This weekend we did a show in Austin at the Maker Faire. Imagine a craft faire with flame-throwers, trebuchets, and robots and you'll have a very vague idea of what it was about. Recorded a few of the shows just to see how they were going. One of them was rough to say the least. This brings up the point in my brain on the importance of research.
I have no qualms about asking someone after a show what they liked or didn't like, or if they saw something they shouldn't have or that might have seemed off. I also have roadies and friends who know the show and can tell me what was bad that I might have missed. Flashing something I might not have caught. A fake hand falling off a prop.. yah I got that one thanx.
Regardless, a lot of magicians wax poetical about the use of video cameras to practice. While I agree on that to a degree I HIGHLY recommend the use of them for reviewing your shows. To see what doesn't look as good as you thought or perhaps check some angles. It's an eye opening experience to watch yourself on video. You suddenly become the worst critic you will ever have. A lot of people fear video reviews because they tell you the truth. A lot of people can't handle the truth. Just look at Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise.
You have to be un-biased when you watch yourself. If you are not you will not want to FIX what is wrong to make it WORK. You might just scrap an idea altogether... which is NEVER a step forward. More like 12 steps back. Sometimes it is easier to just turn off the volume and watch. It actually helps you ignore the patter and music and focus on your movement and blocking and body language.
So in closing I want to say, don't be too harsh on yourself when you see what you do. Look on the bright side...
at least yer not being investigated by the FBI.
PS: For the next two weeks I will be on the road doing a small sideshow tour with the Crispy Family Sideshow. My sideshow blog will see some updates because of it. Stay tuned.