Actors to Movies to Talkies

It all started a long time ago… and we’re not sure how.

Historians say that acting was invented about 2,600 years ago by a Greek tragic actor named Thespis… hence all such people since that day are called “Thespians.”

Personally, I doubt it. The very first actor was probably the first kid whose mother yelled, “Who dragged that dead sabre tooth tiger into my clean cave?” The kid – the real first actor – probably rolled his eyes innocently and said, “It was my sister!”

That makes acting a practical science, as well as entertaining.

Undoubtedly, no matter how it started, acting began with real people watching real people act like somebody else. Even if they were acting out a true story, the actors probably weren’t the people who lived it, but they helped everybody else live it for themselves.

Acting wasn’t first-person storytelling around a campfire, it was story re-telling in dress-up, on a stage, and in the imagination.

Then somebody invented photographic film to act out stories in movement… and “move-ies” were born. Next came sound, and “talk-ies” happened.

Today, acting shows up on even more than a silver screen. It shows up on smaller screens attached to cables, satellites, phones and computers, as well as good, old-fashioned real people still acting on stages. Acting is inescapable. Many of us spend a hundred dollars and more every month to have it in our living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, pockets and even… as I’ve heard, our bathrooms.

There must be a reason.

It’s simple – we love stories. We want love, fright, and excitement; drama, information, and comedy; inspiration, titillation and adrenalin.

But there is more. This week your Jamestown Gazette takes you on a tour of the renovation, renaissance and resurrection of Jamestown’s venerable and beloved Reg Lenna Center for The Arts.

The key here is “The Arts.” Acting, singing, dancing, performing music, even orating and good old story telling, create an entire universe around “acting” – people doing whatever they do on stage and on screen. They do it for all who want to stop, look and listen to the most ancient art of all… the art communicating with each other in ways that move us.

The work going on right now will re-create the theater’s most original, authentic spaces, while joining them together in an indoor mall of arts and entertainment. The investment in time, work and funds is worth the dream for what it being restored and recreated.

Theaters, and all they hold, can expand our world, our minds and hearts. There is little wonder that acting in all its forms is both ancient and ever-present.

No need to wait for that kid to drag in another muddy tiger to see some more really fine acting. The Reg is open right now for movies, talkies, stage shows and much more, even as the work goes on. Don’t miss the excitement, inspiration, laughs and fascinations, the story tellers who are preparing themselves just for you.

And while you’re enjoying all of that, please enjoy the read right here in your own Jamestown Gazette.

Walt Pickut