Michael C. Hall dissects Theatre vs. Film


The differences between working onstage and
working on film or television are… for the most part… technical. If you’re working onstage, you’re telling the whole story, all at once, in order, or at least in the order that the playwright has… constructed. You don’t get to start over… uh- unless maybe there’s a fire alarm or something. Nobody’s waiting their turn, I mean, if you’re
in a play with multiple actors, there’s just one big… “take” you know, and nobody’s waiting for the camera to be on them, everybody’s… present, together, in the room together, as is the audience. When you- And there are as many camera angles as there are people in the audience, you know. And all of those have to be kind of… Uhm. honored. Whereas, if you’re acting in front of a camera, you know where the camera is, you maybe have a sense of the size of the shot, maybe you’re just doing a piece of a scene… Maybe… You’re shooting my coverage in a scene while the other actor is… picking their teeth from lunch after having emoted their heart out before lunch… doing their side of the scene… It’s just- it’s a deconstructed version, you
construct the performance on the fly you know- you do this piece and that piece and this piece. I think it… I would imagine, and I think this is true- that it’s easier to go from acting on stage and doing the whole of it
to the deconstructed film version… versus… being used to that, and then trying to put something all together on stage. If you don’t have that frame of reference but, I don’t know because I started acting, on stage. I suppose it has been a deliberate choice to do more stage work… I… came back to New York from Los Angeles
where I was living uhm- while Dexter was happening, to do Realistic Joneses, and I never went back to L.A. I… sold my house there remotely and I think I just, I hadn’t really had the luxury to do much theatre and uh- for some time… and once I… Once I did that play, specifically, but started to do theatre generally I just
realized how much I loved it how much it fed me. How… honest it keeps you as an actor, I think. Uhm- And… yeah I just wanted to…to come back
to New York so that if and when the opportunity to act on stage came up, I didn’t have to uproot my life to do it. It was “home” you know?

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