thespian


an actor

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“Call me a THESPIAN not an actor, says Nicolas Cage - Oscar winner says he sees his art as ‘more like shamanism’ while acknowledging he may sound ‘absurd and ridiculous’.”

Sarah Marsh - The Guardian

Did you
know?

 

thespian
noun / adjective

- an actor or actress

- connected with acting and the theatre

Cambridge Dictionary


ORIGIN

Greek drama was originally entirely performed by choruses. According to tradition, the Greek dramatist Thespis, of the 6th century B.C., was the inventor of tragedy and the first to write roles for the individual actor as distinct from the chorus. The actors' exchanges with the chorus were the first dramatic dialogue. Since Thespis himself performed the individual parts in his own plays, he was also the first true actor. Thespian is also an adjective; thus, we can speak of “thespian ambitions” and “thespian traditions”, for example.

The adjective thespian is from the 1670s, the noun, meaning “an actor”, dates from 1827. The short form thesp is attested from 1962.


ONCE UPON A TIME

Pastor Don Baker relates a lovely story about the Reverend Tom Erickson:

The public Library has a system called “Dial-A-Tale”. Anytime a young child wants to hear a fairy tale, he can call the number and a voice comes on reading a short fairy tale to the listening young ear. However, the number is only one digit different from Tom Erickson.

Because the small fingers often make a mistake, Tom gets frequent calls from a child listening for a fairy tale. After several unsuccessful attempts to explain a wrong number to the small child, Tom felt he had only one alternative. He obtained a copy of Three Little Pigs, and set it by the phone.

Now, whenever a child calls, he simply reads them the tale. A beautiful illustration of yielding personal rights. Tom didn’t, as you might have thought, change his telephone number to avoid the “invasion of his privacy”.


CONTEXT “actor/actress”

- a person whose profession is acting on the stage, in films, or on television
- one who participates in an action or event
- a hypocritical pretender to excellence of any kind
- a person who is fond of joking, humor or comedy
- a movie star
- a young actor/actress with a promising career ahead of him/her
- the doer of an action
- a person  actively engaged in an art, discipline, or profession
- a person who acts on behalf of another person or group

SYNONYMS

player, trouper, performer, THESPIAN, thesp, artiste, artist, impersonator, personator, actor, actress, histrionic, ingénue, play-actor, stager, tragedian, character, clown, comedian, comedienne, doer, entertainer, foil, ham, headliner, idol, lead, leading man, leading lady, mime, mimic, mimicker, pantomime, pantomimist, soubrette, stand-in, star, stooge, understudy, ventriloquist, walk-on, dramatic artist, bit player, member of the cast, impressionist, imitator, singer, executant, superstar, dancer, acrobat, copycat, copyist, showman, copier, ape, aper, parrot, epigone, personality, scene stealer, starlet, diva, show-off, extrovert, conjuror, comic, magician, attention-seeker, virtuoso, self-publicist, prima donna, mime artist, funambulist, equilibrist, contortionist, cast, recitalist, architect, perpetrator, aerosaltant, operator, troupe, company, plagiarist, wannabe, emulator, caricaturist, look-alike, copy cat, carbon copy, double, lampooner, lampoonist, parodist, satirist, simulator


SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation today, say something like:

“How about rediscovering the THESPIAN in ourselves and start reading stories to kids?”


THANKS to Andrea for suggesting today’s OWAD.


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

Paul Smith

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