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Actors Weight

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BeNice
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Actors Weight #26
Posted: 11/3/19 at 7:05pm

dramamama611 said: "Im fairly certain new costumes are ALWAYS made...on Broadway.”

In some cases, absolutely. Especially contemporary clothing. But there are a lot of circumstances where they will not rebuild especially when the item is expensive (gowns, etc) and/or they know a show is closing.

 

Boq101
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Actors Weight #27
Posted: 11/3/19 at 7:06pm

New costume are always made for new casts, most replacements don't always have their costumes right away, especially in shows like Wicked where every costume requires intricate and couture construction. Even remountings of certain shows like the Les Mis revival that was last here was costumed with most of the stuff already being in storage. 

You should take your "fairly certain" and try learning new things when people have facts to tell you. 

singer234
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Actors Weight #28
Posted: 11/3/19 at 7:54pm
I’m fine with the costume change, but I do think they should have changed the lyric/change it in general. She’s also pretty tall. 115 is a low weight for anyone that as tall as her or even Taylor.
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AADA81
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Actors Weight #29
Posted: 11/3/19 at 10:07pm

LOOKS LOOKS LOOKS!  I'm not defending it, but showbiz has always been focused on looks for marketability, and audiences are typically inclined to see more attractive people.  To deny this is naive.  Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, and some talents simply will not be denied, but producers know they have a better shot at success with someone who conforms more closely to the ideals of physical beauty than not.  That is the history of show business.

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The Distinctive Baritone
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Actors Weight #30
Posted: 11/3/19 at 10:52pm
As an earlier poster stated, this topic isn’t, and shouldn’t be, about making actors happy.

Theater - at least professional theater - is for the AUDIENCE. Period. If an actor is unpleasant to look at, that is going to limit them. That’s show biz. To be a successful professional actor, you don’t need to necessarily be typically sexually attractive, but you should probably try to keep yourself looking healthy, and take care of your body as much as you can. And I say this as someone who is himself very much a “character actor,” if you know what I mean.

Representation is important across the board in terms of race, body type, etc, but that is so the audience can see themselves onstage, not so an actor can feel vindicated. It’s a profession, and you and your body are a product. It sucks for me too, believe me.
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LizzieCurry
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Actors Weight #31
Posted: 11/3/19 at 11:35pm
A lot of people forget that they're IN power to expand the idea of what looks pleasant and good and acceptable to a greater audience. You can only shrug and say "that's how it is" only so many times before you realize you are part of the reason why that is how it is.
"This thread reads like a series of White House memos." — Mister Matt
Updated On: 11/3/19 at 11:35 PM
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HeyMrMusic
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Actors Weight #32
Posted: 11/4/19 at 12:02am
Elphaba and Evan Hansen are character driven roles and aren’t necessarily supposed to be “attractive.” They are the underdogs to characters more supposedly beautiful. They shun Elphaba because of how she looks. Evan is “on the outside always looking in.” So it really would make sense to cast character actors in these roles.

The excuses on this thread are the same reasons people use to not cast people of color, feature people of normal body weight in the media, why beauty standards are so slow to change. Representation matters because it changes someone’s mind while depicting relatable characters. Why should a curvy girl only see herself as the funny sidekick or be forced to relate to the skinny ingenue? It’s high school politics. It’s lazy. People of all shapes and sizes are beautiful, relatable, and worthy. This isn’t about making actors happy; this is for the audience to see themselves onstage. We have to open our minds up to simple concepts such as inclusion, diversity, and representation. It’s not a big ask for an audience or creative team.
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LizzieCurry
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Actors Weight #33
Posted: 11/4/19 at 12:10am
Side note, regarding fitness: Did any of you see any of the marathon runners today? There are all SORTS of body shapes out there that can manage 26 miles, even if you don't expect them to (and maybe... think about why you don't expect them to).
"This thread reads like a series of White House memos." — Mister Matt
broadwayguy2
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Actors Weight #34
Posted: 11/4/19 at 12:59am
Oh, this thread is a wreck.

Regarding some of the above comments on physical production elements limiting who may be cast, some folk need a reality check.

The Elphaba flying rig can certainly handle FAR more than 200lbs, but for safety reasons the weight limits are set far, FAR lower (in Peter Pan, the fly lines can hold well over 1,000lbs but you don’t want to go above 200lbs on the wire because you should NEVER stress the equipment). And no, it’s not a “simple change” to alter something like that to accommodate different waist size. The sensors and safety triggers are a very real thing.

