Which came first…the writer or the actor?

Recently, I accidently caught a movie on TV that had one of my favorite stars.  It was a historical movie and I’d never seen him in anything but contemporary films.  At the time, I thought how cool actors could “live” in any time zone they wanted.  Even with dinosaurs, though that’s not exactly factual history!  Can you imagine…the clothes, the speech, the adventure?  I want to be an actor!

Wait a minute!  I’m better!  I’m a writer.  I’m the one who builds the worlds, creates the adventures,  travels through time so the actor can have his job.  Where would an actor be without his script?  Standing on a set, waiting for someone to put words in his mouth.  Without the writer, the actor is nothing more than a puppet.

But sometimes, it’s the actor who gives the heart to character to make it resonate with the reader.  Too often, though the movie might not have duplicated the movie exactly, it CAN draw new readers to the writer’s work.  And I know I’ve seen a lot of movies made from books or short stories I’ve never read that impressed me enough to go looking for more.

But still it’s the writer who sets the foundation of the story.

But it was the minstrel who gave voice to the story to those masses who couldn’t read.

But what about the guys who spent hours, chipping stories into stone or painting on cave walls?

Ooooh, my head is hurting.  So, which came first…the writer or the actor?


7 thoughts on “Which came first…the writer or the actor?

  1. Jackie,

    The writer/storyteller came first. Always.

    What was the movie and who is the actor? Inquiring minds want to know. spw

    • COPYING BEETHOVEN with Ed Harris as Beethoven. I never heard of the movie and just caught a piece of it, but Ed Harris with clubbed hair!!?? Kinda weird.

      • He is a super cool actor. I was just at an anniversary party. Got seated with a couple of sci fi enthusiasts. We were casting our favorite books and I cast Ed Harris as Aral Vorkosigan in Shards of Honor. He’d be great. I was thinking of Sigourney Weaver as Cordelia Naismith. spw

  2. The storyteller/writer had to come first. IMHO. The caveman had to ‘think’ of the story before he could draw it and I’m willing to bet he told it first, too. Someone else came along after him/her and acted it out.

    • That’s what I think. What actor, prehistoric or not, could act out a story….unless someone created the story?

  3. Of course I would come along and disagree.

    I believe the actor was first. The caveman “acted” like he was in charge when he clubbed his wife over the head. If he hadn’t pretended to be the boss, his wife never would have believed it. Later, she told the story of how they met to the children. 🙂

    I had this debate with a woman. She says we all act, all the time. I disagreed with her. I told her a genuine person never acts, they just let their guards up or down depending on the situation.


    • Ren–I’m in between. I believe we do act all the time EXCEPT with those we honestly trust. Then we feel free to be ourselves. With others, we tend to want them to like us, so we adjust our “self” to match what we think they want.

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