Acting and Advertising have a lot in common.

The first rule of advertising when launching a new advertising campagin for a product is to test, test, and test.  And when you’re done, test again.  Because no matter what you think of a logo or a tag line, it’s not until it’s in the market that you know if it works or not.

And with each set of results, you tweak your campaign until you better the results.  Simple.

Acting is no different.  Yes, you need to have a firm grasp on how to present your character before you “launch,” but once you get in front of that audience, you may find that they respond a bit differently than you thought they would.

You could be stubborn, and not allow the audience’s response to affect what you do.  Or, you could treat it like an advertising campaign, and make little tweaks here and there, depending upon the audience’s reaction, to allow them to enjoy your performance even more (provided, of course, that these tweaks [and I’m not talking about making changes to the actual text, mind you] are with the Director’s approval).

That’s what’s great about acting for the theater, as opposed to film.  Once that film performance is in ‘the can,’ you can’t make a tweak, no matter what.  You couldn’t even dodge a tomato if it was thrown at you.

But in the theater, you can, and you should, because having a live audience is like a having a focus group in front of you every single night.

To ignore them, would be like a marketing person ignoring metrics.


Want more acting tips?  Click here to learn how to up your audition game!

  • Kris Bauske, Playwright says:

    It was a normal afternoon, and I was out investigating cellular plans at the kiosks in my local mall. While the following conversation would be inconceivable in NYC or Chicago or L.A., I had to share with you what we face in the arts every day here in the provinces.
    By ‘provinces’, for me, we’re talking Metro Orlando – not exactly a backwater!
    Me: Well, I also need to be able to reliably reach my publisher in New York.
    Cell Guy #1: Oh, are you a writer?
    Me: Yes.
    Cell Guy #1: What do you write?
    Me: I’m a playwright.
    Cell Guys #1 & #2 exchange puzzled glances.
    Cell Guy #2: So what’s that mean?
    Ah, our public education system at work.
    Me: I write plays.
    Cell Guy #1: What kind of plays?
    Me: Comedies, mostly.
    Cell Guy #1: So like stand up? You’re a comedian?
    Me: No. I write plays that just happen to be funny.
    Cell Guy #2: So what’s that mean?
    Me: Well, I write plays for actors to perform on a live stage, and hopefully, you’re laughing so hard by the time you leave, you’re ready to pee your pants!
    Cell Guy #1: So where would you see something like that?
    Me: (a bit incredulous) Have you heard of the “Mad Cow Theatre”? They perform some great comedy there.
    Blank looks again
    Cell Guy #1: No.
    Me: How about the Orlando Repertory Theatre? They always have a few comedies in their schedule.
    Cell Guy #1: Nope.
    Me: Orlando Shakespeare Theatre?
    Cell Guy #1: Whoa! Shakespeare! No way.
    Me: You know, Shakespeare was a really funny guy. You’d be surprised at how much fun some of his work is when it’s done well, and Orlando Shakespeare does a great job! They also perform plays that weren’t written by Shakespeare.
    More blank looks. Sensing I was losing my chance, I moved in for the kill…
    Me: Listen guys, women love guys who take them to the theatre – not the ‘Jumbo popcorn, cell phone in the next row, gum on the bottom of your shoes kind of theatre’, but a real, live, ‘actors on stage’ theatre. They think it means you’re intelligent and cultured. Girls love those qualities in their men.
    Cell Guy #1: Really? Now you’re talking. Chicks dig that stuff, huh?
    Me: Try it. You’ll be surprised! Give it a try, and I’ll check back to see how it works out for you.
    Cell Guy #2: Cool!

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