Onstage Quotes

Onstage Quotes by Jamie Campbell Bower, Jessie Mueller, B. B. King, Phylicia Rashad, Kerry King, Bob Newhart and many others.

Being able to do lead roles in pictures or onstage or whatever it is that you‘re doing in acting is obviously what you strive for because you want to better yourself as an actor and you want to better yourself as a person as well. But that does come with a lot of responsibility and a great deal of weight.
Those moments onstage when you realize what you and your compatriots are doing matterssomeone in that room needs to hear that story, someone needs to escape or heal or learn or breathe, and remember, we’re all in this together.
I developed in my head that I’m never any better than my last concert or the last time I played, so it’s like an audition each time. You get nervous just before going onstage. I still have that, but I think it’s more like concern. You’re concerned about the people – like meeting your in-laws for the first time.
I love theater. To have the people onstage right there, to be working in concert with other artists, this is a like a school of fish moving together.
It’s good to be playing one and a half hour again. In the States we played like an hour and when you got onstage it felt like all of a sudden you are already done your set. But now, it feels like we are touring again.
One time I happened to use the worddenigrate‘ onstage, and it didn’t get any reaction. So as I continued my act, the left side of my brain was fast-forwarding to see if I had any other big words coming up.
People come up to me as I leave the stage after a performance and tell me tey saw my mother onstage with me every time I sing. I keep a sense of humor about it.
In a sense, the rumours suggesting I had quit were true: I had retired, but only from the personal-appearance end. I did that because I had always felt conspicuous onstage, and I’m not the sort of person who likes to be an exhibitionist.
If actors could actually make a living doing theater, that would be my first choice. Sitcoms are the closest thing to being onstage in front of an audience.
It’s me, it’s my habit to perform live onstage every four, five years. In Italy, it’s my habit.
I did ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ a while ago, and Lady Gaga was in the dressing room next to mine. The outfit she wore walking down the hall was even more fabulous than what she wore onstage!
My mom was onstage when she was pregnant with me.
Onstage, I was never the ingenue.
I missed being onstage behind the microphone. After a while, it was hard to hear another voice singing my lyrics.
My intention of making acting a career was about being onstage.
The two hours onstage is great. But I can only play a show and then take a night off. I have to sing for two hours, and then I’ve gotta rest it for a night. So it’s the other 46 hours that are just boring as heck.
When I go onstage and am performing the way I want to… I finally feel like myself.
Turing was always a legend among computer/geeky kids. He was such an outsider in his own time, and because of that, he was able to see things differently. It was a story that had been well told in books, onstage and on TV, but never on film.
Because I killed a guy in real life, and because my character kills a guy onstage, they said I could never do anything this great again. I resented that.
The first time I toured with the ‘Large Band’ in 1988, I got so tired. If I just stood still anywhere, I could go to sleep. I was that tired. But I had to perform. And I did, and after that tour, I was much less fretful about going out onstage.
When I’m onstage, I feel a lot of love. But I don’t like crowds and random spectators.
When I get onstage in a play, I feel very safe, very protected, very fulfilled.
I could never go onstage in denims.
I believe the best persona to be onstage is the one that comes naturally.
Onstage, I channel my inner goddess. Everyday Jillian is definitely more low-key: jeans and a crop top with a sneaker or boot.
It depends on various things like if the promoters want to have a break so they can sell more T-shirts and booze, then they ask if we can do an interval. I personally prefer not to do that. Once you get onstage, I like to stay there.
Performing is my therapy, to become different people onstage.
I like to do the splits onstage.
When I come onstage, I’m exploding.
While I enjoy it, I will continue to go onstage. While I contribute something, fine. I don’t want to be dragging my feet. I don’t want to become pathetic, but I think I will be lucid enough. I’ll know when to stop.
As long as I don’t go onstage completely normal and then jump into character onstage, I assume that most fans would be able to accept me as the creator. I can comment on the work the same way a director would on his movie.
I just kept touring and touring until it became second nature to go onstage, perform, and sing.
You know, I think whatever a comic talks about onstage is all they talk about offstage.
When you know you have a good song, when you’re onstage, even if it’s just a weird, basic energy, you know your song is good.
I’ve done stand-up since I was 18 years old, and I absolutely love it, but I used to go onstage, and the audience was my peers. Now I go onstage, and I could be their mother.
When you’re always onstage, you really have to focus on listening and reacting.
When you’re onstage and the audience is smiling and singing and bopping along and you’re all on the same level, it’s the best feeling in the world. It may sound dumb and corny to say it, but it’s like pure love.
The first time I got onstage was when I was about 5 years old. It was at a church social, and I had a poem to recite.
Performing is my passion. Being onstage is at once exhilarating, beguiling, and fulfilling. But it’s hard.
I try to write three jokes every day. I don’t sit down and write them, it’s just things that pop into my head. Then I’ll go watch it fail onstage that night.
I’m not a really religious person, but those moments onstage feel like some sort of religious experience because no one holds back, especially ‘Stay With Me‘ when I finish the show. It kind of turns into an anthem when I perform it live, and it feels like there’s a lot of love in the room.
Being onstage is like being rock star. Whereas if you’re doing a movie, it’s such a confined space. You know, you do a comedy, it’s so hard, too, ’cause with a comedy, there’s no vocal reaction, there’s no energy that you get back that spurs you on to be funnier because everyone has to be quiet.
The first time I was onstage, I felt like the audience was breathing with me. I don’t know if I was good or not; I just knew I was having a ball, and for the first time, I felt I belonged somewhere.
But I love the hot sweat. I think overheating onstage is invigorating. It’s better than being comfortable. I think being comfortable is the death of a show.
When I started stand-up, the people I admired most were the people who were the most themselves onstage.
I have a responsibility to diversity onstage, but one of the things I’ve heard about our production of ‘Boys’ is that it’s a bunch of white guys. Well, race is a component of this play. You can’t just drop people in willy-nilly and say, ‘Well, we’re going for diversity.’
I’m not good enough to be playin’ much acoustic guitar onstage. Man, you gotta get so right; I mean, the tones, the feel, the sound. Plus, acoustic blues guitar is just that much harder on the fingers.
