Is it "End scene!" or "And......... Scene!"?

It originated as the signal an actor used to tell the casting person that he/she has concluded his audition scene. But this piece of thespian jargon has gone mainstream in the past 20 or so years. In television shows and movies non-actor characters use it to create a comic surprise, as if to say “Haha, fooled ya’! What I just said and did was all just an act!”

But I’ve always wondered, What exactly are they saying?

The logical wording of the phrase would be “End scene!” (shorthand for: “That is the end of the scene.”)

But the phrase is almost always uttered with a gaping pause between the two words. That leads me to wonder if what they are really saying is “And… Scene!” (shorthand for: “And…[wait for it]… That’s the scene!”)

So, which is it?

Thanks all, in advance.

and scene.

“And scene,” and yes, it means just what you are saying it means. My impression - I don’t know if actors really still do this - is that it’s used to mark the end of an audition scene, where the performer is alone onstage and it might not otherwise be obvious when the piece is complete.

Not if they want to get fucking cast. It’s horribly amateurish.

It’s come to symbolize an affected hack. Doesn’t seem suitable for anything but a comic role.

How did it start? My guess is that it was once said, maybe yelled, by the stage manager to the lighting guy during a tech run to mark a cue or something. I can’t really think why an actor would say it in a non-campy way ever.

I always thought it began in acting classes, either to mark the end of an improv scene (which otherwise no one would ever know when to end it) or when the teacher/director was instructing a brand new work no one knew anything about, similar to what Marley said.

I have no idea but I blame it on the hipsters. If your monologue’s ending is so diffuse you have to say The End, you have no business showing it to anyone in any situation except for a classroom workshop.

The only place I would have ever actually seen it (and I think I saw it but I can’t be positive years later) was high school theater. So amateurish, yes; hipsters, no. And you’re right that if nobody can tell if the scene is over or not, the actor is doing it wrong.

Acting 101 students in college love to do it and after they’ve finished, they wrap a scarf around their black turtleneck, put on a beret and go sit in the cafe with an organic soy chai and talk about which acting texts they’re pretending to read. I wish I were joking.

I can see how it would be helpful in a play reading situation, the stage equivalent to the cinema’s “Fade to black.”

You’re at, for example, a reading for potential show investors. The cast is seated and reads from scripts, but does not perform. Someone (director? stage manager?) reads the stage directions to give the audience a sense of what the action is. To tell the audience that a scene has ended – here’s where the stage lights would go black or the curtain would fall – he says, “And… scene!”

Perhaps that’s where it originated, and it migrated into the audition process.

Anyway, just my theory.

No, they would say Blackout or Curtain.

I always assumed it came from Directors who wold signal the end of a scene when it wasn’t clear when he wanted it to end. For example, lingering on a Christmas dinner table or someone wistfully staring as the train takes her sweetheart away. It tells the actors when they can drop character. For an actor to do it themselves is really dumb.

That’d be “cut,” wouldn’t it?

Here’s one cite for “and … scene.” And here is Yahoo Answers getting it as wrong as possible:

I am trying to convince myself he was being ironic just so I don’t give up on humanity for the day.

I’ve seen that expression used in quite a few live improv shows, and always thought it was “and scene”.

It’s actually the director who would say this to signal the end of the scene. When an actor is doing it, he is directing himself.

i assume “cut” is used whhen they are actually filming. “And…scene” would be used in rehearsals for movies and stage shows.

Maybe. It would be really weird, though for a moment like that to not have a light cue or something going along with it so usually people ‘call’ the cue rather than noting that the scene has ended. A tableaux is a pretty final pose in and of itself and is usually a big enough clue that the scene itself has ended.

I don’t think it is used primarily in rehearsals, though, where there may be no other cues. And I am not talking about a Tableaux, it could be a scene where folks are just generally acting as they would around a dinner table, chatting, passing things around. Continuing the action until the director feels it has provided the proper end that he wishes to have on the scene.

I’ve never heard a director say it. I’m confused about when you think it’s used, then if not during rehearsals.