In a show like Phantom, the Phantom can’t cross a certain height or girth because of certain special effects involving scenic units. Changing those to suit a larger actor would just be wildly expensive but would actually give away the effects.

On Broadway, Spongebob Hassan to be able to climb THRU set pieces... therefore there is a maximum size for that actor.

And no, new costumes are not always built a Broadway. In addition to cost, there is turn around time, and also storage issues. It is not uncommon for costume pieces to get passed down and altered. And, as said, regional productions often rent or have to start building before a show is cast, so you do find limits there as well.

Body diversity does need to be a thing... and do NOT get me started on #BroadwayBody or #BuiltForTheStage and how problematic THEY are. We are lucky to have people like Casey Nicholaw who embrace that in their shows, but there will always be limitations for certain roles in certain shows because of a number of factors.
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bwayboy22
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Actors Weight #35
Posted: 11/4/19 at 1:46am

Wow this thread is W I L D. My heart has sunk at some of these responses. Why are so many people conflating attractiveness and weight? There are plenty of people who are absolutely gorgeous and happen to be overweight. This is where the problem begins. 

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everythingtaboo
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Actors Weight #36
Posted: 11/4/19 at 11:26am

I'm asking as a general questions, are heavier actors even sent out by their agents for some of these auditions to be seen? Are heavier folks that show up to open calls make it into callbacks or further? I'm just wondering since we're asking about casting folks of size, do they ever even make it to the director's and choreographer's eyes, if at all? 



"Hey little girls, look at all the men in shiny shirts and no wives!" - Jackie Hoffman, Xanadu, 19 Feb 2008
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Broadway Bob*
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Actors Weight #37
Posted: 11/4/19 at 11:46am

I have had great luck the last few years, regionally, in being a larger actor cast in some roles I wouldn't  usually be considered for. Mortimer in "Arsenic in Old Lace," Edward Bloom in "Big Fish," Robert in "Boeing, Boeing" to name a few. In each case I've been told by one or more audience members that when they first heard I'd been cast in said role, or the first time I came on stage, they were doubtful about me playing it because of my size but within minutes of my performance they shed any doubts and enjoyed the performance immensely. Audiences are a lot more open minded and accepting than we often give them credit for. Other than a few jerks (who are usually suffering from low body image themselves) audiences will buy into different body types playing various roles. The main thing they care about is the talent. And as someone who lost out on a role I really wanted once because "the set was too wobbly," I believe that, possibly dangerous special effects aside (i.e. flying, trapdoors, etc.), any kind of technical excuse is utter BS and just pure laziness.

<-- Tevye, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, March 2018
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Actors Weight #38
Posted: 11/4/19 at 11:47am

The short answer is no. In musical theater there are 2 sizes: Leading Man/Lady & Character Actor. Leading Man/Lady: Slim, attractive, talent is the last thing to matter - Character Actor: Usually overweight, funny, outgoing. But there's a middle ground of people that we don't see which are the "thicker" people. Like, I remember seeing Title of Show and Heidi talking about how she didn't get Mamma Mia because she didn't fit into the costume, so the other girl got the part. Now, Heidi isn't fat by any means, but she's thicker - she's got a butt, basically. And these types we don't see a lot on Broadway. It tends to just be the super skinny/lean builds. 

And I wouldn't champion Casey N. on anything. All of the "bigger" actors in his shows are the side kicks or the smaller funny parts. 

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The Distinctive Baritone
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Actors Weight #39
Posted: 11/4/19 at 12:08pm

I think it's important to not conflate being "sexually attractive" or "hot" or whatever with being "pleasant looking." Someone can be overweight or thick or whatever and still be pleasant to look at from a purely aesthetic point of view. I don't think anyone believes that the audience should want to screw every member of the cast.

That said, in terms of "romantic" roles, I think a lot of people have some weird biological thing going on where even though in the back of their minds they know it's pretend, their animal brain is more likely to give approval to "attractive" people "mating" (even if it's just singing a duet and kissing a little bit). So the average audience member is still going to want, say, Elphaba and Fiyero to be played by "hot" actors, because biologically, their brain is more accepting of that. "Good job! Go make beautiful, healthy babies! Advance the human race!" Now what a certain group of people or society are inclined to think of as "hot" changes throughout the ages somewhat, and is always ultimately up to personal preference, but I do think that health is a big factor. If an actor is visiblly overweight to the point that it makes them look unhealthy, I think that can be limiting, whether they are auditioning for romantic roles or not. The average person, if they had to choose, would rather spend two hours watching a play or movie with people who are not overweight, as opposed to people who are. Especially if those people are overweight to the point of obesity or being visibly unhealthy.

