Why actors aren’t performers – Understanding the difference

Actors are often categorized as performers but is that really so, or are they different? If they are in fact different, why do you think actors aren’t performers? Actors are distinct from performers in several ways, as it relates to the focus of their performance, manner of delivery, and training (click here).

Consider the following:

1.    Audience interaction is not important for the actor, while performers thrive on it.
Whether they work in theatre, film, or television, actors are primarily concerned with representing a character and focusing on the scene. This means they are not caught up with how the audience will react. That’s not to say that they are unaware to the audience, but connecting with them is not integral to the outcome of their performance, as it is for the performer.

Audience reaction is essential for the performer, and they sometimes use the energy from the audience to lift their performance. Performers such as dancers or musicians are very aware of their audience, and their primary goal is to keep them entertained.  In addition, the audience response often influences how well they perform.

2.    Most actors get professional degrees, but this is not usually the case for performers. Actors generally hone their talents by enrolling in relevant colleges and university programs. They also attend professional acting workshops and classes.  Most performers attend specialized schools and institutions that teach them how to perform.

Both actors and performers are professionals deserving of respect in their sphere of expertise, but their differences should also be recognized.

If you are an actor keen on improving your acting skills, contact Carolyne Barry Creative Ent. in Los Angeles, CA. Visit our website at carolynebarry.com to learn about the classes available for both new and professional actors. Call us at (323) 654-2212, or email carolyne@carolynebarry.com.

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