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An actor or actress (see terminology) is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity. The ancient Greek word for an "actor," ὑποκ�ιτής(hypokrites), means literally "one who interprets"; in this sense, an actor is one who interprets a dramatic character or personality.


The word actor refers to a person who acts regardless of gender, while actress refers specifically to a female person who acts; therefore a female can be referred to by either term. The Oxford English Dictionary states that originally "actor" was used for both sexes. The English word actress does not derive from the Latin actrix, probably not even by way of French actrice; according to the Oxford English Dictionary, actress was "probably formed independently" in English. As actress is a specifically feminine word, some groups assert that the word is sexist. Gender-neutral usage of actor has re-emerged in modern English, especially when referring to male and female performers collectively, but actress remains the common term used in major acting awards given to female recipients and is common in general usage.

The gender-neutral term "player" was common in film in the early days of the Motion Picture Production Code with regards to the cinema of the United States, but is now generally deemed archaic. However, it remains in use in the theatre, often incorporated into the name of a theatre group or company (such as the East West Players).


The first recorded case of an actor performing took place in 534 BC (though the changes in calendar over the years make it hard to determine exactly) when the Greek performer Thespis stepped on to the stage at the Theatre Dionysus and became the first known person to speak words as a character in a play or story. Prior to Thespis' act, stories were only known to be told in song and dance and in third person narrative. In honour of Thespis, actors are commonly called Thespians. Theatrical legend to this day maintains that Thespis exists as a mischievous spirit, and disasters in the theatre are sometimes blamed on his ghostly intervention.

Actors were traditionally not people of high status, and in the Early Middle Ages travelling acting troupes were often viewed with distrust. In many parts of Europe, actors could not even receive a Christian burial, and traditional beliefs of the region and time period held that this left any actor forever condemned. However, this negative perception was largely reversed in the 19th and 20th centuries as acting has become an honoured and popular profession and art.


Method acting

Method acting is a technique developed from the acting "system" created in the early 20th century by Constantin Stanislavski in his work at the Moscow Art Theatre and its studios. The Group Theatre (New York) first popularised the Method in the 1930s; it was subsequently advanced and developed in new directions by Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in the 1940s and 50s. In Stanislavski's "system" the actor analyzes deeply the motivations and emotions of the character in order to personify him or her with psychological realism and emotional authenticity. Using the Method, an actor recalls emotions or reactions from his or her own life and uses them to identify with the character being portrayed.

Method actors are often characterized as immersing themselves so totally in their characters that they continue to portray them even off-stage or off-camera for the duration of the project. However, this is a popular misconception. While some actors do employ this approach, it is generally not taught as part of the Method. Stella Adler, who was a member of the Group Theatre, along with Strasberg, emphasised a different approach of using creative imagination.

Method acting offered a systematized training that developed internal abilities (sensory, psychological, emotional); it revolutionized American theater

Presentational and representational acting

Presentational acting refers to a relationship between actor and audience, whether by direct address or indirectly by specific use of language, looks, gestures or other signs indicating that the character or actor is aware of the audience's presence. (Shakespeare's use of punning and wordplay, for example, often has this function of indirect contact.)

In representational acting, "actors want to make us 'believe' they are the character; they pretend." The illusion of the fourth wall with the audience as voyeurs is striven for.

As opposite gender

In the past, only men could become actors in some societies. In the ancient Greece and Rome and the medieval world, it was considered disgraceful for a woman to go on the stage, and this belief continued right up until the 17th century, when in Venice it was broken. In the time of William Shakespeare, women's roles were generally played by men or boys.


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Question:1- what is the difference between an autorough and a heterotroph 2-why do autotrops always occupy the lowest level of ecological pyramids? 3-give 2 exampled of how nitrogen cycles from the abiotic portion of the environment into living things and back. 4-describe food chain.

Answers:thats not all that nice for a top contributer to say that :/ well ill cover ya. 1.autotrophs are basically plants. they make their own food from energy from the sun. Heterotrophs are organisms that get there food consuming others. 2.Autotrophs are on the lowest level of ecological pyramids because they are the main source of energy for all the other animals and have 100% energy from the sun. Ecological pyramids are based upon energy. The organism with the most enery is at the bottom and the one with the least is at the top. When animals eat other animals, they are only getting 10% of the energy of the animal they consumed. 3.for the nitrogen cycle just follow the arrows on this diagram and explain each arrow movment http://kywater.org/ww/ramp/rmfig3.jpg 4. The food chain is basically a diagram that shows the movment of energy through animals