cinematographer and director insisted, among other things, that I dramatically smell the tray of cookies when they came out of the oven before giving a thumbs up. Mom really had her pulse oncool.

I ignored my mother and attempted to crack the first egg into the mixing bowl. Unfortunately, I missed. Looking up with tears in my bespectacled eyes, an entire raw egg running down the front of my t-shirt, I stared at the camera in horrified silence before simply crying, “Mom?!”

Steven Spielberg Jr.’s ginormous camcorder didn’t have the battery power required to re-tape that portion of the demonstration, and I was forced to leave my egg blunder—and many others—on the final cut. I sat there the next day in class, cringing as my teacher played the video. But a funny thing happened. Apparently everyone thought the video was hilarious. Sure, some were laughing at me, but I ended up getting the best grade in the class for my “creative” performance.

The moral of this story is twofold. Number one, don’t ever let your mother be your manager. Number two, give this NAAEI contest a shot! You may feel intimidated, but you may just win a trip to Las Vegas. And you certainly won’t have any egg yolk running down your shirt.

For full contest information, rules and eligibility, click here. All entries are due by Monday, Jan. 31, so get that Flip cam rolling!