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Law & Order’s Jesse L. Martin Struggled With The Transition From Broadway To Network TV

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When Jesse L. Martin first started acting on television, he had difficulty transitioning to a medium that had different rules for effective performance. Decades later, Martin told The Actors Work that in filming, “the whole idea of ​​having to make a mark without looking, and the importance of being able to do it, completely lost me during my first few experiences.”

The veteran theater star also didn’t know how to project less energy on screen than on stage, where actors have to reach an entire live audience. Martin admitted, “I was shockingly naive about what it takes to be an actor in front of a camera.” Luckily, he usually shot projects like Law & Order in New York City – a place that, as Martin pointed out, has a wealth of talented actors – , so he could learn not only how to tone down his performances as he watched them, but also how to better prepare for productions where scenes need to be shot quickly and without extensive rehearsals.

It took some time, but The Flash alum gradually became more comfortable with the filming process. “It was definitely a huge learning curve because I grew up in the theater so it was a whole different beast to perform in front of the camera,” he told The Actors Work.



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