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Actors, Acting
Engrave this Quote The essence of acting is the conveyance of truth through the medium of the actor's mind and person. The science of acting deals with the perfecting of that medium.
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-Minnie Maddern Fiske, Mrs. Fiske: Her Views on Actors, Acting and the Problems of Production, ch. 5, by Alexander Woollcott (1917)
Engrave this Quote I suppose that Paderewski can play superbly, if not quite at his best, while his thoughts wander to the other end of the world, or possibly busy themselves with a computation of the receipts as he gazes out across the auditorium. I know a great actor, a master technician, can let his thoughts play truant from the scene...
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-Minnie Maddern Fiske, Mrs. Fiske: Her Views on Actors, Acting and the Problems of Production, ch. 4, by Alexander Woollcott (1917)
Engrave this Quote Above all, ignore the audience....
http://www.poemhunter.com/quotations/famous.asp?people=Minnie%20Maddern%20Fiske
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-Minnie Maddern Fiske, As quoted in Actors on Acting, rev. ed., part 13, by Toby Cole and Helen Krich (1970). Said in 1917, to Alexander Woollcott.
Engrave this Quote Go into the streets, into the slums, into the fashionable quarters. Go into the day courts and the night courts. Become acquainted with sorrow, with many kinds of sorrow. Learn of the wonderful heroism of the poor, of the incredible generosity of the very poor
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-Minnie Maddern Fiske, Mrs. Fiske: Her Views on Actors, Acting and the Problems of Production, ch. 3, by Alexander Woollcott (1917)
Engrave this Quote The actor who lets the dust accumulate on his Ibsen, his Shakespeare, and his Bible, but pores greedily over every little column of theatrical news, is a lost soul.
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-Minnie Maddern Fiske, Mrs. Fiske: Her Views on Actors, Acting and the Problems of Production, ch. 3, by Alexander Woollcott (1917)
Engrave this Quote As soon as I suspect a fine effect is being achieved by accident I lose interest. I am not interested...in unskilled labor. ...The scientific actor is an even worker. Any one may achieve on some rare occasion an outburst of genuine feeling, a gesture of imperishable beauty, a ringing accent of truth; but your scientific actor knows how he did it. He can repeat it again and again and again. He can be depended on.
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-Minnie Maddern Fiske, Mrs. Fiske: Her Views on Actors, Acting and the Problems of Production, ch. 3, by Alexander Woollcott (1917)
Engrave this Quote ... most of all the actor will love the boys and girls, the men and women, who sit in the cheapest seats, in the very last row of the top gallery. They have given more than they can afford to come. In the most self-effacing spirit of fellowship they are listening to catch every word, watching to miss no slightest gesture or expression. To save his life the actor cannot help feeling these nearest and dearest. He cannot help wishing to do his best for them. He cannot help loving them best of all.
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-Minnie Maddern Fiske, Mrs. Fiske: Her Views on Actors, Acting and the Problems of Production, ch. 3, by Alexander Woollcott (1917)
Art
Engrave this Quote People whose understanding and taste in literature, painting, and music are beyond question are, for the most part, ignorant of what is good or bad art in the theater.
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-Minnie Maddern Fiske, Mrs. Fiske: Her Views on Actors, Acting and the Problems of Production, ch. 1, by Alexander Woollcott (1917)
Criticism
Engrave this Quote Their rebukes have never made me angry, because I have always wondered why they did not rebuke me more. They should have. Their friendly praise has been one of the sweetest, most warming things in my life in the theater. I do go on the stage unafraid of them and with love in my heart for them.
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-Minnie Maddern Fiske, Mrs. Fiske: Her Views on Actors, Acting and the Problems of Production, ch. 6, by Alexander Woollcott (1917). On drama critics
Imagination
Engrave this Quote ...an actor is exactly as big as his imagination.
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-Minnie Maddern Fiske, Mrs. Fiske: Her Views on Actors, Acting and the Problems of Production, ch. 3, by Alexander Woollcott (1917)
Reading
Engrave this Quote Many a play is like a painted backdrop, something to be looked at from the front. An Ibsen play is like a black forest, something you can enter, something you can walk about in. There you can lose yourself: you can lose yourself. And once inside, you find such wonderful glades, such beautiful, sunlit places.
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-Minnie Maddern Fiske, Mrs. Fiske: Her Views on Actors, Acting and the Problems of Production, ch. 2, by Alexander Woollcott (1917). On Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906), Norwegian author
Theater
Engrave this Quote Idealistic producing is safe. Sensibly projected in the theater, the fine thing always does pay and always will.
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-Minnie Maddern Fiske, Mrs. Fiske: Her Views on Actors, Acting and the Problems of Production, ch. 4, by Alexander Woollcott (1917)
Engrave this Quote This...is an age of specialization, and in such an age the repertory theater is an anachronism, a ludicrous anachronism.
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-Minnie Maddern Fiske, Mrs. Fiske: Her Views on Actors, Acting and the Problems of Production, ch. 1, by Alexander Woollcott (1917)
Engrave this Quote ...I have never known a movement in the theater that did not work direct and serious harm. Indeed, I have sometimes felt that the very people associated with various uplifting activities in the theater are people who are astoundingly lacking in idealism.
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-Minnie Maddern Fiske, Mrs. Fiske: Her Views on Actors, Acting and the Problems of Production, ch. 1, by Alexander Woollcott (1917)
Engrave this Quote Be reflective...and stay away from the theater as much as you can. Stay out of the theatrical world, out of its petty interests, its inbreeding tendencies, its stifling atmosphere, its corroding influence. Once become
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-Minnie Maddern Fiske, As quoted in Mrs. Fiske: Her Views on Actors, Acting and the Problems of Production, ch. 3, by Alexander Woollcott (1917).
Engrave this Quote It is in the irony of things that the theatre should be the most dangerous place for the actor. But, then, after all, the world is the worst possible place, the most corrupting place, for the human soul. And just as there is no escape from the world, which follows us into the very heart of the desert, so the actor cannot escape the theatre. And the actor who is a dreamer need not. All of us can only strive to remain uncontaminated. In the world we must be unworldly, in the theatre the actor must be untheatrical.
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-Minnie Maddern Fiske, Mrs. Fiske: Her Views on Actors, Acting and the Problems of Production, ch. 3, by Alexander Woollcott (1917)
Engrave this Quote The great actors are the luminous ones. They are the great conductors of the stage.
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-Minnie Maddern Fiske, Mrs. Fiske: Her Views on Actors, Acting and the Problems of Production, ch. 5, by Alexander Woollcott (1917)

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