What It Takes To Be A Stage Actor

A group of stage actors.

The stage actor and actress are special kind of people. It takes a lot to perform on the big stage and the difference between stage and film acting are huge. Have you ever thought about the differences between the two types of acting and what a stage performer must do? No? Well we did, so here you go.

Addressing The Audience

This is the main difference between live theater and film or television. With film and television, you are addressing a camera at close range. You can act more natural because the camera can capture everything about your performance. In addition, you can talk at normal tones as you would in real life because of the extensive use of microphones.

On stage, the actor or actress must act much differently. Every person in the theater must be taken into account. This means that they must act for the person sitting in the very last row. To do this, they must be much louder and they must be more extravagant with their movements. The person at the back of the room would be unable to detect subtlety.

Redefining The Character

With film and television, the actor or actress will probably be the first one who has played a character. This allows them the freedom to both make the character their own and to avoid comparisons. The audience is seeing the character for the first time, so they have no expectations.

The stage performer, in most cases, will be playing a character that has been played for years by dozens, if not hundreds of performers. Just think about how many times Romeo and Juliet has been performed. This means that they must, unless they are shooting for a radical departure,  stay true to the character. The audience will have expectations of what they will be going to see.

In addition, the stage actor will open themselves up to scrutiny. There will be immediate comparisons to actors or actresses from the past.

A Quest For Perfection

Much like with the characters, a film and television actor has a real advantage when it comes to the material. Nobody has seen it before, so they do not have to read the script to perfection. The audience, because of unfamiliarity, would be unable to detect a mistake.

The stage is an entirely different thing. Because the performance has been done thousands of times, the performer must be perfect. Any error will be immediately recognizable. This is a challenge for the stage performer although it is made somewhat easier by repetition.

There You Have It

As you can see, stage actors and actresses face a number of challenges when putting together their performances. In many ways, they have a much harder task to accomplish than other actors. Luckily, those in the field love what they do and enjoy the hundreds of hours that it takes to perfect their performance.

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