The Five: New Theatre-isms

Anthony R. Miller checks in to add some new words to your theatrical vocabulary.

Hey you guys, we all know the basics of theatre terminology, up is down, down is up, right is left blah blah blah. But after a few years you tend to create your own Theatre-isms to describe different aspects of putting on a show. Your own insider lingo, so today, here’s a few of my personal favorite to add to your day to day conversations. Remarkably, there are five.

Shitshow– A production that looks fine from the audience perspective, but a whirling storm of chaos and disorganization behind the scenes.

Example: “I have a friend on the crew and she says it’s a total shitshow backstage.”

Turd Rolled in Glitter– A very good production of a very bad script.

Example: “I was really impressed with the production itself, the actors, the sets, the costumes, but the play itself is SO BAD, they didn’t polish the turd, they straight up rolled it in glitter”

Method-Nerd– An actor that is obsessed with their process. Decides early on what their characters favorite meal is and eats it before each performance, does 2 hours of breathing exercises, has taken every acting class and 3 day Meisner workshop imaginable. Takes character shoes home, so they can walk around in them. Requests to be let into rehearsal hall an hour early to do tai-bo in perfect silence, stands in front of mirror closing their eyes, breathing in and yelling “Awake!”

Example: “The actor who played the baker was amazing.” “Yeah he’s kind of a method nerd, to prepare for the role he went to baking school. On the upside we get fresh cinnamon rolls before every show.”

Running for Mayor– The act of increasing public appearances at other people’s events and shows in order to not look like a dick when you’re promoting the crap out of your own show in 2 months.

Example: “Anthony sure has been around a lot, I usually don’t see him at this many events.” “Oh he has a big fundraiser coming up, he’s totally running for Mayor right now.”

Tom Cruise School of Acting– An actor who gives an emotionally genuine performance but never really creates a character outside of themselves. You believe the character is sad or happy or in pain, but they just play themselves.

Example: “Wow I totally believed she was a jet pilot with a tortured past.” “Sure but it was just her acting as if she was a sad jet pilot, not like another person, total Tom Cruise School of Acting”

Anthony R. Miller is a writer, producer and all around wise-ass, keep up with him at www.awesometheatre.org and @armiller78 on twitter.

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