Created By: LavonPapillon1 on January 3, 2018 Last Edited By: LavonPapillon1 on January 18, 2018

The Acting Chief

A monarch who likes to perform.

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trope
Ye olde eras gone by could be rather miserable—the people at the bottom wallowing in their own filth and working day and night, the people at the top held by The Chains of Commanding, and everyone else... well, there wasn't anyone else.

The Acting Chief knows how to break that monotony with a good show. He commands the masses through the power of pageant—dances with them, sings with them, makes them laugh, makes them cry when he dies on stage for the seventh time that week—and is generally well-liked for it. So long as the performance wasn't all part of some patriotic brainwashing plot and he didn't force them to attend and threaten to spear them through the sternum if they didn't like it.

In more extreme cases, kingdoms and sovereign territories may operate in "dramocracy", where the ruling class is composed of those who can entertain the people the most.

Sister trope to Benevolent Mage Ruler, Emperor Scientist, and The Philosopher King. Compare Sorcerous Overlord and God-Emperor.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime And Manga 
  • Princess Millhiore from Dog Days, on top of being the reigning monarch of Biscotti, is also an accomplished Idol Singer.

    Film - Animation 
  • Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas is the Pumpkin King, the ruler of Halloween Town. Since Halloween Town is a world populated with monsters with the sole purpose of managing Halloween every year (a theatrical holiday in its own right), Jack Skellington is himself a showman. He is the center of the Halloween Parade in the "This is Halloween" song sequence, he uses drama and ambiance to explain Christmas to the residence, is a Dance Battler and is very popular among the people.

    Literature 
  • Several characters from the world of A Song of Ice and Fire have done this:
  • At one point in Heroics for Beginners, Prince Kevin thinks back to when he took his then girlfriend to a small jazz club, only for his father King Eric the Totally Cool to show up in his trademark Cool Shades and a saxophone to jam with the band.
    Kevin: Parents should not be cooler than their children.
  • A singing picture from The Divine Comedy shows King David dancing and singing in front of his subjects with no shame whatsoever. Such forward and honest expression is used as an example of humility to the calculating and glory-driven who are in Purgatory for sins of Pride.

    Live-Action Series 
  • The Monty Python German special Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus, King Otto of Happy Valley spends all day in his castle jamming on his electric piano and Scatting. He would have his subjects sing with him at random gatherings and eventually played the pipe organ at his daughter's wedding.
  • In Adventures in Wonderland, the Red Queen has been known to perform for her subjects.

    Tabletop Games 

    Theatre 
  • In Starmites, Diva, the queen of the Banshees, enjoys performing, using her Banshees as her backup singers.

    Video Games 
  • In The Elder Scrolls Online, Jorunn the Skald-King, who is the High King of Skyrim and leader of the Ebonheart Pact - earned his epithet for being a bard (skald) in addition to being king. He's seen singing in a scene of the book that came with the collector's edition of the game.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Long Live the Queen, you can train Elodie as one. She can potentially win the music contest at the tournament, and there's an ending where she can talk an invading overlord into calling off his armies by singing to him.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time
    • Marceline is often referenced as "Marceline the Vampire Queen" and usually found writing songs and performing them publicly on her bass. While she is no queen to vampires (having exterminated all of the other vampires centuries prior), her father is the Ruler of the Nightosphere, so the trope still technically applies.
    • Flame Princess takes up rapping, jamming with Finn in "Bun Bun", with Neptr in the talent show in "The Music Hole" and rapping for the right to rule her kingdom in "Son of Rap Bear."
  • When Dave from Dave the Barbarian is temporarily made king of Udrogoth, he enacts laws that start of as well-liked but soon creates unrest in the citizens. While at first feeling vengeful for their insolence, he quickly decides that it would be better to win them back by inviting all of them to he one-person play "Oh Pastry". The play was so bad that when the Darklord Chuckles the Silly Piggie (having just usurped Dave) makes his first law that musical theater is banned, he is greeted with applause.

