Why the Super Bowl reminded me of my first Acting Class.
I watched ‘da Bowl on Sunday like the other 100 million people around the world (actually half-watched, since I had my laptop open while I was talking on the phone . . . so I guess you could say I ‘tched the Super Bowl). As I ‘tched and used it as an excuse to eat Buffalo Wings, I couldn’t help but think how much each “play” in the game was like a great scene in a great, well, play.
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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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.