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Live Theater

Film actors, TV actors, and live theater actors all have talent, but it is, perhaps, live theater actors that deserve the most credit. If a live theater actor messes up his lines, there is no going back, he can only go forward and hope for the best. Film and TV actors can do a retake, even when filming in front of a live audience.

Also, a live theater actor needs to know his lines, he needs to know the script, know what comes next. He can call for a break so that he can memorize his few lines for one scene and then take another break so that he can practice for the next scene. Live theater is in the here and now. It takes months of preparation for a live theater performance to go well. And if it does not go well… well, the performers will feel it immediately – no laughter at a joke, no applause at the end… they will know.

On the other hand, some may say that stage performers have at least one small advantage – they can feel out their audience. They can change their performances ever-so-slightly from opening night to closing night, depending on how their audience reacts. If the audience does not laugh at one joke, the actors can try to time the next joke even better, etc. Actors on film and TV do not have this advantage – they have to wait until the movie or show comes out and see how the audiences like it. If they do not like it, there is nothing that can be done about it.

Live theater does not just employ human actors, either – there can be animals up on stage, as well. It is amazing how well animals can do up on stage during a performance, but that does not mean that at one point the animal will not go off and start chewing the scenery – you can not always be positive what an animal will do in live theater, no matter how well trained it is. Animals are not actors.

It is, in part, because of this chance of messing up, and also the feeling of actually participating in a performance that audiences love live theater.


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