Quotations about acting...


pre-acting *
"Be great in action as you are in thought. Suit the action to the word and the word to the action." - Shakespeare Every good actor is a "Method Actor"! Anatoly

Dionysus -- Biomechanics

Method -- Apollo

I hope you understand that your journals are graded by Apollo, your improv -- by Dionysus (I only assist them). 2004 * new


Web and Artist govern by the same law: "7/24/365"!


Quotes Page Shrew04


It's not "parts" and "chapters"! Acts and scenes! Eliot: The bad poet is usually unconscious where he ought to be conscious, and conscious where he ought to be unconscious. "DAY BOOK": All students must keep a Day Book that should be written in (A MINIMUM OF THREE PARAGRAPHS) every day that the class meets. It will be collected and evaluated periodically by the instructor. It should include:
1. All class notes on lectures and discussions.
2. Reflections on exercises and discussion.
3. Reactions to class readings.
4. All notes given to the students by the instructor and peers on Improvisations, scenes or monologues.
5. Character notes.


Twelve Step Plan to Becoming an Actor in L.A.by Dawn Lerman

The Ultimate Audition Book for Teens: 111 One Minute Monologues (The Ultimate Audition Book for Teens, Volume 4) by Debbie Lamedman

More Alternative Shakespeare Auditions for Men by Simon Dunmore, William Shakespeare

Shakespeare for One: Women: The Complete Monologues and Audition Pieces by William Shakespeare, Douglas Newell (Editor)

Shakespeare for One: Men: The Complete Monologues and Audition Pieces by William Shakespeare, Douglas Newell (Editor)

Leading Women: Plays for Actresses II by Eric Lane (Editor), Nina Shengold (Editor)

Fifty African American Audition Monologues by Gus Edwards

How to Completely Blow Your Competition Away at Any Audition!: What by Caterina Christakos

Thank You Very Much: The Little Guide to Auditioning for the Musical Theater by Stuart Ostrow (Paperback - May 2002)

The Spirited Actor: Principles for a Successful Audition by Tracey Moore-Marable (Paperback - April 2002)

Audition Monologues: Power Pieces for Kids and Teens by Deborah Maddox (Paperback)

Audition Speeches for Younger Actors 16+ by Jean Marlow (Paperback)

The Audition Sourcebook: Do's, Don'ts, and an Online Guide to 2,100+ Monologues and Musical Excerpts by Randall Richardson, Don Sandley (Paperback)

Pocket Classics for Women by Ian Michaels (Editor), Roger Karshner (Paperback - November 2001)

An Actor's Dickens: Scenes for Audition and Performance from the Works of Charles Dickens by Beatrice Manley (Editor), Charles Dickens (Paperback - October 2001)

Audition Monologs for Student Actors 2: Selections from Contemporary Plays by Roger Ellis (Editor) (Paperback - October 2001)

Actor's Guide to Auditions and Interviews by Margo Annett (Paperback - September 2001)

Audition Speeches for Men by Jean Marlow, Elizabeth Ewing (Paperback - September 2001)

Scenes I'Ve Seen...: A Casting Director's Original Scenes and Interpretive Notes (Monologue and Scene Series) by Dorian Dunas (Hardcover - September 2001)

Auditioning: An Actor-Friendly Guide by Joanna Merlin, Harold Prince (Preface) (Paperback - May 2001)

Monologues for Women by Susan Pomerance (Paperback - April 2001)

Even More Monologues for Women by Women by Tori Haring-Smith (Editor) (Paperback)

Neil Simon Scenes: Scenes from the Works of America's Foremost Playwright by Neil Simon, Roger Karshner (Editor) (Paperback - October 2000)

The Monologue Audition: A Practical Guide for Actors by Karen Kohlhaas, David Mamet (Paperback)

The Sanford Meisner Approach: Workbook IV Playing the Part (The Sanford Meisner Approach) by Larry Silverberg (Paperback)

Outstanding Stage Monologs and Scenes from the '90s: Professional Auditions for Student Actors by Steven H. Gale (Editor) (Paperback - July 2000)

The Ultimate Audition Book for Teens: 111 One-Minute Monologues (Young Actors Series) by Janet B. Milstein (Paperback - July 2000)

More Alternative Shakespeare Auditions for Women by William Shakespeare, Simon Dunmore (Editor) (Paperback - May 2000)

Contemporary Scenes for Actors: Men by Michael Earley (Editor), et al (Paperback - December 1999)

How to Get the Part...Without Falling Apart! by Margie Haber, et al (Paperback - October 1999)

Audition Monologs for Student Actors: Selections from Contemporary Plays by Roger Ellis (Editor) (Paperback - August 1999)

