Why theatre actors have an edge over film actors

Naseeruddin Shah

Theatre acting is like a rigorous process of self-discipline where a raw actor develops his skills by working hard. Both theatre and film acting are a disciplined process where actors acquire their set of skills according to their own strength. In most of today’s films, you will find theatre artists in a significant role. Whether the film is big budget or small budget, you cannot ignore theatre artists these days. In this article, we will know whether an artist who has taken theatre training has the upper hand than a film artist.

Real Time Rxperience

Theatre actors have to act live on stage. There is no scope for mistake in live shows. For this, they already do strong rehearsals.  In this process, they get a lot of benefit in real time, every time they get a chance to improvise the scenes in theatrical experiments. Due to good practice, mistakes in front of a live audience are negligible, which is completely different from the acting process of a film actor. Film actors execute their acting under a limited period, project to project. Only a seasoned film actor can challenge the structure of theatre acting.

Live Audience Connection

Theater actors are being seen by thousands of live audiences while acting. The impact and connect that happens to audiences at this time is incredible and unique.

Focus And Discipline

Just as gold becomes pure through the fire, similarly, a theatre artist makes themselves worthy through constant practice and rehearsal. Theatre awakens the true energy of an artist; it is akin to yoga and meditation. If your focus is right, you can reach the heights of the creative process.

Ample Time For Practice And Rehearsals

A theatre artist gets more time compared to a film artist. A film is completed in 3 months and is ready for release after post-production, whereas a play takes more than 3 months. In this process, a theatre actor gets much more time for a good performance compared to a film artist.

No Retakes vs More Retakes

A theatre actor doesn’t get the chance to retake a scene, whereas retakes are an integral part of film production. Only a few artists require fewer retakes. Theatre actors cannot afford to make mistakes because they have to perform in front of a live audience.

Vocal Projections and Physical ability

A theatre artist works a lot on their voice. They must perform in such a way that their voice reaches from the first row to the last row of the auditorium. In this process, they also have to work on their physical movements. In films, you can express your emotions through close-up shots, and your voice is used within a limited range. When a theatre artist masters these skills, they can work in any form of performing art in the world.

Rigorous Training

Rigorous training helps a theatre artist fully embrace their character. This aspect makes a theatre artist versatile. Due to this training, they can switch to different tones on stage without becoming monotonous.

Physical and Mental Satisfaction

When a theatre actor presents their art in front of a live audience and receives applause, there is no greater satisfaction or reward. Film actors, on the other hand, are often in a dilemma, because films offer more money than theatre, job satisfaction in this field is not a continuous process.

Lastly, we should understand that both types of actors, whether trained in theatre or simply artists who have found success without such training, are good students of art. The field of art, especially the film industry, is like an infinite ocean where a good student, ready to dive deep, cannot be stopped from finding the oldest and most valuable pearls.

It is very ironic that theatre and theatre artists do not earn much money. When will the day come when the theatre world is filled with abundant wealth? Why do our talented theatre artists not receive adequate compensation? This practice needs to change to bring the right balance in the world of art.


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