The myth of Narcissus tells the story of a beautiful youth who fell in love with his own reflection and became trapped. Maybe because of this story, we often think of mirrors as being suspicious objects that pander to our vanity and fool us into thinking we are better than we are. A mirror, we think, can be a potential trap.
Nevertheless, we need mirrors for so many important things. Where would we be if we couldn’t check our appearance before we left the house? How many times has a quick check in the mirror shown a button undone or a few hairs out of place? Applying make up or shaving would be impossible without a mirror.
Moreover, mirrors can be an important tool when we need to practice gestures, speeches and expressions. Next time you have to deliver a speech, practice in front of a mirror. You’ll be amazed at how conscious you will be become of appearance, gestures and facial tics. You might seem too static and dull, or too lively and over the top. Whatever you discover, the mirror cannot lie and will tell you what to change or tweak.
It’s important to ask yourself some important questions. Do I look confident? Do I smile with my eyes? Are my gestures appropriate? Am I dressed appropriately for this occasion? Do my cue cards or other aids get in the way? Am I engaging with my audience? Being self-critical can help you improve your performance no end.
Also, what is a video camera except a mirror with a playback function? This can be an even more useful tool when preparing for a public performance as it allows you to review your performance and get feedback from others.
So, don’t be frightened by mirrors, you’ll be surprised by what you find!