I wore Chuck Taylors for a couple shows, and the second show I wore the Chuck Taylors, that was the one and only time I fell onstage. I haven‘t really bit it onstage in high heels yet. It will happen. It’s not about if, it’s about when.
I sort of fell in love with it when I was in high school doing theater. And so, as sometimes happens when kids – they graduate high school, and people turn to them and say, ‘So what are you going to do with your life?’ I thought, ‘Well, I like being onstage. I like being an actor.’
I know I stand visibly onstage, but my function is still unseen, because I rarely see the immediate results of what I am saying or doing or writing.
Children go with whatever makes them feel good – like if that’s the color green or orange, they do that with their clothes. As I’ve grown older, everything reversed. My music, my personality – onstage those things became my colors.
My mom was like, ‘You talk so much. You have too much energy. Why don’t you just join the play or something?’ It was a comedy, and I got laughs in rehearsal, but onstage, in front of a whole audience, I got a lot of laughs.
I like to wear dresses and skirts when I go onstage because the attitude that I have is, ‘I’m so excited to introduce myself to you.’ And I want to be wearing what I’d be wearing to a date or a dinner party.
I’ve always been really open onstage.
I had one guy say, ‘I watched your show and didn’t agree with what you said.’ And I’m like, ‘It’s a joke. How could you not agree? I can understand you saying it’s not funny.’ But it’s like my going onstage and doing a knock-knock and somebody going, ‘I disagree. There’s no door here.’
I continue to be very shy. I think a lot of actors and performers are really weird, shy people working it out onstage. I don’t know why that is.
I feel most free onstage. The audience, it’s an abstraction. You don’t really see anyone out there, but you feel the audience inside you.
If I acted like I did onstage in normal life, everyone would probably hate me.
I don’t know who in my family thinks very fast at all, including me. The things that people see me do onstage are written, so it doesn’t have to be very quick if you have all day with a pen.
I feel like, anytime I’m onstage, I tend to feel very connected with people in the audience or with the sort of heartbeat or tempo of the audience.
I think sometimes comedians and entertainers and artists, sometimes they get onstage, and it’s all for what they want to do. I think you still need to do stuff for the audience. They’re the ones who are making it possible.
I suppose people do sometimes not understand the seeming disparity between my onstage personality and my public personality in the press. But I feel that I am definitely a louder, more outspoken person with those I am close to.
I’m not good at interacting with people and am terrified to get onstage, so I just go up there, freak out and, most of the time, pack up and go home immediately after.
Getting onstage and trying out all of my material and what works well with audiences and what doesn’t, what works well in different atmospheres, has been the best training.
I’ve never acted, but I’m an entertainer. So I kind of used what I know from being onstage. I’ve done a thousand and two interviews, and I’ve been on camera a million times, so I’m not uncomfortable on camera, but it was interesting for me to be someone else.
For a long time, because I’m pretty tall, I was scared to wear heels, but now I wear them all the time. I feel like I’m still discovering my stage style, but I love – well, I’m not a huge color person onstage, but I am in real life. I like short stuff, big heels, fringe, lots of fringe, sometimes sparkle, yeah!
How do you top ‘Mormon?’ I get sent scripts all the time and I don’t know what I would do next. What do you do after that? So I think if you do see me onstage, you’ll see me in something dramatic, maybe, or you’ll see me try my hand at something else. Perhaps fail, terribly, but try.
It’s funny how concert dreams are such a recurring thing among musicians. It’s like how everyone has that dream of their teeth falling out? Except musicians have this dream of just standing onstage and there being all these people out there, and for some reason, the song isn’t starting.
As a kid, I dreamed about being onstage.
I love suits, but onstage it’s too hot. So, I like a nice T-shirt!
I always say, ‘Hip-hop takes me everywhere.’ It’s crazy when I step onstage, and people might not speak much English, but they know every word to your songs. It’s kind of freaky, but it’s really cool.
I was very insecure growing up, and even though I’m not that girl anymore, I think that the passion, that not feeling pretty and being insecure, is where my soul came from. And from early childhood, I let it free onstage.
From offstage until the moment I walk onstage, I constantly tweak my talk show and ‘Top Model‘, but at the same time, I often leave my private life by the wayside.
I’ve been making fun of administrations since I was a teenager onstage.
I missed New York. Every break I had from the series, I’d fly back to the East Coast just to get back onstage.
Singing and dancing will never grow old for me – I’d like to do that until I’m… actually, I think I’d like to drop dead onstage. I think that’d be just great.
I come from a working-class family in Pittsburgh, whereas ‘Mike & Mollydeals with the working class in Chicago. I swear a little, but I pretty much talk the same. It’s not like when you see someone like Tim Allen and he’s a lot bluer onstage.
I’m pretty comfortable in a car to know what I’m doing, and I’m exactly the opposite onstage.
There is a big difference between what I do onstage and what I do in my private life. I don’t put my living room on magazine pages.
You want to have butterflies in your stomach, because if you don’t, if you walk out onstage complacent, that’s not a good thing.
I’ve heard New York actors say Chicago actors intimidate them because apparently we’re the real nitty-gritty actors who’re in a town where being onstage doesn’t necessarily get you anything except your craft.
I want to feel lucky every night when I go onstage, and not feel like, ‘Oh, great, here we go again.
I don’t practice or write stuff down – everything I do onstage was just made up before I went on.
Onstage, there’s a separation between character and audience; onscreen, you can go to a deeper place.
I’m too nervous to eat before I go onstage, and I’ll usually eat out after the performance or when I get home at midnight.
I was in ‘Seussical,’ and I was in a cage onstage in a purple yarn suit singing backup, and I was like: ‘I’ve had it. I can’t do this anymore.’ I will say for the record that I did love the show, but I was like: ‘I want to do something else. I need a little more.’
I’ve been performing since I was a child; my mother would have to pull me aside and tell me that I wasn’t onstage. I was a cheerleader, president of choir, and in the school play.
Everything that I hate about myself goes away when I was onstage.
The fun image is what we project onstage, because our music is dance music. But it’s not what the group is about We’re very serious about our music and the band and producing good quality songs.
