Acting Teaching Drama

It’s Not the Tool, It’s the Artist

Here is exactly why theatre, music, the arts, etc. will never go away: It’s because the arts don’t rely on technology. They rely on creativity.

Technology evolves but the evolution doesn’t make the arts obsolete. Technology gives the artists more tools to work with but an artist who doesn’t use the latest technology is no less an artist.

Woody Allen doesn’t write his screenplays on Final Draft. He doesn’t write them in Microsoft Word, or any other computer program. His tool of choice is a manual typewriter that he’s used for the past 50 years. He still manages to turn out some pretty good screenplays.

So often I’ll get a request from someone looking for a monologue that will “wow” the audience or “make them cry” or “make them laugh.” Good material is important, but it’s really not the end all and be all. What will wow an audience, or make them cry or laugh is an emotional connection with the character, not the words the character is saying.

A perfect example is Edward Reid’s audition for Britain’s Got Talent (video below). He wows, delights, and electrifies the audience singing a suite of songs that my three-year-old niece knows. She’s known them word-perfectly for over half her life. We’ve all known these songs since we were toddlers. And yet, he finds something new in them and that’s why he’s an artist.

About the author

Craig Mason

1 Comment

  • And to add on – I often hear people say “I work so hard and nothing is happening for me. I put my heart and sole into this and nothing is working.” This video is a perfect example of why I have issue with those kinds of comments. Because here’s a man with a plan. Yes, he can sing but he knew he had to show case his
    voice and do something no one else has done. He obviously thought about what he could do to stand out, crafted his audition from beginning to end. And bonus, he’s not trying to be something that’s he’s not. He comes across as a sweet guy and it’s brilliant that he chose to sing children’s songs. Even if he’s didn’t win,
    he’s won because he had a plan, executed it and brought the house down. He didn’t just sing and leave the rest to some whim.

    What is your plan? How are you doing something different? How are you
    take the conventions of your art and turning them on their ear? What does it mean to work hard at your craft?