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David Mamet Quotes

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– Invent nothing, deny nothing.

– In my racket, which is Show Business, you learn through watching and through doing, that’s it.

– People may or may not say what they mean… but they always say something designed to get what they want.

– An actor can no more act upon the order ‘Be happy’ than she can upon the order ‘Do not think of a hippopotamus.’

– The surprise is half the battle. Many things are half the battle, losing is half the battle. Let’s think about what’s the whole battle.

-There’s no such thing as talent; you just have to work hard enough.

– Take away the director from the staged play and what do you get? Usually a diminution of strife, a shorter rehearsal period and a better production.

– We respond to a drama to that extent to which it corresponds to our dreamlife.

– The product of the artist has become less important than the fact of the artist. We wish to absorb this person. We wish to devour someone who has experienced the tragic. In our society this person is much more important than anything he might create.

– In ‘real life’ the mother begging for her child’s life, the criminal begging for a pardon, the atoning lover pleading for one last chance — these people give no attention whatever to their own state, and all attention to the state of that person from whom they require their object. This outward-directedness brings the actor in ‘real life’ to a state of magnificent responsiveness and makes his/her progress thrilling to watch. On the stage, similarly, it is the progress of the outward-directed Actor, who behaves with no regards to his/her personal state, but with all regard for the responses of his antagonists, which thrills the viewers.


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