I have this very abstract idea in my head. I wouldn’t even want to call it stand-up, because stand-up conjures in one’s mind a comedian with a microphone standing onstage under a spotlight telling jokes to an audience. The direction I’m going in is eventually, you won’t know if it’s a joke or not.
I love being onstage, whether it’s dancing or acting – there’s just something about being onstage.
I’m always curious about anyone who has enough passion to go onstage and say, ‘This is what I’m really passionate about.’ It’s always worth listening to.
I love that my fans are cool with me being lovey-dovey about my wife rather than pretending that I’m single and trying to act all sexy onstage.
With stand-up I could think of something now and say it onstage tonight. It’s totally pure, I love it.
I’m the most awkward person in the world, but onstage, I’m completely fine. I could run around in a thong and not care.
Going onstage is like going into battle. You’re ultimately there to win. It’s driven and fuelled by passion and a desire to do it.
I always say, when you’re onstage you can’t please everybody. I’m sure there are people who may not take to what I do, but that’s okay. Thank God the majority are in my corner.
There’s something about being onstage, man. No matter what age I am or where I’m going, theater will constantly be the thing that accepts me and embraces me.
I wish I had a really cool, esoteric answer, but what the process is to me is going onstage night after night after night after night until I get a new hour. And then once that hour is solidified and recorded, I move on.
Theatre comes alive when someone cross-dresses onstage.
I actually got to go back to where I was born and perform there. I just brought my mom up onstage and was like, ‘Look, here we are.’
Whenever I realize I’m being a goofball, I write it down. When I release the joke onstage, I love watching the effect it has on the audience. No one wants to see someone talk who takes themselves too seriously.
My goal was becoming the next David Copperfield. I learned how to be a performer by emulating him as a kid – his formula of just talking to people onstage, being free to improvise, being charming and witty with a crowd, together with great, beautiful magic.
Any time I see anything moving onstage, I’m cautious about it.
The backstage play, in which the private lives of theater people are put onstage for the world to see, is one of the diciest of dramatic genres.
I remember acting in a school play about the melting pot when I was very little. There was a great big pot onstage. On the other side of the pot was a little girl who had dark hair, and she and I were representing the Italians. And I thought: Is that what an Italian looked like?
There’s a picture of me as a little girl, and I’m waiting to go onstage, and I am biting the last bit of nail I have left on my finger.
I don’t use the big video screens that a lot of other artists use because personally, I think it’s kind of a crutch. I think sometimes it’s like watching television as opposed to really getting involved with what is happening onstage and the people in your section.
People don’t know what it’s like standing up there onstage, when you have a wall of people smiling at you.
I might come across like kind of a show-off onstage and stuff, but I like collaborating with people.
I don’t sit and write stand-up material; I come up with an idea onstage.
Don’t kid yourself; the guy who’s onstage in ripped-up jeans is wearing as much a costume as I am.
I’ve had jokes stolen a thousand times. But if you can do it better than me, you can have it. I’ve had jokes stolen from me in the club when I’m next on stage. And my brain will start to turn, and the gears will start turning, and I’ll go onstage and create a whole new bit.
I always felt like there wasn’t a blueprint for father-daughter relationships – for them or for us. Because what are they supposed to do with us, treat us like boys, or small women, or what? Father-daughter relationships are so unique from family to family, and I’d love to watch it explored more onstage.
One Christmas, I wrote a nativity play. But nobody turned up on the day of the performance apart from my brother and my cousins, so I just read the whole script onstage and made my brother pretend to be one of the animals at the inn.
My thing is to get up there and have a good time and give the fans all you can and appreciate them spending their money and being in the stands – and just be appreciative of them cheering when you come onstage.
The more guitars we have onstage the better, as I’m concerned.
As a dancer, one of my many teachers along the way made the comment that who I was onstage and who I was off were two totally different people.
My real name is Joseph Herbert. My dad is white; my mom’s Asian, Filipino. And when I started stand-up 22 years ago, I used to go up as Joseph Herbert, and I would just have to defend my name. Every time I went onstage, it was so annoying. People would heckle.
The most important thing you can do as a performer is to be yourself, or be an onstage version of yourself. If you’re not being true to yourself, and somebody likes that other version of you, you’re kind of stuck.
It’s kind of weird – I get shy when I’m around new people, still, even when I’m onstage. I come from not really wanting to be in lights or known or in front of people.
I’m most at home on the stage. I was carried onstage for the first time when I was six months old.
Now when I step onstage, I have this hour when I can just be completely myself, just a massive ball of energy. Sometimes I get so lost in the performance, people look a little frightened – but that’s a good thing.
Some people love being onstage and really open up, and I’m sort of the opposite of that. I don’t crave the spotlight. I’m still not comfortable even talking onstage.
I suddenly got used to that feeling of being in control, which I never, ever feel when I’m not onstage – a feeling that you’re the master of your own universe.
Onstage at Build, Phil Spencer said the Xbox is an open platform – which surprises me, because you have to get your game concept approved before you start developing it. Then you have to get every update approved. Microsoft has absolute control.
When Kehlani brought me out onstage, I really enjoyed that. I was just appreciative for her to think of me and bring me out woman to woman, introducing me to a whole new audience to me. It was just showing that I was appreciated for what I’m doing, that some people mess with me, and I’m all over the place.
I dearly remember the old daysFleetwood Mac had this one-of-a-kind charm. They were gregarious, charming and cheeky onstage. Very cheeky. They’d have a good time.
I don’t wear a wig. I’d feel terrible onstage with a wig. I hate to be so ‘Actors Studio’-ish, but I like to feel it’s me out there.
I think a lot of people think I’m doing kind of a character onstage, but what you’re really getting is just me.
Half the time, when I first run onstage, I can’t look directly at the audience just because of self-consciousness. It’s human nature. Sometimes you feel like the man, and sometimes you don’t. But sometimes that self-conscious energy is good for the show, it draws people in more.
Frontmen come alive when they come onstage.
I was always shy and had a huge fear of being onstage.
Thirty minutes onstage for me is literally a full day’s work. So I make sure I eat right and I make sure I keep my energy high.
To be completely stripped bare of any image power or my hair. To step onstage and get the response that I got blew any problems I had about self-image out the door.
