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Who is cut out to be an actor?


The stereotype of an actor is someone who is very outgoing, quite vain, and who constantly needs praise from others.  I’ve known a lot of actors in my time, and very few fit this stereotype.  And those that do, even if they are very talented, are usually difficult to work with.

Everyone has talent, and whether or not that includes standing in front of an audience as a performer has little to do with how outgoing they are, how vain they are, or how much recognition they demand.

In my experience, the only common denominator is that at some point in their life, a performer recognizes they have talent and decides they want to share that talent with others.

Acting, like all performing, is a giving experience.  Actors give before they get.  Yes, professional actors get paid, and that is very important in this material world.  But community theater actors get paid by applause, and sometimes by laughter. They sometimes move the audience to tears, or perhaps to anger. These rewards are precious to actors, whether professional or amateur.

Most theater actors love what they do, and they love the audience.  I think this may be even easier in community theater, where audiences are typically smaller and easier to associate with as a sort of family.  Actors who have a strong love for their audience build a rapport—they become audience favorites.

If the thought of performing in front of an audience makes you nervous, know that most actors experience nervousness. In fact, being a little nervous before going on stage is usually considered a good thing—it helps one focus on the business at hand, which is acting. I guess the extreme case of nervousness is described as stage fright—the inability to enter the stage or begin emoting. I have never seen this, but I understand it does happen.

My purpose here is not to explain what acting is, but it is important to know what it is not.  It is not pretending to be someone else. It is becoming someone else. If you are an observer of others—if you notice the way they move or talk or react, then you may very well be a good actor. Let's just make it clear that acting is more than memorizing lines and moving from place to place on stage.

This may be surprising, but I find that most actors are modest.  Yes, everyone likes applause and other forms of recognition, like awards, but many are humbled and even embarrassed by being admired for doing what they love to do.

The bottom line: if you think you would love being on stage, please come and audition at Colonial Beach Playhouse, even if you have no previous experience.  We pledge to make the audition experience as painless as possible.

Bob Christiansen

Artistic Director

Colonial Beach Playhouse

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