. . . . . . . . . . . .

Tboy hangs with

Search Tboy

    tboy web

dc theaterfolk

Crass Commerce


Crass Commerce II

Crass Commerce III


Crass Commerce IV

watch this



« Dispatch from Humana, part deux | Main | The Week in Review(s) »

Friday, 23 February 2007



Well, with Oscar weekend looming I'm realizing I've seen a sum total of ONE of the nominated pictures - The Queen.

That one was excellent, and I do hope Ms. Mirren wins for playing restrained, repressed, and understated with such gusto. But I feel deeply unprepared for my arrival at Sunday's party when I'm handed the annual Oscar prediction quiz.

I'm looking forward to Ellen, and hoping she hits it out the park.

And I do hope I get to see Al Gore walk onstage to accept an Oscar as possible prelude to his Nobel Prize.

My Oscar party will also be the closing night party for Orson's Shadow at Round House, which - if you haven't seen - is worth catching before it goes its ephemeral way. Lots of inside baseball for theatrical types. $10 for you and a buddy with your Equity card. (Which I think is an excellent policy on Round House's part.)So scrap your boring weekend plans and swing on over to lovely downtown Bethesda.

Hey, what's an open thread without a little self-promotion...


Oh good! I wondered if you were going to do this again.

My question is sort of a favor. I teach a theater class of 4th-6th graders and a couple of classes ago it came up that there was some debate as to whether it was correct now to designate "actresses" vs. "actors". They are a precocious group (lots of "But WHY's") and I couldn't really come up with an answer. I guess it is considered sexist to suggest gender in a job title? We don't say "laweress" or "doctoress" or even "directress". But does it really bother people? Is there an official word on this one? Can an actress/female actor explain why it does or doesn't bother them?

If it's a moot point and no one really has an opinion I'll take that as a response, and happily report that back to the small ones.

P.S. Orson's Shadow IS great. I dragged myself to Bethesda reluctantly and was very glad I did.


I call myself an actor (or a hack). But it does not bother me to be called an actress. 'Actor' is just easier. It's universal.

As for my weekend, I am going to say my lines and not bump into the furniture, except when I am supposed to.


I always try and use "actor" universally since "acrtess" is derived from "diminutive actor."


Better than "actrette", no doubt.

How about "actrix"?

I'm a guy, so I don't have any standing in this debate. I do think I tend to use "actor" pretty universally. Though I'm sure that I use actress often enough and can't recall it ever being a point of real contention. I do find it interesting that the 11-yr old set took exception. The post-post-PC generation?


I like "actron," myself. I think I first heard Larry Redmond use it. I also like "waitron" for those in food service, even though both terms have a 'bot-like ring to them.

"Into the Woods" completes its sold-out run this Sunday evening. If the threatened inclement weather occurs Sunday, some folks will probably wuss out and cancel their tickets - meaning the hardy souls who DO show up stand a decent chance of getting in. You might wanna call first to see what the odds are.


Oh, and by the way, there's a free performance of "Little River Turnpike" (that's Stephen Gregory Smith, Amy McWilliams and Steve McWilliams) after tonight's performance of "Woods." It's in the theatre's lobby and did I mention it's free? Little River Turnpike is kinda country/rocky/rollie/folkie and a lot of fun, just to see Stephen play the egg.


Actrix! That is HAWT.

Hoola Honster

Has anyone found the missing "S" from the old place?

Lucky Spinster

i prefer actorine myself.


Actorine keeps an actor's breath clean!

I'd go with actrix or actron, but only if my irony battery is well charged. Kate seems to say "actor" most of the time, while I mostly tell people she's an "actress."


When Tboy mentioned this to me when he got home tonight, my reaction (as a linguist) was, "well, in general, I think that people should be able to be called whatever they want to be called, but as far as actors and actresses, we make the distinction because we probably got those words through the same route as we get about 1/3 of the vocabulary of our wonderful language." (Open your Webster's to almost any page and you're gonna find OFr > ME in a good number of the etymologies.) French, which cares on the whole much more about the gender of nouns than English does, has acteur and actrice. Of course, that doesn't mean that we necessarily have to keep making the distinction -- I may be a linguist, but contrary to popular belief, linguists are mostly *descriptive* by nature, not *presecriptive*.... And besides, French also has words like
chanteur and chanteuse, but we don't talk about singers and singresses -- although I have known a songstress or two in my day....

Also, I guess that linguists are not always right about language, because when I went to look at my Websters, it suggested that 'act' and the derivative words actually made the transition into English at an earlier stage, through Latin, rather than Old French (actually, when the [k] sound of 'act' was still more of a [g], as in Latin agere. It was actually in a book I haven't taken off my shelves in a while called The Roots of English that I found the most interesting tidbit, which is bound to cause some reACTion among the ACTors reading this: Amusingly, given the Latin AG- source mentioned above, English actor and agent derive from the same root. I wonder where that leaves all of the agentesses out there..... But this may be beyond the attention span of most 4th graders ... and possibly of everyone else reading this as well.


whoa....ok, that wins. Next topic?

The comments to this entry are closed.