Timing is Everything
By Randy Tumblin
Timing is everything. Ask any stand up comedienne who has stood before a live audience as he or she delivers a one liner. If the pause is too long, the humor can go dry. If the comedienne delivers the line too quickly, the audience can’t digest the humor and the joke goes flat. Timing.
Some people have a great sense of timing. Actors love to perform with fellow actors who have great timing. Scenes seem to fly by when actors are on the same page with the timing of a scene. Acting seems effortless. Humor clicks. Dramatic scenes click. The intensity of a scene seems to flow from every actor when they are on the same timing page.
Every actor also knows the struggles of poor timing. A pause that took way too long.
Another actor enters the scene seconds late and the audience is left hanging, waiting, just a bit too long. It’s all in the timing.
Waiting for the audience to respond also demands good timing. I often tell young actors, “give the audience permission, and time, to laugh. If an actor delivers a line….. then rushes to the next line before the audience can react, process, emote, and laugh, then the audience will go into a shell and not laugh. They will be afraid to miss a line. So, they quit laughing. This is a timing issue.
Timing takes trust, practice, and patience. Since the last Christmas Season, the whole world has waited in anticipation and hope for the new Christmas Season. The religious folk seem a bit more patient while the retail folk hurry each Christmas Season. Pretty soon, Black Friday will begin on the Monday before Thanksgiving. Just wait!
Timing for the next production of It’s A Wonderful Life is just right. It has been two years since our last performance. Rehearsals began at just the right time. The performances are scheduled a week before Christmas. Just right. The Actors, new and old, have been brought together during this season to create something that will be special and memorable. Just wait and see.
The religious folk who are Christian call this the season of Advent. A time of waiting, hope, and expectation. The commercial folk call it the season when revenues exceed costs. A simple term for this is “profit”. That’s a good thing. Profits come in many ways. They might be measured in money. They might be measured in family time together. Profits might be measured in giving of ourselves to others who have limited joy during this time of year. The right kind of profits can’t be measured at the mall or at Amazon.com. Rather, they are measured in our increase of love and compassion for one another.
That’s the measure of It’s A Wonderful Life. This timeless classic is perfect for our time. Joy, love, belonging, human identity, community, and a sense of caring for one another all rise to the top in this wonderful classic. The timing is right for It’s A Wonderful Life. Join us at the Knights of Columbus and tell us if the actors waited long enough for the audience to respond. We need you to let us know. Clarence is waiting in the wings, and waiting for his wings. I hope the time is right.