Stage to Screen!

GTP News!
About Us
Breast & Brain Cancer
Family Festival
Our Shows!
Las Vegas
CB Speaks!
How To

From Stage to Screen


So many of us began on stage before we decided that Hollywood might be the right place for us.  Putting up a show as we all know, takes countless hours of rehearsals, homework, dialect work, dance rehearsals, blocking rehearsals and line memorization. In depth conversations about character, plot, and theme find us stimulated by the creation of story, the uniqueness of a specific production, the brilliance of living it fresh every time.


Stage acting, writing, directing and producing are a beast unto themselves in that you have to set yourself and your team up for countless performances where they will breath new life into their characters and the story with every attempt.  You are creating an environment where your players can find nuances and hidden character treasures around every turn.  When a team comes together to produce a play, they come together to create a situation where they can continue to grow through the material, performance after performance tightening, sharpening, and redefining.


Film is different.  A whole new set of tools are required for the film actor, the screenwriter, the director and the producers.  They are all working towards the final goal of production.  Any rehearsing will be done in preproduction.  Any defining, growth, nuances and treasures that are to be uncovered are going to be found in front of that camera or before it is rolling.  Where a play struggles to get on its feet to continually redefine itself, a film struggles to get to production where it either happens or it doesnt.


Acting for the stage, in my own experience has been about education and self-exploration.  It is the opportunity to delve into yourself and what you bring to a role.  Through an amazing work ethic and an unbridled hunger to grow, a stage actor gets to play with all of the different parts of him or herself.  I consider this wonderful training for the camera, but in itself only a means to the end.  Acting for the stage helps you to understand what you do as an actor.  Acting for the camera is when you either bring it or you dont. 


Actors and directors of the stage can mold their performances over time.  For film all of the molding must be done in preproduction. The final performance will be done in front of that camera never to be repeated again. Many playwrights will workshop their material in front of audiences, continually making it better until it is ready to be published.  Screenplay writers do not have the same luxury.  They can workshop, of course.  But once that camera is rolling, the screen-writers job is done.


What I personally found in myself is that I like to use the theatre as a training ground for my confidence, and I like to use film as the ultimate challenge to see if I can bring it when it is all on the line.  Theatre for me has always been a place to practice my art and filmmaking has been a time when there is no room for error.  You fly or you fall in front of that camera.  Have you practiced enough to get to the necessary place you need to get to for this scene emotionally? Do you understand yourself well enough to make every take something new and different and better?  In front of the camera, each take could be costing the production thousands of dollars.  Are you strong enough to warrant that expense? Half a day spent on your scene for a television show could be costing the studio half a million dollars.  Are you good enough? 


Directing for the camera is similar to directing a play in so many ways you are bringing a team together, you are the leader, you are the vision, you are the teacher and the guidance.  But in so many ways it is different because like the actor, you have no room for failure.  No room for error. You are going to build your team and bring them to production and either you are going to soar with creativity and passion where everything clicks, or you are going to experience the highs and lows of a production that wants to fly, but has trouble.  Maybe you are going to experience a shoot that can barely get off the ground, or one that falls over a cliff.  There is no second chance.


It is this high standard for film and television that I enjoy so much.  It is the ultimate challenge to work for months and months, possibly even years to bring something to production that makes the reward and the experience so highly charged, emotional, intense and valuable.  Many actors, directors and playwrights feel that same rush in the theatre.  What moves you is a personal journey.  Explore them both with vigor and veracity and youll learn more every day making yourself a valuable commodity in whatever medium you play.

Got Theater? Project * Syracuse, NY * Las Vegas, NV * "Raising funds for charity through theater!"