Tight Spots: True-To-Life Monolog Characterizations for Student Actors by Diana M. Howie (Paperback - August 1999)

The Stage Directions Guide to Auditions (Heinemann's Stage Directions Series) by Stephen Peithman (Editor), et al (Paperback - April 1999)

Acting Scenes and Monologs for Young Women: 60 Dramatic Characterizations by Maya Levy (Paperback - March 1999)

Cold Reading and How to Be Good at It by Basil Hoffman (Paperback - February 1999)

Scenes for Women by Women by Tori Haring-Smith (Editor) (Paperback - February 1999)

Arthur Schnitzler : Four Plays (Great Translations for Actors Series) by Arthur Schnitzler, Carl R. Mueller (Translator) (Paperback - 1999)

Pocket Monologues: Working-Class Characters for Women by Susan Pomerance (Paperback - 1999)

The Flip Side: 64 Point-Of-View Monologs for Teens by Heather H Henderson, Ted Zapel (Editor) (Paperback - October 1998)

Great Scenes and Monologues for Actors by Michael Schulman (Editor), Eva Mekler (Editor) (Mass Market Paperback - September 1998)

The Theatre Audition Book: Playing Monologs from Contemporary, Modern, Period, Shakespeare and Classical Plays by Gerald Lee Ratliff (Paperback - September 1998)

Pocket Monologues for Men by Roger Karshner (Editor) (Paperback - July 1998)

Two-Minute Monologs : Original Audition Scenes for Professional Actors by Glenn Alterman, Theodore O. Zapel (Editor) (Paperback - June 1998)

The Perfect Monologue: How to Find and Perform the Monologue That Will Get You the Part by Ginger Friedman (Paperback - May 1998)

A Guide to Scenes & Monologues from Shakespeare and His Contemporaries by Kurt Daw, Julia Matthews (Paperback - April 1998)

Alternative Shakespeare Auditions for Men by Simon Dunmore (Editor), William Shakespeare (Paperback - March 1998)

Alternative Shakespeare Auditions for Women by Simon Dunmore (Editor), William Shakespeare (Paperback - March 1998)

For Women: Pocket Monologues from Shakespeare by William Shakespeare, et al (Paperback - January 1998)

Another Perfect Piece: Monologues from Canadian Plays by Tony Hamill (Editor) (Paperback - October 1997)

Pocket Monologues for Women by Susan Pomerance (Paperback - July 1997)

Monologues on Black Life by Gus Edwards (Paperback - February 1997)

Next!: An Actor's Guide to Auditioning by Ellie Kanner, et al (Paperback - January 1997)

Baseball Monologues by Lavonne Mueller (Editor), Lee Blessing (Introduction) (Paperback - September 1996)

Classical Audition Speeches for Men by Jean Marlow (Compiler) (Paperback - September 1996)

Classical Audition Speeches for Women by Jean Marlow (Paperback - September 1996)

More Monologues for Women by Women by Tori Haring-Smith (Editor) (Paperback - August 1996)

For Women: More Monologues They Haven't Heard by Susan Pomerance (Paperback - July 1996)

Kids Stuff by Ruth Mae Roddy (Paperback - July 1996)

Neil Simon Monologues: Speeches from the Works of America's Foremost Playwright by Neil Simon, et al (Paperback - July 1996)

Voices by Lydia Cosentino (Editor) (Paperback - July 1996)

The Audition Process: A Guide for Actors by Bob Funk (Paperback - April 1996)

Next: Auditioning for the Musical Theatre by Steven M. Alper, Herbert Knapp (Illustrator) (Paperback - February 1996)

The Contemporary Monologue: Men by Michael Earley (Editor), et al (Paperback - December 1995)

The Contemporary Monologue: Women by Michael Earley (Editor), et al (Paperback - September 1995)

Getting the Part: Thirty-Three Professional Casting Directors Tell You How to Get Work in Theater, Films, Commercials, and TV by Judith Searle (Paperback - September 1995)

Method: Mono, Monologues I, Monologues II
Biomechanics: Mono I, Mono II
Acting One: Monologue, Mono I, Mono II
Film Acting

* Total Actor content *


24 Hour Actor

"Life's like a play: it's not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters." Seneca
... the old text is in Theatre Theory; this page is the quotes! Artistic Existence: "Non-stop acting"


'Artists make order out of chaos.' Einstein

Stanislavsky: Don't take yourself seriously. Take your work seriously.

Don't play emotions, play actions. That's why we talk about "objectives" and "obstacles"!

The actor is instrument and player at the same time.

