Monday, January 2, 2012

acting quotations

Found these at various sites when I was looking for quotes regarding the differences and similarities between stage acting and screen acting. There's a whole crop of younger actors around these days who seem to think that what one does on stage is radically different from what one does on camera, and I just don't think that's true.

Can you act? Can you, as someone besides yourself express emotions, demonstrate desires, go after objectives? This is all acting is. It may be bigger and louder on stage, it may be smaller and more intensive on camera, but it's the same goddamn thing.

To me people who shriek about how much different film acting is are people who don't really know how to act. They have no sense of what acting actually is, and because they sense this paucity or weakness or lack of knowledge or skill in themselves, they react as the insecure always have and always will: they cover it by applying a false superiority to themselves.

In a more generous vein, I would assert that perhaps people who have seen stage actors bomb before the cameras have been subjected to what I would delicately call 'bad acting,' not necessarily 'stage acting.'

Here's some related and unrelated quotes:

"[Human beings] will begin to recover the moment we take art as seriously as physics, chemistry or money." - Ernst Levy

"I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being." - Oscar Wilde

“Invent nothing, deny nothing, speak up, stand up, stay out of school.”
― David Mamet, True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor

“Art is an expression of joy and awe. It is not an attempt to share one's virtues and accomplishments with the audience, but an act of selfless spirit.”
― David Mamet, True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor

“All drama is about lies. All drama is about something that’s hidden. A drama starts because a situation becomes imbalanced by a lie. The lie may be something we tell each other or something we think about ourselves, but the lie imbalances a situation. If you’re cheating on your wife the repression of that puts things out of balance; or if you’re someone you think you’re not, and you think you should be further ahead in your job, that neurotic vision takes over your life and you’re plagued by it until you’re cleansed. At the end of a play the lie is revealed. The better the play the more surprising and inevitable the lie is. Aristotle told us this.” ― David Mamet

"The articulate, trained voice is more distracting than mere noise." - Seneca

"Man is a make-believe animal: he is never so truly himself as when he is acting a part." - William Hazlitt

"In theatre, I have been able to take parts I didn`t think I could do - you have time to rehearse and learn. In movies, they want you to do what they know you can do - there isn`t the time." --Ian McKellan

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