After realizing the original performance I created was too outlandish to be believable and relatable, the obvious next step was to tone down my character. I thought back to my original interests in approaching topics of appearance on social media and decided to create a new performance without Ellen.
Last Wednesday, I preformed for an LS&A class called "Visuality in New Media." I introduced myself as Melanie Parker, a recent graduate of the University of Michigan that started a career as an Online Image Curator. Melanie Parker wanted to help people improve their social online image as opposed to their professional image. I spoke less about what an Online Image Curator is and more about why I started this business. Throughout the presentation I told three true personal accounts and presented them as ways people used social media platforms to make their social lives "better." These stories did not necessarily show personal mental well being. At the end of the presentation I revealed myself as a Senior in the Stamps School and opened the floor for discussion.
I found this performance to be more successful than my previous performances because students began to tell me stories about themselves and friends that were similar to ones I told. To me this revealed that the presentation was believable enough that students were able to relate to it. Additionally, I had the opportunity to hear some relevant stories that I can use in future projects.