Performing Live Vs. Prerecorded

On Social Media Right now, it seems like everyone is doing shows on Facebook Live.  It’s partially because it’s a new thing and seems fun, however personally I’m against it.  I want to be clear, I’m not talking about teaching things like lectures, but people performing for people to watch. Here’s the problem, it’s visually uninteresting. 

Typically, it’s a single camera, static shot of someone in a room.  Visually that gets old very quick.  Watch any produced magic TV show and you won’t see 5 minutes of video from a single point.  Now watch any TV show and you’ll notice the same.  If you Live Stream, why are you forcing your audiences to watch a static camera view your show?

We live in a world where you can do a two camera live stream where you change views or single camera, but have someone move it for different views. It’s not that hard, but you need to pump the breaks on your rush to get content out there and try to get it out in more digestible manner for the general public. 

I just completed my first “show” for social media.  Every Tuesday my brothers and I have a “virtual dinner” and one suggested I do a cooking show.  The goal of the video was to make my brothers laugh, but it took work. 

I sat down, wrote it out, then sent it to a buddy for notes and to punch it up.  For me the fun part was building the props.  Inspired by a picture that Christoper Weed had posted as a joke of a gloved hand wearing a thumb tip, I decided to do the whole show wearing gloves and had to turn “flesh colored” gimmicks into glove colored gimmicks. 

I recorded and edited it.  Editing is what makes your show watchable, and the lack of it is one of the things that I don’t like about most live streams.  I don’t need to see you sip water, or dig around in your case to grab props.  Editing is a lot of boring work, which is why I think a lot of people are taking the easy route and doing Live Streams, but doing it makes your show so much more watchable!

Hope you enjoyed my rant.  The opinions above are mine.  If yours are different, hopefully they make you think about yours. 

Live Comments…

The other day I posted about a virtual gig I did. I was an act in a cabaret show and my bit was prerecorded, so I didn’t perform live. Honestly that was sort of a mistake. We should have found a way to do it live from different locations, and not prerecorded.

All of these things like Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Zoom, etc all have chat functions. When my prerecorded segment was on the show, I didn’t know if I wanted to watch because I was scared of what people would say in the comments. I forced my self to watch it and read the comments as my segment was playing. I decided what I could learn from negative comments would have HUGE value. I got positive comments, so my ego was unscathed.

One thing about doing a virtual gig is that you can use the comments to your advantage. You can use them for people to pick a card, name a number, say their favorite movie, etc. Now you can add some interactive elements to the show.

The takeaway is you should embrace the comments feature and use them to your advantage!