Acting : Watching Yourself by Alvin Cowan

Alvin Cowan

Watching Yourself

Friends. Just saw the first cut of a movie I'm in. Good scene with great work. Curious - does ANYONE like watching themselves on screen? Doesn't matter how "good" I am in the scene, its painful to have to watch myself. Thoughts, musings, comments, criticisms?

Jessica Riddhi

Hi Alvin, most actors don't like watching themselves on screen just the same way many singers don't like to hear themselves sing but unlike Jake's narcissism (just teasing) it is important to get over that bump. What I'm trying to say is that one must become a bit detached from their work i.e. like a writer who must kill its darling, if you're looking to improve yourself - and no matter how good one is there's always room for improvement.

Alvin Cowan

Hey guys - thanks for the thoughts. I'm glad to hear that others feel similarly. It's more of a mild displeasure of seeing myself on screen than a severe, I think the experience is a little more palatable knowing that others feel similarly. At this point, I've gotten "used to it" but was just curious if this was just me or not. Thanks for the help.

Nick Hoffa

It is uncomfortable at first for sure, but learn to enjoy it! You learn so much from it, teaches you not to be in reality about how you look, the kind of energy your project, etc. You can further hone your marketing when you are honest about who you are.

Chris Connell

I love watching myself. :) Unless it sucked.

Douglas Eugene Mayfield

My guess as a writer is that watching yourself as an actor is roughly like a writer taking his/her work into a room full of writers (or perhaps execs, directors, producers) and getting notes. For us as writers, It's crucial, of course, but I admit I've never been comfortable with it. That said, after experiencing it over time, I'm much better now than I used to be. I think you should give some thought to the question 'Will watching my own work help me improve as an actor?' If so, I'd say do it. If not, why not drop it or at least keep it to a minimum? (I have read that name directors working with name actors may have quite different approaches to letting actors watch 'dailies', depending on whether the director thinks it will help or hinder actors.)

Rebecca Caldwell

I'm absolutely fine watching myself present my TV show or do funny skits for it, but the second I'm watching myself in a drama I get heart palpitations!

Jorge J Prieto

At first I hate watching myself, but is like everything, once you get used to it, it doesn't bother you.

Suzanne Bronson

all I think about is how fat I look :(

Russell J. Ramos

When I study for a character and then watch it later I actually see it from the eyes of the viewer, I know it's me but I get so into character that the person is real and I feel like a went into a time machine. I really like doing historical pieces and locations play a big part in the performance. I played a whaler on PBS and when I see the opening and my fellow actors I see them as real including myself.

Dorothy A. Atabong

I always sneak out at a screening. I can watch myself by myself. A theatre full of people, can't do it. I am also a stage actor.. but I suppose thats different as I am not actually watching myself.

Tyler Wolfe

I like watching myself but I almost always can find something that I would do different if I had another take. So, it can also be frustrating.

Jorge J Prieto

Hey Tyler, Sinatra always said that the first take is always the best because it was is fresh, spontaneous and that's how he always did it. Hey, the guy won an Oscar and he did his way, like his song says. You got this, Tyler, my friend.

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