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Acting in Plays, Singing/Movies (Films) v/s Dramas (Plays).



Dear Sean

which according to you for an artist is a more challenging role to portrait i.e In Movies  or Plays (Dramas) ?.

Is it not always the Plays or Dramas because In Plays (Dramas), the artist has to perform live before the audience ?

Example :

There is a Movie "Romeo and Juliet" - 2 hours duration.
There is also a Play "Romeo and Juliet" - 2 hours duration.

Now the artist who has portrait the role of Romeo in both is common. i.e Same Artist has acted in both the Movie as well as
in the Drama.

Is it possible that An Artist who is acting in both Movies as well as in Plays may or may not be successful in one of them ?
i.e. Audience have appreciated his/her acting skills in Movies but not in Plays or vice versa.

if that is the above case what could be the reasons ?. Script,
Co stars, Direction, Music, Environment etc

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Hello, Prashant –

Thank you for the question. It is very complex. There is no easy answer or set of rules to point to. But with a focus on the character of "Romeo" and, in particular, the actor chosen for a new Broadway production or another Hollywood or Independent film, I can offer you a few considerations in relationship to my job as a singing teacher.

People who believe they can sustain a living as a stage actor – especially those who want to pursue Shakespeare – must first acquire all the skills it takes to compete against other individuals who believe the same thing and are auditioning at the same time. With Shakespeare, those vocal skills include the ability to be heard in the last row of a standard playhouse, without a microphone, and to be absolutely understood as they deliver lines written in rhythmic poetry and blank verse. My job as a professional vocal coach is to teach that actor how to strengthen and maintain their voice in order to perform 8 shows a week. The stage actor's responsibility is to study everything about Shakespeare and the performance of his plays. The actor who does not have the skills to fight with a sword or any other kind of dagger-type weapon – nor the kind of manner and personality that makes young virgins such as "Juliet" anxious about the marriage bed – will reveal itself on the first day of auditions, before he opens his mouth to deliver his two contrasting monologues to the Producer and Director who hope to make a lot of money.

Before the monied folks parted with their cash to invest in yet another film production of ROMEO & JULIET, the contract was already signed by the Major Box Office Star playing the role. Few of those actors ever had any professional stage experience in Shakespeare nor were the Bard's characters on their list of Dream Roles. But even more important than the celebrity is the Director. The Director is going to bring about a ROMEO & JULIET like no film audience has ever experienced. Ideally, the Director knows that his screen imaging of "Romeo" could happen with a complete Unknown. He doesn't need a Box Office heartthrob to flesh out his vision of Romeo. Because it is HIS Romeo. And no matter the "style" of the film – there are bound to be tons of close-ups of the chosen actor. It really-really helps the Box Office if teenage girls find him unbelievably irresistible – whether they've ever seen him before or not. My job as the vocal coach would include making sure the actor understands his lines completely. He doesn't need to employ volume that can be heard across the street like the stage actor. It's possible he may dub-in his lines after the scene has been shot. His delivery must be in sync with the image and the sound of his voice must match the mood of the scene. Again, it's all about the Director. Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock might put it this way – "Nobody goes home until I get what I want."

None of the above guarantees Box Office success or Critical Raves.

I am a vocal coach to working singers in the San Francisco Bay Area. I'm also an entertainment critic for – and Classical music reviewer for – When you're ready to come to San Francisco for vocal coaching, contact me at:

Check out my web site:

See my recent interview with popular TV host, David Perry, on "Ten Percent":

Below are links to my articles and youtubes on the San Francisco Bay Area entertainment and cultural scene:

"Christmas Holiday" – at the Deanna Durbin Festival, Stanford Theatre, 12/21-23

In Conversation with Peter Gallagher – Coming to the Venetian Room

Melody Moore steps into Tosca — Opening Night at San Francisco Opera

Patricia Racette – A Definitive 'Tosca' at San Francisco Opera

'Moby-Dick' opens at San Francisco Opera: A Conversation with Composer Jake Heggie

Vasily Petrenko, BRIT Male Artist of the Year, Conducts SF Symphony, 10/5–6

Marco Vratogna Is Sensational as Rigoletto at San Francisco Opera

A conversation with Joshua Bell, featured guest artist at opening of SF Symphony, 9/19