Read all the Shakespeare you can; if you can play Shakespeare, you can play anything. -- John Carradine

First wipe your nose and check your flies. -- Alec Guinness

Never get caught acting. -- Lillian Gish

If you cried a little less, the audience would cry more. -- Edith Evans (to John Gielgud)

Have a very good reason for everything you do. -- Laurence Olivier

Play well, or play badly, but play truly. -- Konstantin Stanislavsky

Know your lines and don't bump into the furniture. -- Spencer Tracy

Whatever you do, kid, always serve it with a little dressing. -- George M. Cohan (to Spencer Tracy)

Use your weaknesses; aspire to the strength. -- Laurence Olivier

Pray to God and say the lines. -- Bette Davis

Act in your pauses. -- Ellen Terry (to Cedric Hardwicke)

If you want to help the American theater, don't be an actress, be an audience. -- Tallulah Bankhead

When you go into the professional world, at a stock theater somewhere, backstage you will meet an older actor--someone who has been around awhile. He will tell you tales and anecdotes about life in the theater. He will speak to you about your performance and the performances of others, and he will generalize to you, based on his experience and his intuitions, about the laws of the stage. Ignore this man. -- Sanford Meisner

Don't think you're funny. It'll never work if you think you're funny. -- George Abbott (to an actor in a comic role)

To be a character who feels a deep emotion, one must go into the memory's vault and mix in a sad memory from one's own life. -- Albert Finney

Nobody "becomes" a character. You can't act unless you are who you are. -- Marlon Brando

You have to work years in hit shows to make people sick and tired of you, but you can accomplish this in a few weeks on television. -- Walter Slezak

My advice to actresses is don't worry about your looks. The very thing that makes you unhappy in your appearance may be the one thing to make you a star. -- Estelle Winwood

Don't be afraid to be outrageous; the critics will shoot you down anyway. -- Laurence Olivier (to Anthony Hopkins)

The important thing in acting is to be able to laugh and cry. If I have to cry, I think of my sex life. If I have to laugh, I think of my sex life. -- Glenda Jackson

Talk low, talk slow, and don't say too much. -- John Wayne

Don't act, think. -- David Lean

If you achieve success, you will get applause. Enjoy it--but never quite believe it. -- Robert Montgomery

Don't use your conscious past, use your creative imagination to create a past that belongs to your character. I don't want you to be stuck with your own life. It's too little! It's too bitty-caca. -- Stella Adler

It is a great help for a man to be in love with himself. For an actor, however, it is absolutely essential. -- Robert Morley

Just let the wardrobe do the acting. -- Jack Nicholson (to Michael Keaton, on the set of Batman)

The first thing you should do when you win an Oscar is thank God. The second thing you should do is forget it. The third thing you should do is call your agent and tell him you need a job. -- Rod Steiger

Never take top billing. You'll last longer that way. -- Bing Crosby

The one word you'll need is "no." -- Bette Davis (to Robin Williams)

Use a make-up table with everything close at hand and don't rush; otherwise you'll look like a patchwork quilt. -- Lucille Ball

The most important thing in acting is honesty. If you can fake that, you've got it made. -- George Burns

Actors should be overheard, not listened to, and the audience is fifty percent of the performance.-- Shirley Booth

Lead the audience by the nose to the thought. -- Laurence Olivier

You're at a level where you can only afford one mistake. The higher up you go, the more mistakes you're allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style. -- Fred Astaire (to Jack Lemmon)

If you're going to make rubbish, be the best rubbish in it. -- Richard Burton

Walk in, plant yourself, look the other fellow in the eye, and tell the truth. -- James Cagney

The best research [for playing drunk] is being a British actor for twenty years. -- Michael Caine

I'm afraid you'll never make it as an actor. But as a star, I think you might well hit the jackpot. -- Orson Welles (to Joseph Cotten)

Stick to your inkpots, kid, actors don't eat regularly. -- Anonymous (Colleague advising cartoonist Milton Caniff to avoid the stage)

What acting means is that you've got to get out of your own skin. -- Katharine Hepburn

You'll never make it as a juggler, m'boy. Your eyes are too sad. But don't listen to me, kid. My entire success is based on one rule: never take advice from anybody! -- W. C. Fields (to Paul Muni)

People disappoint you. Lovers disappoint you. But theatrical memorabilia stays with you, as long as you keep it under clear plastic. -- Sylvia Miles

"Her copy of the script was marked with 17 different colors of ink. In her margin notes, she got the dramatic significance of almost every line of dialogue and each one might tie in with a later scene." Director of the "Alien" about Sigourney Weaver

"If you want to be able to express the maximum variety of things, then the more technical mastery you can achieve, the more FUN you're going to have" Geraldine Page

