The Centre for Fortean Zoology was founded in the UK in 1992 - nearly 20 years ago. Over the past two decades it has expanded to become a truly global organisation. We opened our American office in 2001, our Australian office in 2009, and now - in our 19th year - we are proud to welcome CFZ Canada to the CFZ global family.

Wednesday 21 August 2019

The Challenges of Being an "Expert"

As soon as you get a good reputation in any Fortean field, three things are going to happen.  Sometimes none of them are any good.

One of the first things that happens is you will be asked to be the public face of, in this case, Cryptozoology.  There will be offers to blog, to do podcasts, to have a website and all of these things are wonderful if you are not planning to do research.  Let's face it, if you're sitting in the woods watching for Sasquatch you can't exactly be giving an interview on the radio.  Immediately you have to ask yourself the pros and cons.  On the Pro side, you'll get exposure, people who will listen to your theories, and hopefully respect and those things can lead to funding sometimes.  On the Con side. the general public will challenge you  on every turn to provide proof and other supports to your theory.  If you are also doing television, someone is going to complain about how you look.  It really takes a lot of effort to rise above all those human reactions and get on with doing the good work.

That's the second thing; you'll have lots more work.  Exposure of any kind increases workload exponentially.  You now have to be aware, all of the time, of any current cryptological events, all species, and even potential breeding patters for not only currently known animals, but also those that are mythological or as yet undocumented.  Pros? You will be forced to do more research which can only lead to good things.  You may also be asked to do paid appearances and any time money crosses your palm it's a good thing.  The down side of that though is that you have to learn new rules about taxes, entertainment law, and copyright.  When you sign on to do a tv show you generally lose any right to the end product.  This sometimes means they can edit to their hearts content and you don't get a say.   A good editor can craft a "statement" out of words you have said that might not even be related, and that statement could be completely incorrect.  Suddenly your "exposure" is doing  more harm than good.

Finally, the other thing that happens is that essentially, nothing changes.  You will likely get your fifteen minutes of fame many times over, but at what cost?  Before signing on to reality television, think it through.  The pay is terrible (if they offer any at all), you have no rights, and you're getting a little burnt out.  That sounds like how you started this journey.  

The moral of this story is, before you take on fame and public exposure, be absolutely certain of who you are.  Learn when to say no.  Budget your time.  Find a work/life balance.  Always keep in mind why you are a Cryptozoologist to begin with-your love of researching the unknown.

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