The extremes of who I’d love to be onstage are David Bowie, Prince, and, I don’t know, Bjork.
I really don’t think of myself as a singer. I think of myself as an entertainer, and the best place I do it is onstage.
Traveling the world was a constant thing, rich with experiences. But all of it was relative to being able to play live onstage and really stretch out.
My parents called me the WB frog. Because when I was onstage, I would do this whole song and dance, but if my parents had a family friend over, I would just go hide in the bedroom.
Whenever I go onstage or in front of a camera, I always want to pour my soul out because I know I have a lot to offer.
Just me onstage with a mike having an intimate relationship with the audience. I don’t get nervous for that. I just get excited.
I draw and play the piano badly. But when I’m doing those things, I’m concentrating so hard there’s no room for worry. I find that onstage, too.
People buy a ticket to see your show, so from the moment I get onstage, I can have no insecurities, because they’re already there. You have to get people to listen. If they listen, everything’s cool.
‘What’s the Use’ is normally done with all the women onstage with Julie. Sometimes it’s staged as a ‘lay at my feet, dear children, and let me tell you the ways of life.’ We felt like that wasn’t really what was going on.
I’ve felt emotions onstage that I never felt before; it has strengthened me as a person and as an artist.
I’ve always been a fan of George C. Scott, who was working in movies when I was in collegefilms like ‘Patton’ and ‘Hospital.’ I was really impressed by him, and I had seen him onstage as well in ‘Uncle Vanya.’ He was a champ to me.
I hate touring. But being onstage is one of the absolute best things I know in my life. And it is so good, it makes up for all the bad.
People just get to see me onstage, and they don’t get whole of me.
Being on the road has about 2 1/2 hours a day that are really great, and that’s when you’re onstage. The other 21 1/2 hours are very boring… It becomes like a void, and we chose to fill it with all the wrong things.
I don’t have a gym membership. I usually do a bit of basic yoga or stretches at home or in my dressing room before the show. I’ve done plank for 60 seconds almost every day since 2009, when I had to wear a bikini onstage in ‘South Pacific.’
I love to create something new every night onstage; that makes a big difference.
I design a lot of things that I wear onstage, but I’m always looking for unique stuff. I like creative things, so anything I can find at a secondhand costume shop to a Helmut Lang store, it doesn’t matter – just unique stuff.
I just enjoy being onstage and relating to the audience.
It’s sort of a feeling of power onstage. It’s really the ability to make people smile, or just to turn them one way or another for that duration of time, and for it to have some effect later on. I don’t really think it’s power… it’s the goodness.
I would go to sleep and dream about being onstage with thousands and thousands of people.
That’s part of what made me interested in theater as a kid. It made it acceptable to be a man for an hour onstage.
All I want to do is be onstage. A performer needs to perform.
When I first started, it was a dare. Someone basically said, ‘You’re a tough guy… but I’ll bet you won’t get on a microphone in front of a bunch of people.’ I was terrified, but I did it. Once I broke the ice and got onstage and got some laughs, I thought, ‘That’s not so bad.’
In 2004, I went onstage for the first time. They put a mike in my hand and pushed me out the door into the crowd. I did the three songs I had recorded and got out. It was the worst day of my life.
To me, getting to do music and videos, you work on a character. Being onstage is acting; you get to be larger than life and larger than yourself.
It was in San Diego and I was onstage and couldn’t remember how to play the guitar properly. I was in terrible pain and my nervous system was just going wild, like somebody had just run a car over me.
The Moodies is a responsibility to deliver the goods every night onstage and to do it sincerely; otherwise, it doesn’t work. You’ve got the three guys left in the Moodies that really want to do it onstage, so I think we’re truer to the old records now than we ever were.
I’ve been lucky enough to do a tiny bit of Shakespeare onstage over the years.
I’m amazed how unable I am to deal with the demands that are made on me as an actor. Not the one I enjoy, which is standing in front of a camera or onstage pretending to be someone else but everything else that comes with it.
I’ve been onstage once for one performance with four days’ rehearsal.
In 1996, Trump had crashed a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a charity opening a nursery school for children with AIDS. Trump, who had never donated to the charity, stole a seat onstage that had been saved for a big contributor.
We always joke that our road crew will have to wheelchair us up onstage soon because this is what we do. This is what we love to do. This is what God put us on earth to do until the day we take our last breath.
Before going onstage you can always feel the adrenaline pouring through your veins.
Viv had this kind of stage presence where you couldn’t ignore it. He walked onstage, he looked dangerous. You just didn’t know what he was going to do.
I had a moment where I was onstage once… As a comedian, you just think, ‘Be funny as possible all the time – like, funny at all costs – jokes, jokes, jokes.’ That’s how my mentality was.
When I go onstage, I want to relieve your mind, your pressures.
It’s not a natural translation, transition, to take something from stage to screen. Onstage your action is communicated through the spoken word primarily, and on screen it’s communicated through pictures. So it’s always been kind of unnatural to take something that lives on the stage and turn it into moving pictures.
I just always found it easier to be the same guy onstage as you are offstage.
Onstage, there’s no hiding; you either can or can’t act. There’s no second take.
I will say that, I, being a Jew, experience unease before I go onstage; and after I go onstage, and in general. But luckily the forty-five minutes to an hour that I’m onstage I usually forget everything else and I just press play.
I don’t know if I have a favorite part of being an artist. I do love being onstage and performing with my band. I also love rehearsing with them and creating the show, that’s always a fun part. But there’s also nothing like being in the studio and being able to get back to myself and get back to my feelings.
‘Black Diamond‘ blew my mind. Ace Frehley came onstage and did it with us at Madison Square Garden a few years ago, which was a total high watermark in my life. When I was 13, I never thought in a million years that I would even talk to him; I’d probably pass out. And here I am playing with him!
Onstage or in films, you do affect peoples’ lives, and sometimes that’s very gratifying. But still, there’s this little voice that says you should be doing something that matters.
I get angry about stuff, I get very emotionally intense about stuff and that’s how I get it out – with books, with the band, on my own onstage, but it’s always kind of a wail.
Girl bands still do just copy the way men move onstage. To me, that is so backwards, so un-radical.
