Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing/Movies (Films) v/s Dramas (Plays).


QUESTION: Dear Kenneth

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

ANSWER: Hello Prashant. I would have to say that the difficulty of playing a role is equal on stage or before the camera. The variables (different techniques and environments) are relatively the same in number and difficult in both media.  What the actor does (acting) however is the same in both media, albeit he may project his voice and use larger gestures in the theatre.  But what he does (react to the stimuli of the moment) is the same. It has been true that there are some stage actors or actresses that were just not photogenic and thus did not prove popular in film. The noted American actresses Lynn Fontaine was such.  The reason is that she was not particularly attractive and while the distance of the audience from the stage prevented them from noticing how homely she was, the magnification of the camera image on the screen emphasized it. Other reasons for a poor transition between the media could be poor direction; or in film, poor editing resulting is a poor quality film.
Competent actors make the change between media easily and effectively.
God bless, Doc

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Kenneth

Thank you.

Do you agree on this point mentioned below ?

In Dramas (Plays), since there is a live performance on the stage before the audience, if specific dialogue lines are not able to recollect by the artist, this can cause a problem during the live stage show, while in movies (films), there is a liberty given to the artists to retake shots if the director do not find it convincing. This could be a major advantage to artists performing in movies over stage dramas ?

Do the above problem can be solved by rehearsals in stage shows ?

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Dear Prashant, If in plays the actor cannot remember his lines, either he is a very poor actor or the director has failed to rehearse the play sufficiently.. Actually in filming a scene, the actor is not "given" the liberty to forget his lines.  He is expected to come to the filming with his lines learned. Having to do several takes of a scene because an actor cannot recall his lines is costly and can make the film run overtime in its schedule. Such an actor would not be highly regarded by directors.  The responsibility of the actor is the same in film and in plays.  He must know his lines and in all ways be professional in his work. The real advantage in film is that the actor often does not have to do anything at all but stand there and be filmed.  The emotion of the scene can be created by editing, sound, music, lighting and so on.  The modern world of acting has come to the conclusion that effective acting in non-acting.  The old acting teaching from Stanislavsky through Adler, Strasberg, and others is passe' as both on stage and in film, we want more life-like performances. Best wishes, Doc

Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing

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Kenneth D. Plonkey


Questions about acting and directing. Questions about getting started in a careeer. Questions about training and schooling for actors.


I am a retired film actor. I am a retired university theatre program director and professor. I am the author of "The Tao of Acting, Mentoring for the Aspiring Actor" to be published this summer.


BA, MA, PhD in Theatre Post graduate study with certificate in Media Acting

Awards and Honors
John Golden Traveling Fellowship

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