I'm not saying any of these things are "right" or "okay" or whatever. Just as a sort of amateur psychologist (and an actor always trying to figure out what roles are available that I might be "right" for as well), this is what I make of why certain roles are cast the way that they are. Human beings, like most other animals, judge each other on how we look, both in real life and in theater/film. It's biology.

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treblemakerz
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Actors Weight #40
Posted: 11/4/19 at 12:57pm
This thread is an absolute disaster.

I, for one, don't particularly appreciate being told what my brain "instinctively wants to see;" I'd be more than thrilled to see more diversity in body types on Broadway. Especially for romantic leads.

I think audiences are a lot more accepting than people give them credit for. Personally, I think many are using that as an excuse to defend their own narrow viewpoints.
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Kad
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Actors Weight #41
Posted: 11/4/19 at 1:34pm

Head Over Heels made no mention of the size of Bonnie Milligan's character- the character was just very confident in her beauty. Milligan did that, and everyone on that stage supported it, and it worked like gangbusters. 

"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
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treblemakerz
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Posted: 11/4/19 at 1:37pm

Kad said: "Head Over Heels made no mention of the size of Bonnie Milligan's character- the character was just very confident in her beauty. Milligan did that, and everyone on that stage supported it, and it worked like gangbusters."

Exactly. It was the one aspect of the show that was almost universally praised.

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dmwnc1959
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Actors Weight #43
Posted: 11/4/19 at 3:03pm

treblemakerz said: "This thread is an absolute disaster."

 

Yup. Pretty much. 

 

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Actors Weight #44
Posted: 11/4/19 at 3:29pm

dmwnc1959 said: "treblemakerz said: "This thread is an absolute disaster."



Yup. Pretty much.


"

 

This thread is actually very tame compared to most threads about social issues on this board...

Moderator
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Actors Weight #45
Posted: 11/4/19 at 5:31pm

We have deleted a number of posts in this thread that discussed individual performers as being overweight in one way or another. While some of those posts were in support of the mentioned performers, we do not those types of references being representative of individuals on the boards. 

We have also allowed discussions about certain performers when they themselves have publicly discussed it. Obviously we can't be aware of every public comment that an artist has made, so if you would like to reference comments made by specific artists on this subject, please include a link to those published comments. 

This is obviously a sensitive subject, so we are going to err on the side of sensitivity on this one. That being said, we understand that making points and references to actual real-life situations are important to having the discussion. So, just try to make sure that your posts are talking about the issues and not individual people, unless they have been open about the subject before. 

Thank you for understanding the situation. 

Harpz2006
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Actors Weight #46
Posted: 11/4/19 at 6:08pm
Renee Rapp has publicly spoken, multiple times (just one example is below), about being curvy and body positivity. References to her should not have been deleted.

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/mean-girls-musical-regina-george-19-year-old-renee-rapp
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RippedMan
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Actors Weight #47
Posted: 11/4/19 at 6:20pm

I'm just saying we see it on sitcoms a lot - there are plenty of leads on CBS that are overweight or even just "thicker," yet on Broadway - in musical theater - it doesn't seem to be that way.

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poisonivy2
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Actors Weight #48
Posted: 11/4/19 at 7:11pm

I know enough people in the business to know that there is no such thing as body positivity in show business. None. If you're rejected in an audition and ask why casting directors will tell you to your face "You're too fat." I don't think it's done anymore but there was a time directors could go up to actors with a sharpie pencil and draw the circles of fat they'd want the actors to lose. Drug use and smoking cigarettes to keep the weight off is as common as eating candy.

In fact IN OPERA where there's actually a stereotype about fat opera singers it's not uncommon for directors to bluntly tell singers that they're too fat for the production.

It's not going to change either. It's too engrained in the culture that being overweight means not being "committed enough" to the craft. 

Updated On: 11/4/19 at 07:11 PM
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Actors Weight #49
Posted: 11/4/19 at 7:37pm

JBroadway said: "dmwnc1959 said: "treblemakerz said: "This thread is an absolute disaster."



Yup. Pretty much.


"



This thread is actually very tame compared to most threads about social issues on this board...
"

I agree.


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