As a standup performer, I’m onstage, and it’s important how the audience is looking at me. I’m looking at whether they’re leaning forward or not, those types of things. You read an energy. And it’s the same thing in a scene with other actors.
I’m really vulnerable onstage because it’s just me. I’m not really trying to put up a front or act a certain way.
I’ve played a couple of gay characters onstage, and it’s always been something I’m comfortable with. I grew up in a family and a culture that doesn’t have stigmas about sexuality.
It’s an honor to step onstage and celebrate the service and sacrifices of our soldiers.
As far as guys who perform onstage, I love Chris Rock. I’m kind of jaded on everyone else.
I laugh all the time – at things, people, stuff, whatever. But, I don’t laugh onstage because then it’s serious business.
I feel like any single woman of color who’s been onstage has a Shakespeare monologue in her back pocket, and a monologue from ‘For Colored Girls.’ It’s just part of what you should have, as a woman of color.
I really thrive being onstage.
I’m not a huge dancer onstage. In fact, I like not moving at all if I don’t have to. But even just standing up for any given amount of time in 6-inch heels ends up leaving me feeling like I’ve been cracked in half like a rag doll after a few shows.
Every time I go onstage, it’s a little less ‘Chris Rock’s brother.’
But I think what made me go into theater was seeing my mother onstage. The first thing she did was Mrs. Frank in ‘The Diary of Anne Frank.’ The second thing she did was a play about Freud called ‘The Far Country.’ She played a paralyzed woman in Vienna who goes to see Freud.
I feel like I wear kind of the same things on stage that I would wear every day, unless I’m being lazy, and then I just wear trackies. But actually, if I’m honest, I wouldn’t really walk down Kilburn High Street in a leotard, and I would wear that onstage.
That’s an amazing feeling, to walk onstage, and you’re not thinking about anything, you’re not thinking about your lines or what you’re supposed to do – your body, your brain knows, so there’s freedom. There’s not fear, there’s not nerves.
Being onstage is just a feeling that you cannot duplicate anywhere else because the energy that the audience is giving you forces you to give more energy. It’s such an output and exchange of energy. You can’t do that anywhere else.
The misconception about the record company is that they were the ones who got me wearing short skirts, or got me to do my hair blond, or got me to dance around onstage and start doing different things with my clothes. No, that was actually all me.
I have made stage adjustments which allow me to hear myself better onstage so that has made playing live much more enjoyable.
I sort of write onstage. I’ll throw an idea out there, like Home Depot, and just start talking about it.
I’d rather be onstage with a pig – a duet with Jennifer Lopez and me just ain’t going to happen.
Regardless of injuries, we would get onstage, and as soon as we were up there it was like, bam! You were hit with an incredible force. The band came alive on stage like someone had switched us on.
I had no desire to get up onstage and tell jokes. I prefer to stand next to really funny people.
When I first started acting in college, at Cal, the thing that I loved about acting was not being onstage but going into rehearsals. The thing, as I look back on it now, that I was most attracted to, was that I felt like I’d found my family. It was just a bunch of loonies.
It’s nice to be able to show how we are like in person and give a peek behind the curtain with ‘Total Divas.’ That’s been my biggest feedback is how different than I am behind the scenes than I am onstage.
I’m someone who is quite shy, and onstage I’m quite… extrovert.
I did not want to go onstage and play Led Zeppelin songs; there has to be more than that. I wanted to create a complete experience of what Led Zeppelin means to me, growing up around them and being part of it all my life.
I saw a concert with Nena singing ’99 Red Balloons‘ on TV and I said, ‘I will also go onstage and sing.’
I hope I’m Jessica Tandy, you know. I hope I’m onstage, and I fall over at 85 or something with everyone applauding thinking that it was a joke, you know, ‘There she goes again,’ and I’m just gone. I’ve gone to Heaven.
When I was a child, I used to dream about being onstage in front of thousands of people, and it happened. It’s not about the fame; it’s about people being touched.
I played Sky Masterson in ‘Guys and Dolls‘ at St. Ignatius. I walked out onstage at one point looking for Nathan Detroit, and I’m supposed to say, ‘Has anyone seen Nathan Detroit?’ But, instead, I said, ‘Has anyone seen Sky Masterson?’ I immediately realized what I’d done, so I said, ‘Wait a minute. I’m Sky Masterson!’
Rory O’Malley
For years, I was stuck behind a keyboard rig. When I started playing guitar onstage, it was a bit of a release – not to be stuck in one spot the whole night. It’s really enjoyable having the freedom to move around. You just have to remember to end up somewhere near a microphone.
Why should we change onstage? We’re not trying to be something big and fancy, it’s just us, doing what we do, we’d like to keep it that way.
Michael Buble is seriously my favorite entertainer. Have you ever seen the guy in concert? He’s hilarious. Women love him. Guys want to meet him. He has everything that I wish I could do onstage. And I’m guessin’ he’s a good-lookin’ guy – although he’s not one of ‘People’ magazine’s sexiest men.
I wasn’t playing the music, the music was playing me… and once that went away, and I had the feeling I was playing music, I had to stop. The need to go onstage and get my brain flattened every night left me, and what I didn’t wanna do is go onstage and perpetrate a fraud… You cannot fool an audience.
I’ve gotten to where my hair is like my onstage prop; I need to hide behind it and throw it around – it’s my slo-mo effect.
There’s something about being onstage, singing my lyrics to somebody and them either listening and receiving them, or singing them back to me, that I just can’t get enough of.
It’s definitely a high when you walk onstage and everybody starts applauding before you even say anything.
Rory O’Malley
I felt like onstage I have to have a certain amount of anonymity, like, personal anonymity, to feel loose and free. When you’re up there with people who’ve known you for a decade, and you make a bad joke and you hear the cackling behind the drums, it’s hard to get lost in the moment.
I can’t play the guitar, so the thoughts of playing one onstage at a festival makes me quiver, but I’ve been blabbering away in front of people since I was a child, so talking for a living isn’t the most daunting thing to do.
Every three or four shows, we have somebody that will come up onstage and propose marriage.
