On‐screen Acting v Live Stage Acting

Naturally I assumed there would be no difference between performing live to an audience and performing to a camera. They are the same right, they are both performing… right? Wrong…

They are in fact complete opposites. A theatre live performance, which would look great on a stage, would look like an insane level of overacting on the screen. Similar to how a small eyebrow raise on camera would be completely missed by a live audience.

Here are a few main differences:

On Stage 

  • Project your voice and presence
  • Months of rehearsal
  • Face the audience
  • Project to the audience
  • Fill the space emotional
  • Shared between all
  • Consciously public performance

On Camera 

  • Lens aware
  • Quick turn around and short rehearsal time
  • Limited background info
  • Prep before hand alone
  • Unlock script before hand
  • Very focused
  • Within a bubble
  • A Private conversation

I suppose the main differences are when performing on stage it is a consciously public performance, where as performing on camera it is a private conversation 

I know what your thinking… how does Dan know all this? 

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 10.43.01

Well I felt it was time to get a bit of grounding in on‐screen acting before I got stuck into the ‘Top secret’ project thing and therefore booked onto a course at the Actors Centre. It was a massive eye opener and I highly recommend it to everyone who is looking to move into On‐Screen acting.

Dan Tambling is a stand-up comedian, sketch comedy writer, actor and producer of ‘12 sketches in a London house’. This is his blog.

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