Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's All An Act

During my recent illness (documented in the Journal of the American Medical Association and on Lifetime TV as "Man With a Cold: The Crisis Deepens") I spent a lot of time sitting here in front of the computer, coughing, sneezing and watching old TV shows on Hulu. I know what you're thinking; he's wasting his time again. But it led me to a few conclusions about how to be an actor, in case anything should happen to Zac Efron and Hollywood calls. In case.

Here's why I realized that people who write, produce, direct and perform in dramas and comedies are people from another world. For one thing, could you interact with your family or coworkers by standing THISCLOSE to them as you discuss matters of great import? Victor Newman and Nikki Newman Not Newman Newman stand within six centimeters of each other as they decide whether or not to get married for the 27th time...although that seems increasingly unlikely, since Victor's recent heart transplant from a female donor would make him a good candidate to become faithful for once.

And also, if two "regular" people stopped talking and gave each other meaningful looks every ten seconds, one or both might start hollering, "Huh? Whadja say? I cain't HEAR ya!" But in acting, you say something pithy ("Frankly, Rebecca, you're going to have to choose between your Certified Public Accountant and me....but don't count on me to do your taxes!") or slightly amusing ("The only thing standing between me and happiness is that door behind you...and the $50,000 I owe your father!") and then you STOP TALKING!

That doesn't happen in real life. Real people never stop talking.

But it must take a lot of talent to be an actor...the kind of talent that allows Broderick Crawford to get on the radio of his "Highway Patrol" car and bark out an all-points bulletin for a man "dressed as a seaman" without busting out laughing. 10-4 10-4 10-4!

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