The sporadic ramblings of Emily C. A. Snyder - devoted to God, theatre, writing, and much randominity.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

Artistic Director and Co-Founder of TURN TO FLESH PRODUCTIONS. | Author of "Nachtstürm Castle," "Niamh and the Hermit." | Playwright: "Cupid and Psyche," "Math for Actors." | Classical director and educator.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Amazing how rose-scented shower gel

And indulgent time can conspire to make one feel human again. Went to high tea with Jules and Kate today, and Bertucci's with Jills last night - muchly fun all. And am now scrubbeded. (Are you hurt-ed, Wendy?) Also - have written near 1K more words in Liadan! Hoopla! As well as beginning to compile a Hamlet soundtrack and getting a jolt-start on Nutcracker. La la la! Praise God! Now, Lord, help keep me faithful to you! AMEN!

And now onto musings for myself if for no one else (or for the sake of poor Kate who has been very kind whenever the subject of theatre pops up - which is rarely...um...for me...not being in tech week...yeah...Go Kate!).

The musing is this: character vs. leading actors. I myself am a character actress - I can't do the ingenue to save my life. But give me lots to sink my teeth into and I'm good to go. But, therefore, being a character actress, I've developed what I suppose is a curious dichotomy in my views on lead actors. To whit: I consider those roles "too easy to play" and yet "beyond my star." AKA: I belittle it because I can't achieve it.

But in directing and casting, I've realized that the lead of the actor isn't easier or better but simply different. Some people are character actors and some leads - that's all there is to it. The thing is that most character actors tend to embrace their parts (no matter how much they long for leads) and so get lots of jobs (and usually better reviews) while leads actors appear to be a dime a dozen - but they aren't either.

To be a lead, one needs to be not only easy on the eyes (after all, the audience has to stare at the actor for the better part of 2-3 hours) but also charismatic (since said lead needs to carry the show as well). But where both caracter actors (through jealousy) and stupid producers/casting directors/directors fall is that they presume Pretty=Talent=Charisma. Not so. It's rather like singing soprano. Just because one can reach those notes, doesn't mean one reaches them well. So leads are just as rare as character actors.

But another thought to give hope to my fellow character actors: lead actors need to be able to hold a part and a show together through sheer force of will - even if the script is bad. And frankly, if any character's going to be gypped in the script, it's going to be the lead. Character actors always get juicy roles. Lead actors don't necessarily. And those lead roles which are juicily written are therefore fair game for both lead and character actors - and at that point it simply depends on how the whole ensemble works best together.

Casting isn't math - it's chemistry! Or biology. And genes. QED.

Mood: Pas mal, merci. Scrubbeded.
Music: Currently "All Over You" by Live from my rapidly growing Hamlet playlist.
Tonight: SCHVANN LAK! Hoopla! Yay Public Television!
Also also wik: Much nail polish. Getting human again. Oh! Luxury!
And on that note: Americans really do get enthusiastic about everything. Huh.

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