My thing is you just have to try to feel young and stay young. Obviously you get a little older, but I still want my music to be young. I don’t want to sound like an old dad onstage, so you just have to write music that sounds young.
In film, you’re always using your tools, your body, your voice, your emotions, but onstage, you use them in a different way.
I don’t believe you should stay onstage until people are begging you to get off. I like the idea of leaving them wanting a bit more.
Jazz onstage is a very intimate exchange between everybody that’s onstage.
What I’m pretty much giving you when you see me onstage is me; it’s not a fake character.
My dad loves to be talked about, good or bad. He just loves it. He’s not even hearing the content, he’s just hearing him. When I’m onstage, he’s looking at the audience members and can’t believe that there are strangers listening to me, and he’s just delighted by the whole thing.
If you can’t imagine female torch singers and Skrillex-style demon techno onstage at the same moment, you don’t know Eurovision.
There are definitely some set topics I go onstage with and want to talk about, but there’s also an element of improvisation and spontaneity that I like to bring to each performance and talk about uniquely in that room.
I got to a point where I wanted to have some dignity in what I’m saying onstage. I want people to hear what I’m saying, regardless of whether or not it gets a laugh. That became a lot more rewarding than straight acting could ever be for me.
Although I’m a lead guitarist, I’d say that a good 95 percent of my time onstage is spent playing rhythm.
If I see a great performance on television, onstage, in the movies, I go to work the next day with a renewed energy and less fear. These great artists take me out of my life and make me want to go there.
I’ve never liked watching real-life couples play couples onscreen or onstage. It takes me out of the story.
My size has helped make me an amazing performer too. The cliche of the Funny Fat Friend: I absolutely was that character – I am that character… It’s a complicated bag of tools I acquired, and I’ve put them all to work onstage.
Here’s the thing about The Go-Go‘s: Onstage, any moment could be a total train wreck.
I’ve figured out what to do with my hands… onstage. I’m a percussion player, so I grab a tambourine as much as I can.
It’s really empowering when you see yourself represented in entertainment and, especially, onstage when you’re talking about how this country came to be.
I’m happy with the way everyone presents themselves onstage.
Queen Latifah used to help me out with my kids, because while we were all out on tour – Public Enemy, Naughty By Nature, Queen Latifah, Heavy D – when Public Enemy went onstage, I didn’t have anybody solid to watch my kids. So, Latifah would help me out.
Look at Greg Jbara! I’ve watched him work for years, always switching. He’s literally a different human being when he’s onstage in ‘Billy Elliot.’ That’s the fun of what we do.
I’m not saying I’ll never go solo – never is a long time – but I’ve always been onstage with someone else. That way, you’re in it together, and you can feel, together, when the songs are right.
I was just making music in my bedroom. I never wanted to be onstage.
I walked onstage in a play at prep school, and with childish naivete, told myself, ‘Wow, I’m an actor!’
I really wanted to go onstage. Not movies. But I ended up under contract to Paramount. Now I adore film work.
I miss the days when girls would wear full long dresses and just stand onstage and sing. That’s what I’m trying to bring back: that timeless element. I want to create music that people will be listening to in fifty years, you know?
I had a dream I was onstage naked and I forgot how to play the songs.
Everything you need to know about Iron Maiden is onstage.
Denzel had made it apparent that he wanted me to bring my own interpretation of ‘Cory’. I was definitely aware of Courtney B. Vance’s performance in the original production, as well as that of Chris Chalk, who performed the role onstage with my cast back in 2010.
Baseball players practice, runners practice, so how can you practice being funny? You get up onstage. You train as an improviser, playing make-believe, using the vernacular of improvisation, saying ‘yes and’ to other people’s ideas, making statements.
Whether I’m performing in a club or onstage as Erika Jayne, whether I’m making records, whether I’m doing TV, I’ve got to entertain, and I have to take people away from their space and bring them into mine.
Musicians want to be heard. So I’m not hiding. But I do like to leave it there onstage and be myself, in that sense. Because some people carry it with them.
I think there’s kind of a comfortability with me onstage – and I think my cool factor is not having one. I’m not extra cool or extra different.
I’ve done a lot of Shakespeare onstage, and I’m not convinced that the Earl of Oxford was the author of all those works, but I am convinced that the Stratfordian William Shakespeare was not. My feeling is that it was an amalgamation of many writers, in the same way that most films are a collaborative endeavor.
I’m not someone who comes onstage and says, ‘I’m rewriting this now.’ I don’t think it’s fair to the writers or the director, or the other actors.
I get embarrassed a lot of times getting attention, but I like being onstage. Do you know what I mean? If I’m in a crowd of people and they’re all looking at me, I will feel embarrassed. It’s a strange dichotomy.
I’m not the first one to say it, but that time onstage is a heightened sense of present tense.
Onstage, I don’t want to be thinking about my outfit, I want to think about what I’m doing, so I’ll try to dress as comfortably as possible.
What people don’t normally know about us is the hustle is very real, and it’s sorely driven a lot by how we consider ourselves. We don’t pay a whole lot of attention to any type of judgment that we might get from outside people. I think that comes from growing up onstage.
You never know what’s going to happen next onstage.
Don Ho
Usually, if I think something is really funny, I’m not gonna test it. I’ll just test it when I’m onstage.
When I was 20, I used to go around telling stories, and I knew where I was comfortable – onstage, talking, making ’em laugh and listen to the weirdest things. I liked being the center of attention.
You can be an incredible player, but when you get onstage, you’ve gotta be yourself, and you’ve gotta bring it, as we say, and that just means give 120 percent.
I couldn’t be touring unless my husband was on the road with me, taking care of our son while I’m onstage and doing interviews.
If I had my way, I’d always be onstage. But I won’t always be able to be onstage.
I think film and television actually is a lot harder. Acting onstage is physically more arduous, but to get to emotional truth within a scene, it’s much tougher to do it on film.
I wasn’t really the most charming person, socially – it took me a long time to develop my people skills – but the one place I was always comfortable was onstage, acting or singing.
In my day, in my era, Ralph McDaniels, just being five and being at his block party, you could just got onstage.
My solo music – I get up onstage, I improvise and it’s my improvisation. When I get up onstage with Fred Frith and Mike Patton, then we’re improvising together. Then it’s not my music; it’s our music.
