And we’re not talking about the gameshow. What does jeopardy mean and what does it have to do with acting and writing for the film and stage? I’ll give you a clue, without it we wouldn’t have great stories. Watch this video to enter the world of jeopardy, learn exactly what it is, and why understanding it will help your acting rock any scene, play or script you encounter. (The sound is a little wonky in this video, be advised, but that’s only because I filmed it on a beach just outside of San Francisco. And see below for some fun links and details mentioned in the vid.)
1: exposure to or imminence of death, loss, or injury : DANGER
Used in a sentence: the city’s firefighters routinely put their lives in jeopardy by executing daring rescues
2: (in legal terms) the danger that an accused person is subjected to when on trial for a criminal offense
Centuries ago, the Old French term jeu parti didn’t mean “danger” but rather “an alternative” or, literally, “a divided game.” That French expression was used for anything that represented an alternative viewpoint or gave two opposing viewpoints. “Jeu parti” passed into Anglo-French as juparti, and from there it was borrowed into Middle English and respelled “jeopardie.” At first, the English word was used to refer to the risks associated with alternative moves in the game of chess. Soon, however, the term came to be used more generally in the “risk” or “danger” sense that it has today.
The Game Show Name:
The original name for Jeopardy!, due to how the format worked, was called “What’s the Question?” It was an unexcitable title, and NBC executives confirmed it by saying, to “Merv [Griffin (the creator of it)], there are no jeopardies in the game. It needs more jeopardies.” Merv didn’t completely listen; he kept hearing the word Jeopardy. “Jeopardy? WOW! What a word.” So he told the network executives, “I heard what you’re saying and we’ve decided to change the name; from this day on, the name of the show will be called ‘Jeopardy!'” And the rest is history.