Tommy Kramer Tip #222 – Stage Versus Film And Which One You Should Emulate

A subject came up in a session recently that I’ve written about before, but want to pursue a little further in an effort to help you find your vocal “pocket.”

A very talented jock I’e worked with for a few months told a good story on the air about how after you marry, you find out what things you and your spouse see differently.  In this case, his wife had ordered takeout food, and to his surprise, there was an extra pork chop that he didn’t expect.  So he put it in the refrigerator to have for lunch the next day.

However, his wife can’t stand having leftovers in the fridge, so she threw it out!

Seeing this, he became indignant, fished it out of the top layer of the trashcan (yes, like George Costanza in that “Seinfeld” episode with the chocolate éclair), and then he put it back in the fridge.

Here’s where it went sideways… when he overacted the finish, declaring “OF COURSE I’m gonna eat it,” then following that up with a way over-the-top “Now, in order to WIN this argument, I actually have to EAT a pork chop that was THROWN AWAY!”

Too emphatic, too loud, and he lost the reality of the story as a result. Here’s what I told him…

I thought the story was something that everyone can identify with, but the ending was LOUD and a little overly strident.  You want to watch overacting, and simply ‘give yourself’ to the words like a film actor, as opposed to a stage actor.  Stage actors are concerned with the people in the last row being able to hear the lines, and their movements and gestures are usually a little exaggerated.  But film actors – who often have a camera literally just a foot or two away and have the audience much closer to them because of the big screen they’re on – play it “not so large,” letting inflection and a more real and more nuanced vocal approach pull the audience in.

This is absolutely essential to becoming a truly great talent.

Tommy Kramer

About Tommy Kramer

Tommy has spent over 35 years as an air talent, programmer, operations manager and talent coach – working with over 300 stations in all formats. He publishes the Coaching Tip

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