Especially in the Dixie Chicks, everyone wants you to play a role. Natalie was the feisty one. Martie was the nice one ’cause she smiles all the time onstage, and I was the quiet one.
It’s physically very, very, very trying to be onstage as a performer, not unlike an athlete, for thirty years.
And watching Ed, he’s really coming into his own doing some new things onstage I’ve never seen him do. He’s really getting into it, putting 120 percent into the show. We feel comfortable and excited.
I still get really nervous, though, before each performance. It kind of hits about 15 minutes before we go onstage – sometimes I don’t even want to go on. But once I’m onstage I’m fine.
There is a healthy amount of self-doubt and criticism with most people that make music. You find your areas that are your best. Onstage, I am good. But talking to someone in the grocery store? Forget about it.
I want to write the reparations joke that makes people go, ‘Yay! I’m so happy!’ It’s easy to go onstage and just make fun of all the ‘isms‘ instead, but we can’t all be Jeff Dunham. Although that pays very well… it pays way better to be Jeff Dunham than it ever paid to be George Carlin or Lenny Bruce.
What we do every day onstage, there’s lights, there’s lots of other musicians, there’s an audience, there’s a microphone and mic stands – layers of the onion we have to kind of hide behind.
Joe Rogan has this podcast where he’s talking astrophysics and lean BMI indexes and weird philosophy most of the time and yet, when you see him onstage, you’re like, ‘Oh, this guy is just a killer comedian.’
When I’m on the microphone and I’m recording, or onstage, or shooting a video, I’m doing my job. When I’m not, I’m being myself.
I was singing in a mall, and I picked a girl to come up onstage with me. As I was grabbing her hand, I fell off the stage. It felt like I was in the air forever, flying like Superman.
I was five years old, onstage singing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ – a rock version – and I was always wanting to entertain. But the biggest thing for me is just country music has helped me get through the worst times of my life and the best times of my life. I want to give that back to people.
I started using sunglasses in Alabama. I was going to do a show with Patsy Cline and Bobby Vee, and I left my clear glasses on the plane. I only had the sunshades, and I was quite embarrassed to go onstage with them, but I did it.
A couple of my favorite actors are Don Cheadle, Jeffrey Wright, and, may he rest in peace, Philip Seymour Hoffman. I’ve had an opportunity to see all of them onscreen and onstage.
I just like to play and I’m always ready to be back onstage.
Being in a recording studio is a very different feel from performing onstage. I mean, obviously, you can’t just go in and do what you would do onstage. It reads differently.
Onstage, we’re very dominant and aggressive. But we laugh and play a lot, too.
I have had fans make me the big picture collages of the photo books; I have had fans send me birthday cakes… sing to me on my voicemail. I have had fans flash me. I have had older fans give me their bras and underwear onstage.
I get nervous all the time. The only time I’m not nervous is onstage, which is weird.
There is nothing – nothing – like writing a great joke and having that joke kill onstage.
I went to see some voguing ballrooms and krump battles, and I was hypnotized by their body language. These guys, who are usually very poor, become stars onstage once a month in a ballroom or in a battle.
Onstage I’m the one in control – I’m not at the mercy of how an editor chooses to put the scene together later. I can do things onstage that I would never do in real life. It’s very freeing.
So did my time on Broadway after the Xscape tour doing ‘Chicago’. Performing eight times a week put in the mindset of being onstage again.
It’s hard ‘coz you have got different time zones; you can’t sleep and y’know, it’s boring way for the show to happen, but you do off the stage. Y’know, onstage it’s all better.
When I’m onstage, I’m on, but a different part of me is on: the part of me that absorbs life, sees everything occurring, and touches on everything around me.
You’re standing onstage in a sold-out arena with people singing your music, and you feel like the loneliest person in the world. Because here’s a party that, essentially, it’s for you. And you still somehow feel like you don’t belong there. Those people all have their lives and go back home.
Sometimes in my mind I still think I’m 16 onstage and my body tells me that I’m not 16 anymore.
You study all your life, you work really hard to do your best work onstage and onscreen, and then you make your best money playing an ant.
When you’re onstage with an electric band going through a massive P.A. system, it’s very artificial. You can’t really hear your own voice as it comes out of your mouth.
When I finally decided that my only hope was to go to college, I took an acting class, and once I walked onstage, I just knew I was home.
I’m not in the business of becoming famous. And that’s the advice I give to younger aspiring actors. Work onstage and do the little roles. In the end it’s not important to be seen. It’s important to do. There’s a lot of disappointment in this business, but my family keeps me grounded.
What I like about Elvis is the same thing I like about James Brown, Michael Jackson, Prince. These guys, back in the day, there was no smoke and mirrors. It was just raw talent. They would step out onstage and command an audience. Talk about awesome.
You are an athlete when you’re onstage. You can’t get tired.
I always take a hot shower before I go onstage. It’s so refreshing. I let the steam into my throat. That’s the way I warm up my vocal cords – in the shower. I start by humming and then finally singing.
I’m always onstage, and everyone there already loves me, so I go with this certain confidence.
On a good night, I get underwear, bras, and hotel-room keys thrown onstage… You start to think that you’re Tom Jones.
I really enjoy creating music onstage, to participate in making music live.
I love being onstage, I love getting applause, and I love the love that comes across the footlights. It’s so much a part of what I do and what I’ve done most of my life.
Whenever I go to shows, I end up looking at what shoes the guy onstage is wearing and the jacket he’s got on. And when you know everything’s gonna be under scrutiny, it makes you feel more comfortable if you have cool stuff.
I have a big persona onstage sometimes, but offstage, I’m super shy. Like, I don’t want to perform for people – I’d rather die than sing in a room for someone.
I speak onstage to try to establish some method of communication. The songs are supposed to be a way of communicating. But speech and drinks and sometimes chocolates are also a way of communicating.
Dancers are stripped enough onstage. You don’t have to know more about them than they’ve given you already.
I am basically a shy person, so performing sometimes helps me focus – having all those people concentrate their attention on you. I don’t see it so much as becoming another person onstage; it’s more exploring a different side of your personality.
