This week I read that Johnny Depp does not watch his own movies. Although quite a few people seemed surprised by this revelation I, as a fellow artist, am not. In fact, I always avoid watching videos of myself dancing whenever possible. This sounds a little strange, right? Performers who can’t stand to watch themselves. Next, we’ll find out that the owner of Krispy Kreme hates donuts and that Beyonce never listens to her own music.
There are at this moment several DVDs of my performances in my possession which made the rounds to interested family and friends but have never actually been played in my house. Why? Well, it’s mainly because we artists do tend to be our own worst critics as well as major perfectionists.
Imagine you felt fantastic on stage and then see a video of yourself and your hand is not quite right or the timing a little off. That would sort of ruin the experience a little, wouldn’t it? Well, that’s how I feel, anyway. I dance for the sheer joy of the art, not to pick myself apart which is what would inevitably happen. It’s just that there is no going back after performances and it seems best to invoke the credo “what happens on the stage, stays on the stage.”
I will, however, admit that video is a great tool for improving rehearsals. I watch rehearsals if there is something to be learned and I definitely encourage other dancers to do the same. But don’t feel like you’re odd if the very thought of watching your own performances makes you less than excited. You’re definitely not alone.