View: "And, this is better than a movie HOW?!"
by Joshua Nicholson
recently saw this really funny episode of the Simpson's where Mr.
Smithers leaves Mr. Burns for a while to produce and star in a
musical about plastic, Barbie-like characters. During the cartoon,
we got to see the last bit of one of the songs from the musical.
I can't remember the exact words, but I remember it being about "I'd
hold you if I could bend my arms", or something to that effect.
And, just as the song finished, an irate audience member commented
to his wife, "And, this is better than a movie HOW?!"
aside from making me laugh, that line reminded me of something;
there are people in this world who've never been to a live show
and know nothing about live theatre (those poor souls!). So, I've
decided to write about the similarities and differences between
movies and live theatre, and to have a match off to see which one
was best overall.
let's shake hands, get those teeth-guards in, and get ready to
duke it out. This might get bloody!
I believe, is the ultimate form of acting. You get instant results
on how well you've performed, rather than waiting months, and sometimes
years, before you get any real criticism on how well (or how poorly)
you've done. You can feed off of the energy given to you by the
audience and make your performance even better.
instant results could be bad, and you get to hear it all while you're
still performing! Plus, you have to be at the top of your game for
every performance, even if the show runs for years on end. You also
have to memorize every single line your character says throughout
the entire show and keep it memorized for however long the show runs,
rather than just memorizing a scene for the day.
don't have to hear bad criticisms right away. By the time you hear
the criticism of your movie, you could be on yet another movie
set working on your next flick. So, it wouldn't really phase you
that much because you're still doing what you love. Plus, you only
have to do something well once, and you're done with it (CUT! PRINT!
THAT'S A WRAP!), rather than always having to do the same thing
just as good many, many consecutive times. You can also mess up,
laugh about it, and just film it again, rather than having that
mess up just stay where it is and not being able to fix it.
can take years to film a movie, while it takes just a single setting
to run a show in live theatre. Plus, when working in movies, you
sometimes don't get to see what's going on around you, but you still
have to act like you do because it will be added in during editing.
WINNER: Theatre-Every crowd is different, so it's a new and
different experience every time you perform.
get to see special effects right in front of your eyes. And, being
live, the stuff is more believable because you're present as it's
going on. Plus, these effects only take a few weeks, sometimes
days, maybe even hours, to create.
special effects don't always work, so you demand that the audience
uses their imagination even more than they already had to. And, there
are limitations to what can be done on stage.
effects have been enhanced so dramatically in the last few years
by computers that anything could happen on screen. And, you only
have to get it right once.
can take years to actually get all of the special effects of the
movie to come around. Plus it loses some of its flair because it's
just "in the movies" rather than taking place "in real life", and
special effects can make a film millions of dollars more expensive.
WINNER: Theatre-Although many movie effects are really nice
to look at, they still lack the realism of the effects of live
can actually feel the vibrations from the voice of someone who's
really belting out a great song.
actors can't whisper normally during a quiet moment. They have to
whisper loud enough for the person in the back to hear.
get to speak at whatever volume necessary, from the softest whisper
to the loudest scream, and you can hear it all. Plus, you could
have complete surround sound and hear things coming from all around
you, rather than just from in front of you.
Movies-BAD: You don't get to feel the true power of
a voice speaking or singing right in front of you.
WINNER: Movies-Although it's neat to really feel someone's
voice, it's more dramatic to hear a true whisper the way it is
normally spoken, and having sounds wiz all around you is just
matter how well rehearsed a cast is, every performance is different,
and unexpected things could happen. Even if you tape a live performance,
it still can't contain the spontaneity of actually being there.
It's always a "you had to have been there" sort of thing.
Theatre-BAD: You never get to re-experience those moments
in exactly the same way.
is new the first time. And you can re-experience that same moment
exactly as you had before. All you have to do is rewind the tape,
reel, or DVD, and you're back in business.
Movies-BAD: Everything is new only on the first time.
Although you might see something new that you hadn't seen before,
it was already there the first time. Nothing is really new
WINNER: Theatre-Theatre will always be in the moment and
gains its spontaneity from always being different.
LEAVING IF IT'S BAD:
can show the people who are doing a poor show how much you don't
like it right to their face by walking out.
Theatre-BAD: It's really rude to walk out on a play
as it is going on, and most people don't have the uncouth indecency
to do it, anyway.
one really cares if you leave a movie as it is playing. Plus, you
can get your money back.
Movies-BAD: You can't show those who made the film what
you thought of it right in front of them.
WINNER: Movies-It's much easier to walk out on a movie than
it is a show. Plus, you won't disturb what the actors as they
do their thing on the screen.
THE RESULTS: Well, in my book, live theatre won over the movies 3 to
2. If you have any comments about my comments, you can just email me at [email protected].
Perhaps you'll sway my way of thinking or, better yet, get a mention in the