Slapstick or Reality

Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, even The Three Stooges are all great examples of old time slapstick humor. It was born from vaudeville and their skits brought laughter and entertainment to its viewers. I always felt a little sad to see someone get hurt, if only in jest. Perhaps I was only projecting some hidden agenda inside me to what I perceived on the TV screen.

These programs were choreographed and rehearsed to look like situational pratfalls that made the actor look like a sorrowful victim of circumstance. Was this really supposed to be humorous?

As time marched on, so did more humorless programs like the home grown videos of people taping their loved ones falling and getting hurt. I never saw the value of this type of comedy for these were not even planned accidents of nature.

Just recently, I slipped on the ice while walking my dog and fell hard on the ground. And then, I realized why I never found slapstick funny. I perceived the pain the actors evoked through their expressions and ” acting”. This was a fascinating realization that I was probably more of an evolved soul even as a child.

During my training at The Pilates Studio of New York, Broadway actors would often come in for lessons prior to their performances. Their training would keep their bodies limber and flexible for their roles onstage. Sometimes their roles were very physical and they needed to fight, or fall onstage. Their portrayals were based on authenticity and realism to convey to their audiences and Pilates really attended to these demands.

Just as I was saddened to see someone get hurt even in fun, I sensed a reality hidden beneath the humor of it all.