For over 2500 years, theater has been the captivating way of expressing emotion and story on a stage with an audience. Live theater promotes self-confidence and reminds people that they are not alone as they sit and admirably observe the magic that unfolds before their eyes. In the late 1800’s we were introduced to film, a similar idea, but instead on screen. Today, film is one of the most well-liked sources of entertainment and is utilized by people all around the world. So, what’s the difference between these two alike arts?
Well, to start, there are the obvious distinctions. Live theater is happening right then and there whereas a movie, T.V. show, or film is previously recorded. The New York Film Academy also mentions how theater actors are considered “big”, while actors of film are more “natural”. Additionally, the rehearsals and practices are very unlike considering they are preparing for different shows. Now, I’m not disregarding either of these. Both undeniably have their perks and disadvantages. However, these differences don’t compare to the big thing that is separating these apart.
The unfair differentiation is the pay. Actors of live theater don’t get paid nearly enough, especially when compared to film actors. I mean, think about it, famous Hollywood stars will get millions for being in a good movie or show. In fact, A-List movie stars repeatedly make 15 to 20 million for a lead role, while the best lead actors and actresses on Broadway unequally gain around 105,000 a year. How is this fair?
Well the answer is simple. It’s not fair. Theatrical performers deserve so much credit for the work they do, and it needs to be recognized. They work long hours and practice diligently with a purpose to entertain people, and it isn’t fair that these actors and actresses aren’t getting a similar amount of money or identification as actors and actresses of film.
The New York Times and neuroscientists at UCL performed a study monitoring an audience’s heart rate and reactions while watching a live musical. They found that when emotion levels were high, the heartbeats of the attendees were synchronised, speeding up and slowing down at the same rates. Theater really provides an experience like no other. It’s not often where everyone is in one place, feeling and observing the same thing, especially in the diverse and different world we live in.
Right now, theatrical actors and actresses are struggling with the growing pandemic taking away their jobs. If you can, spread awareness and appreciate what theater means to so many people. We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.