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

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QUESTION: Dear Kitty

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: I think it would depend on the play and film roles, as well as the actor themselves.  In the example you give of Romeo, one could assume that the actor playing the role on stage would have weeks or months of rehearsals before opening night.  The entire play and each scene he was in would have been well-practiced.  Presumably the actor would also not have been cast in the role if he was not able to handle and adjust his performance slightly if a line is missed, or there is trouble with a prop.  The acting skills are rather different from film work, generally bigger, less subtle, with much more connection to the audience who is, of course, right there.

The same actor in the same film role might have memorized the lines on his own, but the process of creating each scene is completely different.  There isn't much rehearsal, if any.  Scenes are shot out of order, acting is tighter, more subtle, and if you make a mistake the production is often shut down and you start over until the director has what he or she wants.  Special effects and CGI can be absent from the film set, so the actor may not even be aware what the final scene looks like until he sees it on the big screen.  The same production that may have rehearsed for four or five weeks before opening night, may take up to a year (or more!) to film.

As to the specific factors as to why the actor portraying Romeo may be terrific on stage and not on-screen - or vice-versa - it could be because of their talent being more suited to one medium and not the other, or any of the other reasons or combination of reasons you mention.  There are certainly actors who are trained in both film and theater who are successful in both areas, and some who excel in only one or the other.  If I step outside your example of Romeo, one would also have to consider the role itself - perhaps it would be easier for an actor to portray a main role in Cinderella (on stage or on screen) than to play a main role in Schindler's List, for example.  

It does come down to the specifics; the role, the actor, the script, the director, and other factors as to what might be more of a challenge, and the successes or failures can also be based on many different factors.

At least, that's my opinion, and I hope it answers your questions.
Best Regards,
~Kitty  

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

QUESTION: Dear Kitty

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

Answer
In either case, on stage or on a film set, if the actor is having difficulty remembering lines it can be a problem.  While it does happen on stage, a well-trained actor and their co-stars are (most of the time) able to move the show along, often without the audience even being aware.  

They may miss a line, but it's rare to miss an entire scene, and also rare to have an entire show shut down in the middle.  If the same actor is in a film set, and misses a line, often the film will keep shooting.  Ad-libbing is quite common on a film set, and actors are also trained to keep going.  Unlike a theater show, though, they can continuously shoot the same scene over and over.  For some actors that is a problem, for others, not.

Certainly it is quite costly, particularly when shooting a higher budget sci-fi, fantasy, action or scenes that involve large amounts of preparation, extensive makeup, stunts and other special effects.  If production has to be stopped on a large studio film, it's costing hundreds or thousands of dollars and can put the schedule behind by weeks or even months.  Films going over-budget by millions of dollars is common, and an actor who can't get an important line right may be forced to keep doing it over and over - which can be seen frequently in outtakes and bloopers on the DVD.  While that might be entertaining to an eventual audience, whether or not that's an advantage to an actor would be up to the individual to decide.  

There are rehearsals in both theater and film, but it's much more extensive in theater, and you've been through the entire production before you perform for an audience.  On a film set, things can change constantly as actors ad-lib, shots are changed and parts of the script omitted.  For some, that offers more (creative) freedom, while others prefer giving a more structured, well-practiced, theatrical performance.

I personally find it easier to act in small bits and pieces at a time, rather than in one go in a theater show - but I've never been trained in theatrical acting.

Best Regards,
~Kitty

Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing

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Kitty Kavey

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I can answer questions from those looking to get into the fashion or commercial modeling industry. Specifically, the requirements, what is needed, how to find an agent, what they look for, how to avoid scams, the difference between what a commercial model does, and a fashion model, would travel/relocation be required, what is on a comp card and in your portfolio.

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