| David Gane

Why didn't anyone tell me?

For the past few weeks, I've been building the online version of my screenwriting course for the university.

However, I've bumped into an unpleasant reality—I look and talk really weird.

The experience of self

I know this isn't a revelation. Most of you knew this about me for the longest time.[1]

But also, I'm pretty sure many of you have had a similar moment—when you get a glimpse outside yourself to see how people see you.

Of course, I think (at least, I hope) most people don't actually see me this way. It's only because this awareness of self is new for me and being I'm more judgemental than probably my friends and family.

I also believe the more I do it, the more familiar I will become with this new version of myself.

Performance art

However, it has made me realize the performative aspect to this work.

I always notice a disconnect when watching vloggers outside their own work. Casey Neistat acts different when I see him with Shonduras or Ben Brown than his own channel. I also feel that if you compare his work now to his old episodes, you'll see an evolution of style.

Practice makes perfect

However there is another side to this.

I remember how Gary Vaynerchuk often talks about the moment he changed his approach to appearing on Wine Library TV:

The first 80 — I can’t remember the exact number, so I’ll go with 80 episodes … Don’t forget, I started that show. I was the operator of a business where most of my day, 6 to 7 hours a day, was spent being on the phone or email with high net-worth individuals buying expensive wine. The thought of being on camera and them seeing me being me — which everybody who’s listening now that knows me knows is not the most consumable for the most conservative — was scary. So there was a reserved version of myself for the first 80 episodes, because I didn’t want to piss off my clientele.

Then around episode 80, I was like, “Wait a minute. This is way bigger than my clientele. If this is going so well with me being 70 percent me, what would happen if I was just me? Yes, some people would be upset, but I have a funny feeling this is going to work.” It just felt right to me. I felt like I was there. Like everything in my life and everybody’s life, when you’re the most yourself — good, bad, or indifferent — the things that are supposed to happen are going to happen. That’s what I allowed myself to happen, and that has been the beginning of that process that has allowed me to really become who I am.

I think there is a version of myself that I haven't quite found doing these online class videos.

It's hard not to be self-conscious, to doubt myself, to be aware of all my facial tics, all my awkward language, all my flaws.

However, I want to give the best version of the class to my students. The more I record, the more I will figure out my real voice, and finally become more comfortable with who I really am.


  1. I hope this to be the last of my self-deprecating humour. ↩︎

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