Lights, Camera, Action!

What does it mean to be an actor or actress in various types of media?

Actors or Actresses are the key essential in making a movie or a theatre production a success. However, one must look at this job from two different points. Acting on stage and acting in film highly differ from one another in terms of what the actor or actress must do in order to portray their role successfully.


One of the main differences between stage acting and movie acting is whom the actor is performing the piece to.

In a theatre production, the performance is live and the audience is literally right in front of the actor watching the production. The actor can interact more with the audience this way. Also, a stage production has most likely been performed more than once, so therefore the character has been played by various others. Actors have to be careful that they satisfy the audience by presenting the character as it was once remembered. Some theatre fanatics such as myself know certain plays like the back of their hand and the actor has to provide a suitable performance in order to ensure the audience is happy.  

However a film audience differs greatly. The film is pre-recorded and therefore is not presented live as a stage show would be. The actor has to engage with the audience by using methods in their acting,that can allow one to connect,without the character being literally right in front of them. Also, movie characters are usually played only once, unlike stage characters who have been played multiple times. The actor has more room for individuality in this circumstance and therefore can make more last minute changes to their role without the audience's knowledge. This actor provides the performance that the audience will remember.


Another major difference for a film or stage actor is the way the character is portrayed to an audience.  The viewer perception differs in each case.

A stage actor has to go big or go home. A stage actor is right in front of the audiance as discussed earlier and therefore has to meet certain requiremets to be sure that the audiance can follow along with that certain character. Even though some stage actors might have a mic, projection of the voice is so critical. In a big theatre, the actor or actress has to make sure that everyone can here them from the front row or the back row by projecting their voice. Actress Meryl Streep once said in an interview about her role in the musical move "Into the Woods, "I knew going in I would really have to work on my lung capacity, expand the sound I normally use" (Red Carpet News TV).  Also, large, exaggerated gestures are key for the same reason, so all of the audiance understands the role of the actor and what they are trying to communicate.

However, in a movie, the actor performs his role differently. An actor nusually uses a normal voice tone, since the audiance is not right in front of them and audio can be adjusted. Tiny gestures are used verus big exaggerated ones in order to portray the character in a way that won't scare the audiance. A film actor must perform these emotions as real as possible, to make the character rememorable.

A Few Words From An Actress

My sister and I in our performance of "Annie Jr." I played the role of Pepper and obvisouly, she was Annie.

Acting provides the world with a way to communicate certain messages through an enjoyable experince. Personally, I have performed in seven different musicals at Durant Road Musical Theatre and have seen it all, from playing a mean rotten orphan, to a basketball coach in a musical high school, to a mean rotten villian in the world of Neverland. (I may seem all shy and sweet here but in that theatre, I totally change!) I am currently in rehaersal for two more shows I will be peforming in June, "Fiddler on the Roof Jr." and "Suessical Jr." Stage acting is hard work and demands a lot from an indivdual. I lost my voice for a few days after playing Coach Bolton from my loud projection. At first, it was very nerve racking to perform in front of an audiance. But it's all worth it. Being in front of an audiance and singing and dancing my way across the stage fills me with a joy that I can't even describe. Being an actress on stage means expresssing ones true self and talents.

And Cut!

Acting is one of the most valuable forms of indidualitly and entertainment in our society. Actors and actresses on stage and in films each have to follow different guidelines to give an audience a performance they'll never forget. The two differ greatly from eachother, but all the same provide people with a certain hapiness that can't be obtained anywhere else.

Comment Stream

a year ago

this is a well written paper. you clearly expressed your topic!

a year ago

Your paper was fantastic and interesting to read! Great job!