The Problem with “Acting” on YouTube

Wow. Four weeks without a written post on the PoPS blog. Quick recap of blogger rationalization: A lot of traveling meant I had a lot of work to catch up on at my day-job and I’ve spent the last couple weeks going crazy on finishing PoPS episode 9. We premiere on Sunday. Finally. As this trailer attests:

Today, I wanted to talk about one of the unfortunate side effects of doing a show on YouTube. Don’t worry, this isn’t a big complain’y type blog post. It’s just that we have a lot of great actors is our show, and people’s expectations when watching YouTube is that they’re seeing people who are simply being themselves. Our actors don’t get credit for acting.

That’s part of why I’m so pleased I got to do a video update each with the remaining members of the villain crew. The audience finally got to see them out of character. There were so many comments like—

“Wow! He’s nothing like his character! What a great actor!”

They need to get the chance to see what a team of genuinely sweet natured collaborators we’ve built in order to understand that they’re really good actors. If they were watching them on TV or in a movie, that’s something that would be inherently conveyed. But the very platform of YouTube is largely based on the premise of watching REAL people express themselves as who they genuinely are.

This is also a reason why many prefer not to watch web series on YouTube. The very platform makes everything seem even more phoney and fakey because people aren’t just telling stories looking straight into the lens of their cell phone or DSLR.

Just an unexpected hurdle on the platform of YouTube. So, it’s nice that at least the contingent of our audience that watches the updates finally understands how legit our cast actually is.

Another fun bit in preparing to release episode 9 are the hype’ish previously-ons I put together. This time it’s 21 seconds long and only helps the people who’ve already seen the show remember where we are and get a little amped. It does NOTHING to help anyone who’s never seen the show before understand what’s happened. I love it:

Thanks for reading. #PoPSweek

–Jake

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2 Responses to “The Problem with “Acting” on YouTube”

  1. I think you’ve got a point there, but also: It really didn’t help that Tommy pretended to be Precious in his Donor-Behind-The-Scenes-Vlog type videos. That really threw me off / I don’t think I realised he was in character. I was genuinely surprised by him in the update. Maybe I’ll rewatch those behind the scenes one day and it will all make sense 😉

  2. Jasmin Gentry Says:

    I think I may have been guilty of not giving them credit. I find that strange, as I enjoy movies whilst picking them apart. I’m usually simultaneously loving the story and wondering how it was done or considering how awkward it was to deliver a line, etc. I remember now. The first time I saw Vogel laughing in BTS footage I was surprised. I see you and understand that you are acting but I don’t do the same for Damon’s crew. Bizarre. I think I’m giving myself a headache trying to figure out why I process this that way.

    Anyway, your previously on is 21s of gold.

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