This past week, Bare Bodkin uploaded the seven pieces involved last year’s Play by Play festival to YouTube. I have anticipated these videos for nearly a year, but then I realized the horror that comes with watching myself act.
I have never been a film actress, at least, never seriously. I have participated in a few film student projects along the way, but I have never viewed myself as a part of the film world. Of course, I’m open to try anything, but it dawned upon me as I watched last year’s Play by Play that I despise my own work.
Despite the disgust I have with my own past acting, this is not a call to compliments or reassurance. As any slightly self conscious human being will admit, watching yourself on film, hearing recordings of your own voices, or trying to face a slightly unflattering photo of yourself may induce a slight panic, ripples of abhorrence, and maybe a little terror. However, these videos are also great for those of my family and friends who were not able to make the performance. While the beauty of live theatre relies on physical presence, I do plan on sending my family the recordings of the two plays I was a part of. Though they’re 2,000 miles away, they’ll finally be able to see one of my performances in college.
Yes, I hate watching myself, but what I hate more is the reality that is it extremely difficult for my family to come to Tufts in order to watch my performances. Throughout middle and high school, neither of my parents missed a single performance, from sixth grade dance concerts to equity theatrical performances. From California to Michigan to New Mexico, my family made grand sacrifices in order to support me. At Tufts, this has been more difficult. It is much farther than any other of my performance destinations and requires much more planning around both my own schedule and my parents’. Though I know they support me from afar, it still is difficult knowing that there won’t be that one familiar face in the audience, cheering you on no matter if you flub a line or trip on your costume.
For now, my parents and the rest of my family will be able to watch a performance a year later through the magic of the Internet. Though it’s not ideal, it’s still exciting to show them how much I’ve progressed in college, even though I have difficulty watching myself. I’m able to share a part of my Tufts experience that they have not yet been able to experience themselves, and for that I am grateful. Maybe one day it will be feasible for them to travel the some thousand miles up to frigid Boston, but until then I’ll rely on somewhat illegal DVDs and YouTube clips.