Let’s Re-Define the Triple Threat

(Entertainment One Films, 2016)

Over the many years of being in the arts industry, I’ve come across multi-talented friends and colleagues known as “Triple Threats”. The phrase is defined as someone who has experience in singing, dancing and acting, making those types of individuals unstoppable, amazing and full of depth. And this article is NOT meant to trash them or make them feel worthless. They’ve worked really hard to get those types of talents up to a professional level. But with all due respect, I feel like the phrase “Triple Threat” should be re-defined.

While it is great that these people are fully equipped with talents to entertain an audience, it isn’t always the star that makes the show. Rather, it’s also the people behind the stage that make the show come to life. From directors and writers who create how the show is made, to people who work in the technical department like Sound Designers, Cinematographers, and Lighters. Say if one of these crew members are running late or can’t make it to the theatre or set on time, how can the show go on? This is why I have massive respect for people who have experience in both front and behind the scenes.

For example, actress and comedian Greta Gerwig wrote and directed Lady Bird this year. I would consider her a triple threat because not only can she entertain on set amazingly, but she’s also incredibly capable behind the scenes, as she can write and direct a fantastic movie with engaging and realistic characters filled with emotion. Another recent example is Clayton Jacobson, brother of Aussie comedic actor Shane Jacobson. They both starred in one of my favourite films of this year, Brother’s Nest. But Clayton not only acted, but also directed and edited the whole film. Again, having that off-stage experience really shows that these two figures can take on the entertainment industry in more areas than one.

What inspired me to write this opinion piece that will surely get me hate is a friend of mine from Melbourne recently moving from being just about dancing, acting, and singing, to being the musical director of an upcoming play. I’m absolutely proud of her being a part of behind the scenes, as that needs much attention in any type of media as the act on stage. I think that it’s more important to have some experience behind the scenes, and I think the term “Triple Threat” needs to be expanded.

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