I HATE making recordings. Audio, video, it matters not. I loathe it.
Or, at least I used to.
Recently, while making recordings, I am more pelased with the outcome than in previous years. The issue that I have with recording- especially video - is that it's a one shot deal, much like an exam. Yes, with recordings you are able to re-record at your leisure, but that is exhausting, and time consuming. And while the recording is happening, I become hyper-aware of myself. "Have I always moved my arms like this?" Or "I wonder how I look in the camera right now?"
But this kind of thinking happens all the time in auditions and I don't feel nearly as much grief! What's the deal, brain!? A big component of my level of comfort in auditions is the panel. Again, what's the deal, brain? A table full of strangers judging me for 7 minutes? I can feel your anxiety level rising. But, auditions are quite comfy for me. The results are not universally amazing, but they're not something I usually spend a lot of time worrying about.
Take the table of strangers away and replace it with a video camera? Game. Over.
But I think I'm on to something with the idea of "other people." I mean, one of the main resons I love this art form so much is the audience. Taking the audience away and replacing it with a recording device feels like cheating. It gives me the feeling that what I'm doing doesn't really count; everything is a practice run. I think the reason that I started having more success with recordings in the recent past is because I began pretending (or inviting!) small audiences to the room. Other people instantly raise the stakes, provide a literal sounding board as well as beings with whom to share your story and energy.
Other than bringing your audience (either literally or figuratively), my experience with recordings has also been improved by:
Planning shorter sessions. Because of my hatred towards recordings, I would often try and record 8 pieces in one session. That's just asking for trouble!! I got so tired and frustrated that I didn't care what I sounded like. Any take would do, I just wanted to get out of there.
Being flexible. With budgets and scheduling, this is tricky. But, if you can, think proactively and try and book two sessions a few days apart. If you are feeling sick or just not "in the zone" for a recording session, it's best to rebook.
Not leaving it to the last minute. Ahhh, easier said than done! But, this is crucial. Doing anything at the last minute gives me serious anxiety, but a recording/application at the last minute feels like trying to disarm a bomb on a unicycle. If you're good at it, cool! But, I prefer a simpler approach.
Doing it often. It's not a foreign concept that practice is beneficial in building a skill set. The more you do recordings, the better you will ultimately become at it.
The moral of this story is that recording often sucks. But try to make it suck less! If that means bringing a cardboard cut out of Taylor Swift into the room woith you, do what you gotta do.
Happy recordings, everybody!
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