How Super Bowl LV was EXACTLY like my first acting class.
I watched Super Bowl LV last night along with close to a kajillion other people around the world.
Ok, ok, that was an exaggeration. Only 148.5 million tuned in. Which, by the way, is the equivalent of 90,274 performances of Phantom of the Opera on Broadway – 6.75 times more than the 13,370 performances our longest runner has already logged!
Ok, ok. That was another exaggeration. I had my laptop open while I watched and did some work. So I guess I only half-watched. Or ‘tched? Eh? (Sorry, Dad jokes are coming in hot this Monday morning.)
You might have already guessed, I’m not a big football guy. But give me a Tom Brady “underdog” story (who is almost as polarizing as Jeff Bezos!) and an excuse to eat Buffalo wings, I’m in!
And wouldn’t you know it . . . but as I ‘tched, I couldn’t help but notice a theatrical metaphor that I had to share.
Like most acting students, I was taught the basic fundamentals of acting/writing in one of my first classes on the subject with a simple improvisational exercise.
It went something like this:
Two characters stand on a stage.
One character wants something.
The other character doesn’t want the first character to get what they want.
Poof. Instant drama. No matter what that “want” is, whether it’s to get the other person to go out on a date or to give them $500 dollars . . . or to score a touchdown.
See where I’m headed?
Sporting events like football, where there are two teams, are the simplest form of classic dramatic structure there is. I want to score. You don’t want me to score. We clash. Eventually, one of us will lose.
And to make it even more thrilling of an event? There’s a ticking clock.
Sporting events and theater seem so diametrically opposed (maybe that’s because there is such little crossover between the fans), but when you take away the shoulder pads and you take away the Capezio tap shoes, they are much more similar than you think.
So if you’re looking to make your show thrilling, take a page out of a football playbook . . . and make your show a sport.
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Interested in learning more about making a script as exciting as The Super Bowl? Enroll in the TheaterMakers Studio “Script Mastery Course”. For less than the price of Super Bowl Pizza and Beer, you can learn from some of Broadway’s best on how to make your script sizzle. Learn more here.
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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.