advice to actors



  • Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you,trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of your playersdo, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw theair too much with your hand, thus; but use all gently: for in thevery torrent, tempest, and - as I may say - whirlwindof passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance, that may giveit smoothness. O! it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-patedfellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the earsof the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing butinexplicable dumb-shows and noise: I would have such a fellow whippedfor o'erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it.
    William Shakespeare: Hamlet.
    When in doubt, shout - that's the motto.
    Anonymous (19th century)
    Just know your lines and don't bump into the furniture.
    Noël Coward
    First wipe your nose and check your flies.
    Sir Alec Guinness