5 Ways Acting on Video Chat Makes You a Better Artist

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Photo Source: Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova from Pexels

One certainty arises above the unknown future of the entertainment industry: there’s going to be a lot of video chat acting. Whether auditioning, taking an acting class, or even filming projects, getting used to the at-home medium will be key. Since the human mind is conditioned to see negatives, we immediately go to all the glitches these services have. But dare I say, there are really interesting aspects to virtual acting that can enhance your performance skills. 

In a way, video chatting is the lovechild of cinema and theater, and has the ability to prepare you for both. Now leave the waiting room and enter the chat, because we’re about to focus on five positive elements to virtual acting.

1. Glitches are gifts.
“Oh no! You’re frozen!” We’ve all been there. Someone’s mic isn’t on, your app randomly decides to start updating, the list of glitches goes on and on. But that’s life, right? Look at a glitch in the system as a gift. It essentially snaps you out of your head and grounds you in the present moment. Glitches are like little reminders to stop “acting” and start living in the circumstances of the scene. 

2. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Let’s face it: even with the closest of friends, video chatting can be awkward. You talk over each other and the merry band of aforementioned glitches strikes. It’s uncomfortable by nature. So, shouldn’t it be the perfect acting exercise? One of the best parts of being an actor is learning to live in discomfort. Discomfort creates truth. Fight the urge to bandaid over awkward instances by “performing’ and see what comes when you sit and listen.

3. Stop eyeballing me!
Acting over video conference calls can help you break the acting habit of staring straight into your scene partner’s eyes the entire time. Look at them, look around your room, and, we’re actors so I know you’re doing this, look at yourself from time to time. Take in the scene!

4. You’re in control.
As frequent self-tapers will know, when you film yourself at home you have total creative control over your setup. Make a space that will put you at ease and allow you to naturally dive into a scene. While there may be uncomfy moments that arise, since you’re starting at a fresh and relaxed point, you’ll be more open to the natural unfolding of them. On another note, this is great practice for learning to light and frame yourself!

5. It will get you camera-ready.
Being on-camera will help you hone your TV and film skillset. With video chat, you’re literally confined to keeping your performance within a rectangle. You don’t have to project to the back of the house, you don’t have to hit any blocking, your job is just to be. And that’s a skill every human should try to master.

Looking for remote work? Backstage has got you covered! Click here for auditions you can do from home!

The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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Robert Peterpaul
Robert Peterpaul is an actor, writer, and the owner of RPP, which aims to assist talent in the entertainment industry in honing their craft.
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