Have you been to the theatre lately? Be honest now. Probably a long time ago. Alright, how many movies have you watched in the last few months or so? Yeah, probably a lot more, but it is not your fault. It is easier to watch a movie which was digitally enhanced, retouched, and virtually improved to our best liking. Even the actors have a chance to retake scenes which is not adequately done. All in all, an extremely engaging experience, or is it?
Theatre acts on the other hand, you have actors who have to not just be the character, but to become the character itself. It is much harder to convey the emotions and inner turmoil of the character on scene, without retakes. A single change in the text, in the way they act and the play is already different. Sometimes actors even need to improvise, and most of the times it turns out great.
Consider the fact that actors have to learn not only the script, but everything connected to the scenes. With movies it is easier because you can take breaks, but when it is live, well, as they say: ‘Show must go on.’
Neither movie nor theatre actors have it easy, however, movie stars might look like they have a high roller life, certainly, their pay checks for even a minor role can be more than what most of us earn in ten years. Now, not everything is about money, of course, but if we look at prestige, theatre actors take the cake, hands down. They might be underappreciated but their performances can be astonishingly marvellous, and in all honesty, better than any movie. If you can convince a whole theatre that you are the most just king in the land, sir, I bow down before you.
No matter what you choose to watch, remember that actors are hard at work to convince us that the story is real. But, never forget that skills required making you feel part of the story or to have that magic come alive comes from how the actors perform, if they are bad, the story is bad, and that is it then. No retakes, no movie magic, nothing that will enhance or make the mistakes go away. Now, consider the fact that people like to watch movies more than they like to see plays. Why is that?
By Dejan Vicai