Not a few of the most admired film stars of today started out as theater performers, before they became award-winning actors in the movie industry. Some still engage in theater acting once in a while, which oftentimes positively influence audience attendance.
There is Truth to the Notion that Stage-Trained Actors Have Excellent Acting Skills
Apparently, products of performance theaters who later transitioned into becoming film actors and actresses, developed acting skills that majority of cinema watchers enjoy. Mainly because they are able to convince viewers that everything they say and do in the movie is for real.
Generally, movie stars still have to audition if they want to play a certain role in a film; not unless a producer or director has already chosen someone whom they consider as having bankable acting and characterization skills. Those who have had theater acting experiences often have and edge, because in they have already developed techniques in portraying a character by way of live, on the spot performance.
Still, there are some drawbacks to learning acting by way of live theater. Having awareness of the differences on how live stage presentations and movies are produced, is important in developing acting skills deemed as appropriate for both environment.
Stage Acting vs. Cinema Acting
It should be noted that when performing for a live audience, stage performers have to act and deliver lines with some of exaggeration. Otherwise, lines and actions heard and viewed from afar would be inaudible, poorly visible, whilst appearing lackluster and lacking in energy.
Exaggeration or over-acting is not necessary in movies though, because the filming camera bridges the distance between actors and viewers. Movie making applies different techniques in utilizing cameras, lighting implements, microphone and other technology to amplify sounds and images, as well as to create special or realistic effects. Exaggerated acting in a movie therefore, will not work well, as the different filmmaking equipment captures and delivers at close range every gesture, facial twitch or sound that actors and actresses make.
Stage actors often follow a specific plot and have to memorize lines based on how the play was written. Lines are rehearsed repeatedly and therefore become the norm for a particular stage presentation. Deviating from the norm during a live show can cause confusion, because an act, a word or a phrase serves as cue for other actors and/or for members of the stage crew in delivering lines, or in bringing on stage props and lighting effects.
In movies, actors are allowed to adlib in case they forget the specific dialogue outlined by the screenplay. They can even add their own ideas to emphasize the meaning conveyed by their lines. This aspect allows for experimentation if for purposes of enhancing the believability of how a scene is depicted. If the director deems the deviation improper, he or she can always shout “Cut !” and call for an instant retake.
Most live stage performances include singing and dancing. Movies are bringing them back as important elements because they can attract a broad range of audiences. Seasoned stage actors and actresses therefore have an edge when auditioning for a role. Still, believable acting is the main component of an effective movie-making formula.
A good actor or actress can convince viewers that they are also good singers and dancers, even if alternate performers and advanced technology was used to address any lack or weakness in such talents.