Comscore

Do you expect performers to be great 8 shows a week?

BroadwayStar4 Profile Photo
BroadwayStar4
Featured Actor
joined:6/16/12
Obviously actors are human beings and you can't expect them to act, sing or dance successfully 8 shows a week for a year or two. They are bound to have their "off" days.

Someone here (I won't name names) went to see A Chorus Line and complained about Jason Tam as Paul. He/she called him "horrendous", "worse than Paris Hilton", "didn't understand the character" (even when 99% of the people disagreed). But then he/she was proven wrong, when Jason Tam's audition tape came out and his performance was so raw and believable that it made the casting directors cry and applaud. He obviously understood the character and it showed why he got the part.

But then, he/she said "too bad he didn't replicate that performance on the show". Um, have you ever thought that maybe he DID replicate that performance, but just not one of the shows you went to?

I don't know about you guys, but I don't expect actors to be perfect 8 shows a week. Just because they can't do their best ALL the time, doesn't mean that they're horrible in their roles in general.
bwayphreak234 Profile Photo
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
It's their job to perform 8 days a week. Just like all of us, I'm sure they have their off days at work. However, performers always have a paying audience. The stakes are very high for show business, and it's a little different when they have a bad performance than someone just having a bad day at the office.
"Thereĺs nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
GavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
I don't expect them to be "perfect", but 8 shows in a week is 16 to 24 hours. I realize a performer's "work" is more than the time spent on stage, but still, an actor/singer/dancer in good health should be able to give consistent performances throughout the week.

I have, however, seen and worked with performers in their late 70s or 80s, who sometimes struggled for lines or blocking, etc. In the best cases, the experience they brought to their roles more than compensated for a few missed cues.

The example you gave from A CHORUS LINE sounds more like a difference of opinion than an off night.
dramamama611 Profile Photo
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
By that reasoning, it's ok if a surgeon has an "off day"?

Of course, they are human, and of course, every single show isn't going to be perfect -- but we have every right to expect that when we see the show that it will be. I'm not going to get any money back because Stark Sands or Bertie Carvel or Laura Osnes is up to snuff.

You also can't assume that people aren't going to judge by what they personally saw. Period.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
blaxx Profile Photo
blaxx
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/05
I don't understand the OP. If I want to gamble, I'm going to Vegas not Broadway.

Therefore, if someone is awful I'll bitch about how awful they were here and everywhere I want. I'm not going to give them a pass because the ticket I bought fell on their "off" day.

It's up to the production and the performer to discuss the matters, not to the audience.
Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE
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GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
No, I think you CAN assume that each of us judges by what we see with our own eyes. So one "off" performance is reported to be bad to X number of potential patrons.
HeyMrMusic Profile Photo
HeyMrMusic
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/04
If a Tony voter goes to an "off" performance, you're not getting a vote.

Actors are hired to perform consistently well eight times a week (or whatever the performance schedule is). Yes, the pressure is high, but this is their career and reputation. Yes, it happens and it's too bad, but such is the job of a stage performer (and musician and stage manager and technician, etc.).
bwayphreak234 Profile Photo
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
By that reasoning, it's ok if a surgeon has an "off day"?

THIS... I have been on the operating table when the anesthesiologist was having an "off day"... I have permanent nerve damage as a result. Some careers, having an "off day" has some pretty bad consequences. Show business is definitely one of them to an extent. Like HeyMrMusic said, if a Tony voter sees a performer on an "off" day, they just lost a vote.
"Thereĺs nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
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PB ENT.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/11/03
YES! The competition is waiting and whoever gets a Broadway role had better be putting in their best effort at every performance or they will be replaced by someone who will. Unless they are physically or vocally ill the audience is paying dearly for "great performances".
www.pbentertainmentinc.com BWW regional writer "Philadelphia/South Jersey"
BroadwayStar4 Profile Photo
BroadwayStar4
Featured Actor
joined:6/16/12
I also think it's unfair to say that an actor is horrible as a certain character just because they had an off day. Having an off day should not overshadow all of their previous amazing performances.

Of course it's their job to be consistent. But not only do you have to be in good health, but you have to be ready emotionally, mentally, and physically, and just the thought of doing 8 shows a week for 1-3 years or so, can be overwhelmingly demanding.

"If a Tony voter goes to an "off" performance, you're not getting a vote."
Yet there are countless of performers who were outstanding, yet never even received a nomination.

