maybe "rants" isn't the right word. these are simple thoughts about my life. some may be more colorful than others. some language may be offensive, but it depends on your definition of offensive. consider this your warning ;)

27 April 2012

Actors and Athletes Part I

Let the games begin.

Right off, yes, I acknowledge that between athletics and arts, I’m much better suited to address the latter. However, anyone can ask questions, regardless of vocation. I played the violin for many years, sang in choirs and vocal ensembles, directed for the stage, and acted in stage and screen pieces. In my own defense, though, I will proudly admit that I’m more than just my arts background. I enjoy sports. I like good beer and wine. I love pizza.

That's me in the middle as Angus in a production of the Scottish Play at Diablo Valley College. But enough about me.

Today was the first day of the 2012 NFL Draft, Luck to the Colts, RGIII to the Redskins, trade frenzy, A.J. Jenkins to the 49ers, a couple more, and good night, see you tomorrow. The tweets and Facebook statuses have been running rampant. Coaches from the couch get louder and people think they know how to run a professional sports team.

I digress.

Amidst these draft highlights on SportsCenter (my favorite show, according to my fiancée, yet I don’t deny it…) I notice that one of #SCTopTen is Walden’s blown save, succumbing to the Rays’ walk-off HR. A few days ago, Philip Humber of the ChiSox threw MLBs 21st perfect game—ever. Yes, this is a feat, but it brings up an interesting concept.


Professional actors (in addition to dancers, musicians, and countless other performance artists) are held to a very high standard. Performances are scrutinized meticulously (at base, to honor the words of the script/libretto), but with good reason—could you imagine heading to Broadway and hearing Annie sing, “The moon will come out tomorrow,” or Elphaba singing, “Defying Gravy”?

Actors say the correct words, often multiple times a week (sometimes twice a day) because it’s their job. We love what we do, we want to be a part of something bigger than us, and yes, we also love the applause. Well, maybe not everyone, but those are definite possibilities—if anything, the first reason applies—it’s their job.

Walden is a closer, as are Brian Wilson, Mariano Rivera, and Joe Nathan, but they all have losses on their records.

But it’s their job!

Now, hold on, put the stones down and let the dust settle.

Actors and athletes have one major thing in common—they’re human. Although some of them may be machines, freaks, or whatever you may call them—they’re human. Yes, athletes are conditioned to perform at a certain level of physical prowess, and the human body can only be driven so far. Actors, believe it or not, are also subject to a level of physical conditioning…and the human body can only be driven so far. Actors (and let’s talk non-musical/dancing for now), broadly speaking, exhibit much more mental and emotional prowess than physical exertion. Athletes, conversely exhibit much more physically, but their mental and emotional states also come into play.

Hammer cocked, point blank—who decided physical prowess needs a greater margin of error than mental/emotional prowess?

This is not about which one is better. I’m not asking about opinions, I’m asking about the standard to which both are held…and how they’re compensated.

Albert Pujols, Torii Hunter, A-Rod, Jeter, Kobe, Peyton, LeBron, Tiger, the list goes on.

Idina Menzel, Don Cheadle, Jonathan Pryce, Kristin Chenoweth, Norbert Leo Butz, I’m sure you caught all the articles on them about their multi-million dollar signing bonus, extensions, or hour-long specials to announce where they’d be taking their talents.

Oh, wait…

Please comment and let me know what you think. I’m all about having an open, rational discussion, and I’m always down to learn more.


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