San Francisco Opera Opens 90th Season With Verdi's 'Rigoletto'

Jazz vocalist Nicole Henry makes San Francisco debut

Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford duke it out at The Castro Theatre's 90th Anniversary

San Francisco, starring Jeanette MacDonald, to be featured at the Castro Theatre's 90th Anniversary

The Wizard of Oz Meets the San Francisco Symphony

The "It" Girl, Clara Bow, A Featured Star at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, July 12–15

Jun Kaneko's 'Magic Flute' Is Stunningly Visual

Samuel Ramey is Leo the Great in San Francisco Opera's 'Attila'

'Victor Herbert, Collected Songs' – A Great CD

Tom Judson Is Making It Big In San Francisco

A Chat with Dominique Labelle, featured this week in PBO's 'Alexander's Feast'

A Look at Gennadi Nedvigin, Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet

Organist Christopher Houlihan Makes A Powerful Debut at Davies Symphony Hall

RICHARD WINSOR – An Interview With the Star of 'Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake in 3D'

EDDIE MULLER – On the Slow Death of 35mm – An Interview with the "Czar of Noir"

DEANNA DURBIN – The Leading Lady of NOIR CITY, Wednesday at The Castro Theatre

THOMAS JANE – An interview with the star of HBO's "Hung" and 3D Thriller "Dark Country"

KRISTIN CLAYTON– A Conversation with "The Diva" of Teatro ZinZanni

DIANE BAKER – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK

CAMERON CARPENTER – An Interview with Seán Martinfield

AT LAST! – ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY – An Interview with Seán Martinfield

MARNIE BRECKENRIDGE – An Interview with “La Princesse” of Philip Glass’ Orphée

A Conversation with Elza van den Heever

CUBAN BALLET – An Interview with Octavio Roca

A Look At "Giselle" with Ballerina Lorena Feijóo

ZUILL BAILEY – A Conversation

Best regards,
Sean Martinfield  

Acting in Plays, Singing

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Sean Martinfield


I am a professional vocal coach in San Francisco. I have published over 3300 responses related to vocal training - particularly as it relates to Musical Theatre, Pop/Standard, and Opera. I have 30 years of experience as a personal trainer to working singers and actors in the San Francisco Bay Area. I sang professionally for 20 years and know what it means to live the life of a musician. I can determine your voice category, i.e., Tenor, Baritone, Bass, Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Alto, Alto Belter, etc., and how to broaden and strengthen your range. Need an audition song for a Broadway Musical? I can assist you with your song selections and help you build an audition portfolio that demonstrates your vocal category and meets the requirements specified in the audition notice. I have created a vocal methodology, "The Belter`s Method". It will enable those in Cabaret and Musical Theatre to practice more efficiently because it focuses on the vocal demands of professional performers and will keep you performance-ready. If what you want is a better voice and more control over your career moves and choices, contact me at: I am also a music and cultural critic for and I interview internationally recognized musicians, singers, dancers, and recording artists -- particularly those who are now appearing or scheduled to perform in San Francisco.


As a vocal coach, I work primarily with singers and actors throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. My students range from absolute beginners to working professionals, from kids to senior citizens. The vast majority of my clients come to me through recommendation. I know how to identify any singer's vocal category, i.e., soprano, tenor, alto, baritone, etc. I know how to muscle-up every singer's vocal range and to expand it beyond conventional definitions. I have developed a vocal methodology for those who want to know how to belt, THE BELTER'S METHOD. There are a number of major components to my work as a vocal coach. The first is to identify the client's vocal category and to strengthen and maximize the vocal range accordingly. Then it's about teaching a reliable vocal workout that will enable the client to gain better control of their musicianship. That includes scale work to expand the vocal range and to improve placement, breath control, and diction. Then we work on material for the audition portfolio, the immediate job or assignment, a recording session, etc. My task to is to better equip singers and actors who are hoping to or relying upon their performance skills and vocal endurance to maintain a career in the Performing Arts. My clients regularly appear in cabarets and musical productions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Some have worked in New York and gone on National Tours. For more information, Contact me at:


San Francisco State University – BA in Theatre Arts; graduate work in Theatre, Philosophy, and Comparative Reiligion. Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley – Graduate work in Ethics

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