"One begins with the text because it's the text that leads you to the character." Peggy Ashcroft

Once you do your homework, build your character's biography, immerse yourself in the period -- do all the conscious work -- then a moment of ease and effortlessness may come. You are transcended, you lose your self-consciousness. All ego concerns go away and you're free." Annette Benning

"It's like a woman getting pregnant. This character, this person that I am to become, starts to grow inside me and I listen. If I don't listen, he will die in me." Marcello Mastroianni

"Everything else in my life receded, once I discovered theatre." Bette Midler

"I'm not a talented man... I'm a focused man." William Hurt

I -- act.vtheatre.net

II -- biomechanics.vtheatre.net

III -- method.vtheatre.net

"We have actor but no art of acting." Goethe

"The art of the actor is made up of speech and bodily movement." Goethe

"For the actor must constantly remember that he is on stage for the sake of the public." Goethe. Rule 38

"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players..." Shakespeare

"As an actor, you the artist have to perform on the most difficult instrument to master, that is your own self, your physical being and emotional being. That, I believe is where all the confusion of the different schools of acting stems from and that is why Michael Chekhov's 'To the Actor' manuscript, which I hold in front of me, is worth more than gold to every actor. In fact, I believe to every creative artist." Yul Brynner

"The essence of our profession is to give... to give constantly..." Michael Chekhov

"Those who work in improvisation have the chance to see with frightening clarity how rapidly the boundaries of so-called freedom are reached." Brook 425, Actors on Acting

"We have actors but no art of acting." Lessing

"In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you." Tolstoy

What acting means is that you've got to get out of your own skin. -- Katharine Hepburn

Have a very good reason for everything you do. -- Laurence Olivier

The first thing I do with a script is divide it up into beats and measures -- a measure being a sequence of beats -- to get at the fundamental rhythm of the part before playing it in rehearsals. Jack Nicholson

Acting "is forever carving a statue of snow." Lawrence Barrett

Beat -- A performer's unit of measurement describing the character's thoughts. goal, or desires; the beginning to end of a single intention or state of mind (action unit, motivational unit -- the smallest measurable piece of a single action with its own beginning, middle, and end)

Acting Areas -- Established zones of performance by an actor, according to the design of the monologue or scene with defined emotional points in space and time.

Action -- expressed conflict

Given Circumstances -- Dramatic events affecting the character (Stanislavsky).

"It's much easier to act than react" Gene Hackman

"The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working." - Ernest Newman

Acting for the Camera @ filmplus.org/film

Fall 2003: FIVE APPROACHES TO ACTING (A TEXTBOOK) by David Kaplan, foreword by Stephen Holden, film critic, The New York Times -- recommended by Robert Brustein, American Repertory Theater; Judith Malina, The Living Theatre; Sir Nigel Hawthorne; and acting teachers on three continents! (published by West Broadway Press)

There is really no such thing as soliloquy, for example, you can't talk to yourself: you talk to the people next to you intensely, and when you've exhausted them you burt into passionate discourse with the audience and worry them silly with the state of mind you're in. - Ian Judge

"That is why the last method Stanislavsky formulated lies at the basis of our theatre teaching. With us, the student's education always begins with a study of the main elements of organic behavior: attention, communication, physical action, logic and truthfulness." Toporkov

When you go into the professional world, at a stock theatre somewhere, backstage you will meet an older actor--someone who has been around awhile. He will tell you tales and anecdotes about life in the theatre. He will speak to you about your performance and the performances of others, and he will generalize to you, based on his experience and his intuitions, about the laws of the stage. Ignore this man. --Sanford Meisner

"Those who work in improvisation have the chance to see with frightening clarity how rapidly the boundaries of so-called freedom are reached." Peter Brook

"Acting provides the fulfillment of never being fulfilled. You're never as good as you'd like to be. So there's always something to hope for." Glenda Jackson

"The great system of Stanislavsky, which for the first time approached the whole art of acting from the point of view of science and knowledge, has done as much harm as good to many young actors, who misread it in detail and only take away a good hatred of the shoddy." Peter Brook

"Performance events require a performer, a text, an audience, and a context." (16)

"Acting is not being emotional, but being able to express emotion."

