Wow. I just watched the video of our recent production of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple. I think overall it came off rather well, especially with the modest resources on the production side. The overall production value and the casting played well, at least in the context of community theatre.
What is sobering to watch is a video of one’s performance on stage. The difference between your own sense of what is happening around you and what the camera captures can be striking and maybe even a little disturbing. More to the point, your own sense of how you performed can be drastically different from that recorded by the merciless, unblinking eye of the camera.
This was my fifth play and in all of them I have played a minor character. What you find in doing such parts is that the director will not lavish much time in closely directing your acting. The director is mostly concerned with bigger problems, like- will the lead characters ever learn their lines? Or, how are we going to tweak the blocking to make the thing look better? So it is possible for the minor characters to give less-than-great performances without much feedback from the director, or maybe anyone.
The upshot is that, like everything else, you have to be self-aware enough to want to improve and take steps in that direction. My goal- to be less oafish. It is a good goal for an actor and for life in general. There you have it.