The words and wisdom of Constantin Stanislavski:

There is a good side to this period of waiting [to go on stage]. It drives you into such a state that all you can do is to long for your turn, to get through with the thing that you are afraid of. . . .

But the minute the curtain rose, and the audience appeared before me, I . . . felt myself possessed by its power. At the same time some new unexpected sensations surged inside of me. [Although] the set hems in the actor . . . [and] this semi-isolation is pleasant . . . a bad aspect is, that it projects the attention out into the public. Another new point was that my fears led me to feel a certain obligation to interest the audience. This feeling of obligation interfered with my throwing myself into what I was doing. I began to feel hurried, both in speech and in action. . . . The slightest hesitation and a catastrophe would have been inevitable. (AP)

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