Did You Know You Teach Your Audience to Give You Those Laughs? Or to Hold Them Back?!

Full house DVD watch party

Full House for the DVD Watch Party

Now that A Most Fantastical Pirate Tale! production is Opera House history, and we are all enjoying watching the wonderfully edited DVD that draws from all 4 performances, let’s see how the DVD can improve our acting and, in particular, the laughs we get from our audiences!

Yes, young actors, there are a number of ways that you actually cue the audience to laugh, or not to laugh. If you pay attention to the DVD, you will begin to see the most obvious laugh killer ~ it’s not stepping on the lines of your fellow actors ~ it’s stepping on the laughs of your audience! Watch and learn how you actually train the audience to hold back their laughter (in all but their most boisterous moments) because the audience is afraid their laughter will drown out your next line. They want to hear you, so they chuckle quietly. When you charge ahead too quickly, without a slight pause to see if the laugh comes and for how long, you actually teach the audience to hold back to avoid laughing over your next words.

You can see it best in television shows that are recorded before a live audience. Now, those are edited ~ and scenes, even though live, are shot and reshot. The audience is prepared for that. The audience is also “warmed up” and actually has cue signs. But you can tell a real laugh, and you’ll note the actors pause just long enough each time, allowing the audience to respond.

Now, “you lot,” on the stage ~ no cue signs, no retakes. The stage is true actor/audience interaction. It’s the real deal. And that’s why all the best actors love it the best ~ and often go back to it, during and/or following successful movie and television careers.

So,…observe the DVD carefully and think about the most important thing about the performance ~ the live chemistry and energy exchange between you and your audience. It is certainly something that comes with experience and practice ~ the feel for audience response. How long to pause for a laugh, without pausing too long and slowing or even disrupting the flow of the play.

Want more laughs? You got quite a few, but you can get even more! Watch and learn, pirates. Watch and learn!

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