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Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing/Video Shooting for Live Performances in Plays.


QUESTION: Dear Taylor

1. Is it Possible to Video shoot the complete Live Performances of Artists in Plays without the audience coming to know that the video shoot is going on in background ?.

As a example, Play of 2 1/2 hours duration.

2. If video shooting is possible for the Live show setup, do you feel as a Play Director, this could be useful in any way ?.

i.e. If video shooting is possible, you will be able to play the complete video recorded later on.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: Hi Prashant, Sorry for the delay, I'm on a shoot.

Yes, it is possible to record a performance, at least from one angle, depending on the theater, of course. But then, does it matter if the actors know? You could even NOT record, but have the cameras there. That way the actors would get accustomed to them and relax.

It could be helpful to some actors to see their performance. For myself, I tend to avoid watching myself. 75% of everything I have been in, I have never seen. I feel it gets me "into my head"....thinking too much and being too critical. You want to lose yourself in the scene, and let reality slip away, not be planning every movement and worrying how you look.
An actor cannot be worried about looking foolish!



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

QUESTION: Dear Taylor

Thank you.

1. Is it possible to setup CCTV Systems, Video Cameras and other video recording equipment in Auditorium, Amphitheaters for capturing Live Footage of Plays ?.

2. Is it legally allowed to shoot a Live Play by the Play Director, Producer, Publisher and show the same play in Theater or Television in the future ?.

As a Example : "The Merchant of Venice" - William Shakespeare Play was organised and Played many times in a Auditorium / Amphitheater where there were live performances by stage artists. The Play Director / producer /
Publisher of the Play Shoot a Live Video of the same.

Now After specific time period, Can the Play Director/Producer show it on Television and Theaters ?.

Here in theater and television media, now the audiences will be watching the same play but not live performances, but the one which were recorded.

Is it legal to produce and distribute medias viz films, videos of the Original Play to the Audiences ?.

i.e. Live Play -> Auditorium, Amphitheater -> Converted Video, Films Media -> Television, Theater.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Hi Prashant,

Sorry for the delay, I have been involved in a project and have not been able to keep up with emails and messages.

In short, you CAN record performances for re-sale or broadcast later, provided you have legal agreements pursuant to the jurisdiction of the performance AND where the videos will be sold or broadcast. In other words, the talent and whoever is involved with the making of the video must agree to the compensation offered in writing. Should the video be broadcast, sold or seen in say, Europe, agreements would have to address that as well. Many lawsuits have been brought by actors, producers, etc. who discovered the work was being sold elsewhere and they did not receive profits from the venture.



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Taylor Sheppard


I can answer questions: on starting a career in acting, mistakes in acting, etiquette when dealing with industry contacts, finer points on how to act, and things to avoid in the field.


I have been a professional actor 21 years, with appearances in TV, Film and commercials. I have made good decisions and potentially damaging mistakes. I believe anyone who has a dream deserves to explore it, and I take their aspirations seriously. That being said, I do not pull punches. I try to be tactful, but I will not lie to someone, honesty is more effective. My last film role was in "Teeth" which was picked for Sundance in January 2007. It was sold to Lionsgate and Weinstein Co. for somewhere over 2.5 million. The role was "Mr. Griffith", a sex-ed teacher.

Ciao Agency-Austin/Georgetown, Texas. (Formerly known as Donna Adams Agency. Matthew McConaughey was a good friend and fellow member. I also have belonged to agencies in three other Texas cities, but they have since closed.) TXMPA -Texas Motion Picture Alliance. Various other internet networking web rings as well as Actors Access. I was instrumental in advising actress Krista Allen on getting her career in acting started in Austin,Texas (we worked at the same Health Club in the early '90's).

Previously wrote on a now defunct website such as this one. I enjoyed helping new actors.

I have acted for 21 years. I studied under James Nelson Harrell as well as other talented actors at Southwest Texas State University. After college, I have taken classes with Julliard graduate Mona Lee, Bill Johnson, Van Brookes, Marco Perella and others in Austin Texas. I am constantly attending classes to maintain my edge and explore new directions. In addition to attending strictly acting classes, I have also taken business workshops with respected casting directors, such as Shari Rhodes ("Jaws","Close Encounters", "Raggedy Man".) Barbara Brinkley, Jo Edna Bolden and Donise Hardy, (Castingworks LA).

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