The surprise guest at the 2012 Republican National Convention proved a great many things to a great many people depending on your political persuasion. One of the greatest lessons to be gained from the performance given by Clint Eastwood that had the least political impact was one found mostly in the realm of the purely aesthetic. If the rambling, uncomfortable monologue that spouted forth from Eastwood's mouth was able to teach one lesson that truly crossed party lines, it was a lesson revealing once and for all the difference between screen acting and improvisation.
Clint Eastwood has proven enough times in the past that he is capable of being an effective comic actor. His one man show with an empty chair at the 2012 coronation of Willard Mitt Romney proved with a shocking defining sense that the multi-Oscar winner is not an master of improvisational comedy. In fact, it remains highly dubious to propose as factual evidence of the highest order that Mr. Eastwood is even aware of the most basic aspects of improvisational comedy.
Which is actually quite strange considering Eastwood's love of jazz music. Any man driven to make a biopic about Charlie Parker must be expected to have a full grasp of the importance of improvisational skills within the context of that musical genre. Naturally, jazz music and comedy are not exactly the same thing, but they do share one vital piece of entertainment DNA. Improv within the worlds of jazz and comedy are both highly dependent on timing. Once the timing goes in an improvisational piece of performance, be it at the mercy of musicians or comic actors, everything else falls apart.
If comedic timing suffers on film, you can shoot it again until you the timing is right. If reshoots fail to fix the problem, there is also the possibility of creating timing through the magic of editing. Such methods for saving a dying piece of improve comedy are rarely place in the hands of an actor making things up on a stage in front of an expectant audience. Fortunately, for Clint, his live audience was so dazzled by his message that the stunning failure to comedically deliver that message could be overlooked.
Just think what kind of damage might have done to the less impressionable if those in charge of the Republican National Convention had recognized that Eastwood's great talent as a director of himself as a screen actor might have been a much more effective means of delivering that message so highly dependent on flawless transmission to make up for its extraordinary lack of factual accountability. Clint Eastwood the comedic screen actor might have convinced millions of undecided voters.
Clint Eastwood the improvisation comedy actor most definitely could not.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Clint Eastwood
- Republican National Convention