"By that reasoning, it's ok if a surgeon has an "off day"
That's not a good comparison at all.
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Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
"I also think it's unfair to say that an actor is horrible as a certain character just because they had an off day. Having an off day should not overshadow all of their previous amazing performances."

If someone saw a bad performance, they're entitled to state their thoughts on what they saw and their feelings on that actor's take on the character. I'm not sure what you even mean by that. Someone is supposed to see another performance if they feel like the person was "off" or if they have a different opinion than the majority? Critical commentary on a performance should be disregarded because the person could've been having an "off" day and surely, all their other performances were incredible?

We judge on what we see.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
GavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
,,,just the thought of doing 8 shows a week for 1-3 years or so, can be overwhelmingly demanding.

Yes, but THAT'S THE JOB! Like any job, one has to find a way to deal with the repetition.
BroadwayStar4 Profile Photo
BroadwayStar4
Featured Actor
joined:6/16/12
Yes, that's what I just said. It's their job. Thank you for telling me what I clearly already said....
HeyMrMusic Profile Photo
HeyMrMusic
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/04
Critics also see one performance before writing their review. If it's an "off" performance...
BroadwayStar4 Profile Photo
BroadwayStar4
Featured Actor
joined:6/16/12
Critics used to come on opening nights, now they come whenever they want?
Kelly2 Profile Photo
Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
Usually once a show is frozen there are a few performances made available to critics. This isn't new...
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
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BroadwayStar4
Featured Actor
joined:6/16/12
"This isn't new..."

Gee, you don't say...

I'm just saying because I read a critic went on an opening night recently, can't remember which show.
Kelly2 Profile Photo
Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
I'm not sure what point you're trying to make anyone. Yes, I expect actors to give the best performance they are able to give each time they step onstage. They are well-paid to do exactly that. If they don't want to, there are thousands more than happy to take their place. Broadway jobs are rare, coveted, and demanding. If you can't handle it, take a bus back to Ohio and do Guys and Dolls at your local community theatre until the cows come home.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
dramamama611 Profile Photo
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Since their reviews come out on opening night...often just after the curtain rises, they can't possibly go ON opening night. They aren't given tickets for opening night.

Once again, you don't really want to discuss, you want to be right. Well, it's not right for an actor to be less than the role demands. Of course, it happens, but to the 500 to 1500 patrons at THAT performance -- the overwhelming majority that will ONLY see that specific performance -- they can ONLY judge what they are given.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
BroadwayStar4 Profile Photo
BroadwayStar4
Featured Actor
joined:6/16/12
"If they don't want to,"

If they don't want to? That's a different situation. I'm talking about can't. How much can a human being do when performing for a Broadway show?

"I expect actors to give the best performance they are able to give each time they step onstage."

And they always do, but that doesn't mean that their best is always going to be great. They could go on stage feeling as ready as ever, but can still have an off day and realize that they weren't as ready as they thought.
Bettyboy72 Profile Photo
Bettyboy72
Broadway Legend
joined:3/31/06
These are trained actors. Most audience members dont know when an actor is at 75% or 100%. They put out-they know how to deliver. Leads usually deliver. After long runs, I tend to see the ensemble get a little sloppy or less juiced, but leads tend to bring it and I probably wouldnt know if they werent feeling well.
"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello
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Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
It doesn't matter if there's a critic or a Tony award voter in the house for their mandated one-performance viewing. There are hundreds- literally HUNDREDS- of people in each Broadway house who will be seeing the show for the first and only time. Every performance is essentially opening night for scores of theatregoers and that is why an actor has to deliver consistently.

Everyone has off-days. But actors, like anyone else, have to leave whatever is causing their offness outside and do their work.
blaxx Profile Photo
blaxx
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/05
Ugh, this is one of those threads where the OP has to be right and they won't have it any other way.
Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE
BroadwayStar4 Profile Photo
BroadwayStar4
Featured Actor
joined:6/16/12
Actually, I agree somewhat with all of you. I just happen to understand that performers are not robots who are programmed to do everything spectacularly well 8 shows a week for a couple years.
blaxx Profile Photo
blaxx
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/05
Exactly. "I don't want to disagree with you, but I know I'm right".

Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE
Updated On: 5/19/13 at 09:32 PM
Kelly2 Profile Photo
Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
" I just happen to understand that performers are not robots who are programmed to do everything spectacularly well 8 shows a week for a couple years."

Just because it happens doesn't mean it should or that it's "right" for it to. For the record, there are plenty of artists who perform in long-running shows who still give first-rate performances years later. As with any career, there great actors and consummate professionals, and there are not.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell

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