all the worldwide web is a stage The Official Website of Richard Reilly

The Official Website of Richard Reilly

Acting Naturally

Richard's Writings > Acting Naturally > Acting in the Real World

Synopsis of Acting in the Real World

There is an actor in every family and every workplace. Don't you know a natural born actor who would never think about doing it on a stage?

Excerpt from Acting in the Real World

These same people would say they would never even think of getting up on a stage, they can't act, they're too shy, of course not, not even a consideration. But around the water cooler at work they are mini Carol Burnetts.

Why do people do it? To entertain, of course. But in addition, I think people have an instinct towards getting their point across in the most effective way - this is a classic case of "a picture being worth a thousand words." A person can say more in a few words delivered "in character," than he can with a thousand words of dry explanation.

Some people are masters of sarcasm, or droll understatement, or exaggeration. And if it succeeds once, you are encouraged to try it again, and again, and you get better doing it. Many stand-up comics of today started out as classroom clowns trying to use humor to get through difficult situations. They discover that the bully won't beat them up if they can only make the bully laugh. Same for the teacher, the coach, the cop on the beat, the boss.

We all know "drama queens." They number among our friends; perhaps there is even one in our family. Will the woman really faint because the realization that her shoes don't match her handbag is just too, too much? I don't think so. But she will act up a storm trying to make you think so.

Are men really so macho, are children really so helpless, or do they indulge in playing a role? We have all seen children crying over a 'boo-boo' as if the world were about to end, only to see the tears instantly cease when some candy is waved before the child's eyes.

What is role-playing but an unconscious desire to "act" the way we think we should in response to difficult or awkward or uncomfortable situations? Are we not ALL actors?


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