Watching Yourself Act: Friend or Foe?

Jun 21, 2010 by     No Comments    Posted under: Thousands of Stories

“I can’t believe I made that face!”

“Why do I keep moving my head so much?”

“I’m speaking way too loudly here…”

These are just a few of the self-critiques I made while watching the final cut of I Can’t Get No, a student film written and directed by Andrew Messer.

In my film acting class, I was told that some actors like to watch themselves on screen and spot areas they might need to work on, while others prefer not to, believing it only interferes. This leads to the question: Is it possible to accurately rate your own work? After all, you know your own face/expressions/voice better than anyone else, right? But can you really keep an objective point-of-view?

Myself, I’ve always preferred not to watch, simply because I usually wind up feeling bad about my acting. For some reason, I look right past all the good things about the performance and my brain only identifies the areas I could have done better, leaving me feeling embarrassed and deflated. Logic tells me that if I can get past my insecurities and watch myself with a constructively critical eye, then there can be room for tremendous growth as an actor. Plus, shouldn’t I be looking for footage I can use in my reel?

With that in mind, I’m going to opt for the path of most resistance and spend a little more time studying my own work after the fact. There’s a lot of upside in knowing thyself, and I intend to reap the benefits.

What do you think? Are you one of those people who prefers not to watch their own films? What’s your process? Is this an area where it might come in handy to go beyond film classes and hire an acting coach? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

~Joe VB