A student wrote me and said they were advised by the "film community" not to do theater.
Actors are actors and should do it all.
We come alive when we are acting, whether on stage, on film, at auditions or in classes. Heck, we are acting in real life more often than not!
What unprofessional or amateur filmmakers are really saying is that for film you need to be "real", "fresh" and "flexible." They do not know what it is like to work with real professional talent, not "real actors" but those who love the craft and have trained and are skilled in the craft.
A good on-camera coach can help stage actors with film technique, although as we increasingly use microphones on stage and big screen video of the events on the boards, theater is increasingly morphing into a form of film or video, with audiences expecting an almost film like experience.
Casting directors vary...but most know that theater trained actors understand the craft, are always learning will listen to director and that theater teaches an actor the skills needed. Casting Directors may test you at the audition to see i you can tone down to what they are looking for (often not as natural as most actors think).
I do not sing my own song often.
I am Chicago trained and experienced in theater. I studied and also have a degree in theater, with some of the best instuctors in Chicago. I went back to UNLV and almost completed an masters in theater before shifting to a PhD in education. I have a solid stage background.
My passion and experience in the craft are why I love to teach, share and see others reach for their own potential and their dreams, even if they use it in church and community theater or film, or if they move on to study in LA, Chicago or New York and enter the industry.
Do not let anyone ever tell you not to do theater or that film actors do not do theater.
It is simply not true, except for flash in the pan one reel wonders. And they do not have real acting careers.
And do join the union when you have the chance.
Be serious about this if you seek to make it your life and career.