Actors usually are the faces of shows and plays that the audience remember. In fact, the actor probably stands for stardom and showbiz glamour more than anyone else. Obviously, there is a lot of training and practice needed if you want to become an actor (let’s not even speak about talent…) – but what exactly is an actor and what do actors actually do?
Definition of a musical theatre actor by Kevin Chamberlin
“Being a musical theatre actor is being truthful under imaginary circumstances, bringing a character to life 8 times a week, being consistent, being on time, being theatrical yet real and belting it to the rafters so that you hit that last row eight times a week because the theatre is larger than life; it’s a celebration of life. You give a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but ultimately, it’s the most rewarding of artforms.” (Kevin Chamberlin)
Kevin Chamberlin has worked as an actor on Broadway (originating roles in SEUSSICAL and THE ADDAMS FAMILY, DIRTY BLONDE), for film (Die Hard With A Vengeance, Taking Woodstock, Road to Perdition, Christmas with the Kranks, In and Out, Suspect Zero, Trick and Lucky Number Slevin) and for TV (Frasier, Heroes, CSI:NY, Law and Order: SVU).
Origins of the Actor
The ancient Greek word for an “actor”, ὑποκριτής (hypokrites), means literally “one who interprets”, so one definition of an actor would be “someone who interprets a dramatic character”.
One of the first actors is believed to be an ancient Greek called Thespis of Icaria. An apocryphal story says that Thespis stepped out of the dithyrambic chorus and spoke to them as a separate character. Before Thespis, the chorus narrated (for example, “Dionysus did this, Dionysus said that”). When Thespis stepped out from the chorus, he spoke as if he was the character (for example, “I am Dionysus. I did this”). From Thespis’ name derives the word thespian. (this paragraph is a quote from Wikipedia)