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Is being me good enough?

I wish I could articulate all the thoughts that have been running through my head.

I made the mistake of asking for constructive feedback on one of my videos and got well meaning comments like:

"You need to talk a bit quicker"

"You need to smile a bit more"

"You need to be more expressive"

"Maybe you shouldn't talk, let the art take centre stage"

"Maybe you should talk more like you were just talking to a friend"

I've taken this feedback on board and have been trying to change to be more like whatever it is that people feel I need to be more like. Maybe I should just hire an actor to be me since perhaps the real thing isn't up to scratch? Someone who knows how to talk expressively, well paced and can throw in the occasional smile.

Much of the time, it seems to me, that the majority miss the point of online video and why it isn't and never should be mistaken for television. Television is polished and filled with people who train to be the best at what they do.

Online video, whilst accessible to professionals, is the medium of people just being themselves. Presenting whatever it is that they want to express because they want to share something of themselves with others.

I've become discouraged of late because, try as I might, I can't talk a bit quicker, I'm not usually very expressive and I don't smile a heck of a lot. What you see on camera is exactly how I am when I talk to a friend. I'm not trying to be a television presenter. This is me. This is who I am.

The point of my videos is to let you get to know me, the face behind the art. I don't want the art to take centre stage because the art doesn't tell you anything about me as a person. The art only lets you make assumptions about who I might be not who I actually am.

Trying to change myself for my videos has made the process of making them less and less fun. To the point where I often don't record anything because I just can't be bothered with take after take of trying not to stumble on lines that are supposed to be spontaneous. It's a frustrating process where just saying "Hi, I'm The Extraordinary Tourist" becomes a chore because I continuously stumble the very next line trying to talk quicker and more fluently.

If I do let myself talk naturally I then have to spend hours editing out all the pauses whilst I stop to gather my next thought. Even though I talk to the camera the same as I would talk to a friend it's not quite the same. The camera doesn't speak back. You can't think about what you're going to say next whilst the camera speaks. Pauses become much more noticeable. I don't have to edit the pauses out but it emphasizes the slow pace that I naturally speak at.

I'm sure that, after reading this far, you may be thinking I should just be myself. The problem with that is, being myself just doesn't seem to be good enough.

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