Meyerhold: "Actor lives on stage a double life, he lives in two worlds -- in the world of his role, he created; and in a world of his own `I.' He is an executive, a manager; sometimes an adventure seeker, sometimes a prophet, he knows how he has to re-distribute all he needs." Eiseinsten's Notes on Meyerhold (144)

"magic if": Stanislavsky's term for the trigger that allows the actor to enter into the emotional life of a character: "Under these circumstances, what would I do if I were this character?"

mask: 1. a device that hides the face to conceal an identity; 2. a pose or false front, especially true of a "psychological mask."

melodrama: the dramatic genre characterized by an emphasis on plot over characterization; typically, characters are defined as heroes or villains, conflicts are defined along moral lines, and the resolution rewards the good and punishes the wicked. Spectacle and action are important to the melodramatic effect.

method acting: strongly internalized acting that emphasizes emotion memory and personal experience in creating a character. The term is closely associated with Lee Strasberg's teaching at New York's Actors Studio.

mise en scène: the arrangement of actors and scenery on the stage for a theatrical production; the physical setting for the action; sometimes used to denote the sixth of Aristotle's elements of the theater: spectacle.

pantomime: dumb shows that emphasize spectacle.

play: literary genre in which a story (plot) is presented by actors imitating characters before an audience. One might say that a play is a script "on its feet."

"They shot too many pictures and not enough actors". Walter Winchell.

"An actor's a guy who, if you ain't talking about him, aint listening." Marlon Brando

"You spend all your life trying to do something they put people in asylums for." Jane Fonda

"Acting is experience with something sweet behind it." Humphrey Bogart

We become actors without realizing it, and actors without wanting to.-- Henri Frederic Amiel

Acting is a matter of giving away secrets.-- Ellen Barkin

An actor is something less than a man, while an actress is something more than a woman.~ Richard Burton

First of all, I choose the great roles, and if none of these come, I choose the mediocre ones, and if they don't come, I choose the ones that pay the rent.~ Michael Caine

The basic essential of a great actor is that he loves himself in acting.~ Charlie Chaplin

Actors search for rejection. If they don't get it they reject themselves.~ Chevy Chase

Celebrity is death --- celebrity -- that's the worst thing that can happen to an actor.~ John Cusack

Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.~ Bette Davis

I'm an assistant storyteller. It's like being a waiter or a gas-station attendant, but I'm waiting on six million people a week, if I'm lucky.~ Harrison Ford

Do your job and demand your compensation, but in that order.~ Cary Grant

It's such a cuckoo business. And it's a business you go into because you are an egocentric. It's a very embarrassing profession.~ Katherine Hepburn on acting

It's not true that I said "actors are cattle." I said "they should be treated like cattle."~ Alfred Hitchcock

Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark places where it leads.~ Erica Jong

I think every American actor wants to be a movie star. But I never wanted to do stupid movies, I wanted to do films. I vowed I would never do a commercial, nor would I do a soap opera -- both of which I did as soon as I left the [Acting] Company and was starving.~ Kevin Kline

Drama - what literature does at night.~ George Jean Nathan

I have to act to live.~ Laurence Olivier

Drama is action, sir, action and not confounded philosophy.~ Luigi Pirandello

Insecurity, commonly regarded as a weakness in normal people, is the basic tool of the actor's trade.~ Miranda Richardson

I know two kinds of audience only - one coughing and one not coughing.~ Artur Schnabel

Actors ought to be larger than life. You come across quite enough ordinary, nondescript people in daily life and I don't see why you should be subjected to them on the stage too.~ Donald Sinden

Every actor in his heart believes everything bad that's printed about him.~ Orson Welles

An actor is only merchandise.~ Chow Yun-Fat No, I do not want to comment on the quotes; they speak for themselves!


"24/7" as they say applies to every artist. Not all believe that actors are artists. Not everybody believes that acting is a profession... This pages could be the most important, because if your are not "24-hour-actor," you are not artist. System

Most interesting and important aspect of acting is this creative state of mind, when you are not on stage and not rehearsing! How to maintain the creative continuety, the intensity and pontentiality, which expresses itself at the performance, on public.


Use the Method techniques! Pre-acting = preporartion. Acting before Acting! If you acting, when nobody sees you, you have a chance to become an actor. The "invisible" acting is the most important, the rest is by-product of your inner work. You have to act, when you read, eat, sleep...
"We have actors but no art of acting." Lessing -- I beleive that "art of acting" is ahead. Because of the screen... * 78. Audience needs to be trained. That is what you do...
* 74. Audience has to understand every word.
NewNext : acting one
* 72. Audience doesn't care about your problems, only the characters. * 63. Audience is your study.

* 60. Audience is moved by the emotion of actor. It has nothing to do with volume.

* 49. Audience is a child, you have to give it to them clear and simple to follow. You have to physcialize it, otherwise, the audience won't understand it. Audience knows the play. * 52. Audience is watching body language, not dialogue.

Gwen and Cecily (read online "The Importance of Being Earnest)
* 39. Audience must know what you want. http://www.abwag.com/audience.htm