TheaterMania U

Words to Act By

Bridget Coyne Gabbe draws inspiration from quotes by Clint Eastwood, Whoopi Goldberg, Meryl Streep, and more.

I also gain from the wisdom of people who I have not had the
great fortune of meeting, but who are known to all of us for their accomplishments.
(stock image courtesy of Microsoft Office Images)

Since starting my blog on TheaterMania, one common thread is the importance of seeking wise counsel.

I’m fortunate to come in contact with people who are extraordinarily knowledgeable and generous with offering their insights. I also gain from the wisdom of people who I have not had the great fortune of meeting, but who are known to all of us for their accomplishments.

That is why this blog is dedicated to the timely words of some of the greats I admire. And if you’re anything like me, a quote nerd, maybe one of the sentiments below will strike a chord with you.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to…Clint Eastwood.
Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.

But we can’t always do it alone, can we? Philip Seymour Hoffman says it best.
It’s important to say that actors can’t act alone, it’s impossible. What we have to do is support each other. (See my former blog post on building a community!)

Whenever we audition, we should pay heed to what Jack Nicholson did when reading for A Few Good Men.
I went in there to get them. I went in there ready to read this damn part and you better all be ready.

“Living” Bette Davis.
Acting should be bigger than life. Scripts should be bigger than life. It should all be bigger than life. (And damn straight she did.)

actOR? Or acTRESS? No one puts Whoopi — or me — in a box.
An actress can only play a woman. I’m an actor, I can play anything.

Dancing with Jeff Daniels.
One thing that helps me is I learn it blandly, vanilla, then I don’t try to act it too soon because you start to act it, and you kind of go away from what the next sentence is, what the next paragraph is. So get it down so it’s in there so you can then, as I call it, dance on top of it.

And then there’s George Burns.
Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.

Nick Nolte’s best advice?
To do theater.

The heart of the matter according to Meryl Streep.
All an actor has, I think, is their heart, really…that’s the place you go for your inspiration. If my heart wasn’t filled with inspiration, where would I get stuff? What would I have to express?

Stella Adler’s greatest lesson.
When you stand on the stage you must have a sense that you are addressing the whole world, and that what you say is so important the whole world must listen.

An Oscar for Oscar Wilde for putting it all together.
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.

I close with the greatest orator of all time, whose stage was all the world, Sir Winston Churchill.
Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.

Now how about you, dear readers? What are your favorite quotes? I would love to hear them and I’ll share in a future post.