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 ...

Minnie Maddern Fiske performing arts genius concentration

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People whose understanding and taste in literature, painting, and music are beyond question are, for the most part, ignorant of wh at is good or bad art in the theater.

Minnie Maddern Fiske theater cultivation arts

Above all, ignore the audience ....

Minnie Maddern Fiske audiences theater actors acting

As soon as I suspect a fine effect is being achieved by accident I lose interest. I am not interested ... in unskilled labor.... T he 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.

Minnie Maddern Fiske actors acting

...I have never known a "movement" in the theater that did not work direct and serious harm. Indeed, I have sometimes felt that th e very people associated with various "uplifting" activities in the theater are people who are astoundingly lacking in idealism.

Minnie Maddern Fiske idealism theater politics

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.

Minnie Maddern Fiske actors acting theater