    Real-Life 
  • The French king Louis XIV (the Sun King) was well known for participating in ballets and theater in his youth, and was quite good at it by all accounts.
  • Several English kings participated in tourneys under different colors or in representations of Arthurian myth.
  • Roman Emperor Nero sang and acted on the stage, and also competed in gladiator races. Many old-school upper-crust Romans disapproved, believing that Nero was undermining the dignity of his office. (Pliny called him an "actor-emperor".)


Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • January 3, 2018
    LavonPapillon1
    Named after "The Player King" (also referred to as "Lead Player") from Hamlet.
  • January 3, 2018
    KTera
    • In Long Live The Queen, you can train Elodie as one. She can potentially win the music contest at the tournament, and there's an ending where she can talk an invading overlord into calling off his armies by singing to him.
  • January 3, 2018
    Gamermaster
    • Princess Millhiore from Dog Days, on top of being the reigning monarch of Biscotti, is also an accomplished Idol Singer.

    • At one point in Heroics For Beginners, Prince Kevin thinks back to when he took his then girlfriend to a small jazz club, only for his father King Eric the Totally Cool to show up in his trademark Cool Shades and a saxophone to jam with the band.
      Kevin: Parents should not be cooler than their children.
  • January 3, 2018
    Chabal2
    Real Life:
    • The French king Louis XIV (the Sun King) was well known for participating in ballets and theater in his youth, and was quite good at it by all accounts.
    • Several English kings participated in tourneys under different colors or in representations of Arthurian myth.
  • January 3, 2018
    Malady
    Rename. The title requires archaic definition of the word "Player".

    Try Theatre King / Theatrical King or something.
  • January 3, 2018
    TheWanderer
  • January 3, 2018
    StrixObscuro
    Live Action TV

    Theatre
    • In Starmites, Diva, the queen of the Banshees, enjoys performing, using her Banshees as her backup singers.
  • January 4, 2018
    Arivne

    Zero Context Examples have been marked as such. They need more information to show how they fit the trope. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context.
  • January 5, 2018
    Dawnwing
    Video Games:

    • In The Elder Scrolls Online, Jorunn the Skald-King, who is the High King of Skyrim and leader of the Ebonheart Pact - earned his epithet for being a bard (skald) in addition to being king. He's seen singing in a scene of the book that came with the collector's edition of the game.
  • January 5, 2018
    Arivne
  • January 9, 2018
    DustSnitch
    • A singing picture from The Divine Comedy shows King David dancing and singing in front of his subjects with no shame whatsoever. Such forward and honest expression is used as an example of humility to the calculating and glory-driven who are in Purgatory for sins of Pride.
  • January 9, 2018
    FRizer
    A) We have princess examples. B) "Player" is vague; I thought it's about video games where we play a king.

    Thus, name change needed.
  • January 9, 2018
    jamespolk
    Real Life: Roman Emperor Nero sang and acted on the stage, and also competed in gladiator races. Many old-school upper-crust Romans disapproved, believing that Nero was undermining the dignity of his office. (Pliny called him an "actor-emperor".)
  • January 10, 2018
    intastiel
  • January 10, 2018
    Malady
    ^^ - Oh!

    Guys! How about a name change to "Actor-Ruler"? Maybe without the hyphen...
  • January 10, 2018
    FRizer
    Maybe "Performer Monarch" or "Performer Ruler".
  • January 11, 2018
    darkchiefy
    Performer ruler would leave more room for different types of performances that aren't acting than Actor-Ruler (ex: perform music or dance)
  • January 11, 2018
    LavonPapillon1
    To those of you who want to complain about what I changed the name too - "That's not what an acting chief is, waah!" - it is supposed to be a pun. LAUGH DAMN YOU!
  • January 11, 2018
    Malady
    I guess it works.
  • January 17, 2018
    eroock
    How does this contrast against Royals Who Actually Do Something?
  • January 17, 2018
    FRizer
    ^ It's a big supertrope, I guess
  • January 18, 2018
    eroock
    If princesses are listed as examples here, what good is the supertrope then?
  • January 18, 2018
    Arivne
    Acting Chief is a bad name because most readers will think it's about a leader who's just temporary.
  • January 18, 2018
    FRizer
    ^ ...Man, I didn't catch that. Yeah, guess we need another change
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