Entertainments – An Overview
Entertaining is a broad category of action which either holds the attention of an audience or provides enjoyment and joy to those who participate. For the purposes of this article entertainment can be broadly defined as any activity or event that has the ability to captivate, entice, or even sustain the attention, desire, or interest of others. It may be a solitary activity or group activity, but more often than not is often one of those activities or events which has developed over many thousands of years specifically in order to keep an audience’s interest. This goes back to the concept of what entertainments are actually for. In order to properly understand the concepts of entertainment and how they relate to one another one must also appreciate the idea of the performing arts. Entertainers are basically those who put on a show and entertain an audience.
This then begs the question, what is entertainment? The definition given by Merriam Webster is: “the act or process of entertaining or satisfying the sense of any person by the presentation of some special effect or performance”. This is largely where the dividing line between live entertainment and theatrical or musical theatre is drawn. Live entertainers usually perform in front of an actual audience but on stage or in a film or video production the audience usually doesn’t participate in the performances, while in a musical theatre the actors perform before a live, or sometimes even a recital of musical numbers, while in other forms of Entertainement the actors are sometimes actors and sometimes just actors playing characters, for example in plays or movies.
Entertainments in general are those actions or acts which create an encounter between the performer or entertainer and an audience. The theatre is one great example of Entertainment as all forms of theatre forms of Entertainment. Musical Theatre is a prime example of Entertainment because most people get to know and love the lead character(s) very quickly, usually before they are even introduced to the play or show. Entertainments such as comedy, dance, drama, music, motivational speaking, gymnastics, beauty pageants, and other performance art forms, are all examples of Entertainments.
Entertainments is a broad term that includes many different activities and forms of entertainment. One could argue that the mass media entertainment such as television, cinema, video games, and radio have greatly contributed to the modern day problem of over consumption. The entertainment industry is directly linked to the growth of the middle class in developing countries. As more people can afford the technology to enjoy live television, film, video games, and radios they are beginning to form crowds of onlookers for many performances.
In developed nations the mass media entertainment industry has little effect on the economic development of the country. This is not to say that the live entertainment industry has no effect on society, it can and does have an effect on some people. An example of this is when theatre stars such as Elvis Presley steal the show at graduation ceremonies. There are often arguments with regards to the effect of musical theatre on society. Some people do not like the fact that there is a stage show going on in front of them while they are attempting to study for an exam.
Another form of Entertaining is through the mass media entertainment businesses such as the film, television, and music industries. These businesses cater for both the public and private sectors of society. These entertainments businesses provide people with stories, music, and films that entertain them and make them feel good about themselves. The main reason these mediums exist is so that the public can have access to entertainment that will make them feel good.