I used to hear all these guys on 78s at my mother’s when I was a teenager… I used to daydream that I was onstage playing the solos; I’m playing with B.B. King, and I’m playing with Lowell Fulsom, Jimmy McCracklin. And I literally ended up being in a band that backed them up at different clubs.
I’m always writing; I’m always jotting things down on paper or making notes in my iPhone. Then I’ll make myself sit down and kind of shape it up, but there’s really no other way to practice other than onstage.
I’m reasonably good at talking onstage, but actually holding court in a pub is all to do with power dynamics which I don’t think has anything to do with fiction.
I love theatrics and have a huge imagination: Why would I want to sit onstage and sing a bunch of ballads back-to-back?
I refuse to go onstage without looking into the eyes and touching everyone I’m working with… we’re all in it together, and everyone’s an equal part when we’re onstage.
I love the tragic side. I don’t do ‘happy’ onstage. I like the dark, the disturbed.
If you were 12, and Beyonce was up onstage saying to you, ‘You get to do exactly whatever you want to do,’ that would be awesome. I wish she said it to me when I was 12.
I don’t need the money after 11 years on ‘Frasier,’ and there aren’t that many great roles onstage left for somebody my age. I’m more interested in playing those roles than I am in playing bit parts in movies.
I’ve talked to Bill Clinton – he’s the ultimate rock star; no one’s more charming than him. People clap in a restaurant when he finishes dinner! I don’t get that treatment. I get it when I walk onstage, but not when I have dinner.
Figure out a way to get back onstage because once you do it a few times you’ll get over it. Unless it’s like a clinical thing. I don’t know about clinical like stage fright, that might be worse than what I’m talking about. But if it’s normal stage fright get over it.
L.A. is always great. There’s something special about L.A. And New York, for me, because it’s home. There’s nothing quite like walking onstage at Madison Square Garden.
I didn’t know if I could be funny on stage or write a joke. But I saw that there are no rules. If you’re funny offstage, you can figure out a way to be funny onstage.
I celebrate masculinity when I’m onstage.
If I do a bit on stage, I prepare too much. Those bits are all really, really carefully written, and overwritten, and researched. I really don’t feel like I can wing it. So I write it out word for word, and when I’m onstage I’ll improvise around it.
I don’t enjoy writing newspaper articles any more than people like reading them. I’m a standup comic, not a journalist, although sometimes onstage I will say: ‘What else is in the news?’ Writing is work, which I’m not comfortable with.
What do actors really want? To be great actors? Yes, but you can’t buy talent, so it’s best to leave the word ‘great’ out of it. I think to be believed, onstage or onscreen, is the one hope that all actors share.
I was staying with my sister and messing around with the guitar every day for my own amusement. Then she took me around and introduced me to Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Little Walter, and the first time I saw that onstage, it inspired me to play. I thought that was the world.
When we’re onstage, it’s like mind reading: we’re on the same page.
I’m very lucky to work in so many different arenas of the entertainment industry and I do enjoy them all, but making music – original music – in the studio or live onstage is definitely my favorite thing to do.
You don’t realize how much you miss it until you get back onstage and feel that buzz.
This accident, or incident, happened in the most secure place I could have felt I was in: Walking onstage with my guitar, you know?
When you get new people around you, the excitement is new because they have different take on your music. They play it in a different way, and that’s always exciting to be around. It elevates everybody onstage.
I like my jumpsuits. They’re easy to get about in, I can move a bit onstage, there’s nothing to tuck in, and I don’t look like a little girl.
We have such an energetic live show. We have so much fun onstage. We swap instruments. We might possibly be the sweatiest band in the business.
I think my perception of my own life is different and the fact that Lauren and myself are together. I’ve never felt this free or happy and so that permeates onto my onstage persona and to my working environment.
Tiesto is legend. I’ve been in the studio many times. We did a tour together; I jumped onstage with him, he jumped onstage with me. Still, every time, I have to pinch myself and realize this is the guy who made me start doing what I’m doing right now.
I’ve been known to wear pajamas onstage for the sole reason of wanting to make sure I’m free enough to execute new things vocally onstage and give my best performance possible.
It doesn’t matter how tired I am; I will always still be happy. As soon as you go onstage, you get adrenaline. You hear the crowd: they’re screaming your name. They have posters. The energy gives you energy.
My wife and I got to go onstage at a Flaming Lips concert at Webster Hall once. We dressed up like Scientology aliens and danced around. We had a shootout onstage with Santa Claus.
I don’t write anything. It’s all done onstage, which is why I always tell younger comics that they just have to go do it. You have to get up, talk, and take a thought or a word and just expound, and you find it in there. I don’t sit down and write.
I’m now learning how to distinguish when I’m acting and when I’m not acting – offstage as well as onstage.
I mean, you still can’t jump offstage and go read a book. But I’m getting better at it. It is something you can manage. You can still give everything you have to the audience onstage, and have something for yourself.
So much about getting onstage is creating a connection with an audience that allows you to go different places and try different things.
I’ve worked my butt off. That keeps my feet on the ground – I’m the same Luis Fonsi onstage and at home cooking an omelette in basketball shorts.
I had just been to the David Bowie Diamond Dogs concert, and I kid you not: When I watched him onstage, a lightning bolt came out of the sky and zapped me. I knew at that moment, that’s what I wanted to do with my life. It was my calling.
I only wore makeup when I went onstage.
When I work onstage, I want to play roles that have real, deep theatricality, that aren’t the sort you would easily see on television and in the movies.
We wanted to be successful, we wanted to shoot a video. We just wrote a song and we were like, ‘OK, let’s go onstage! Let’s shoot a video for it!’ That was always our dream… We just wanted to have fans and a crowd who would listen.
I remember seeing McCoy Tyner in concert, and thinking that the music was incredible, but wanting to be invited in. I figured that humor was the way of letting the audience in. I’ve gotten a hard time about it, but I love to be funny onstage.
I have friends of mine that are actors or singers, and they’re the classic guys where, they’re onstage, and they’re like, ‘Okay, the blonde in the third row, seat 24, bring her to my dressing room.’ I’ve never, never taken advantage of that, I swear to God.
The crowd really controls how I am onstage. One show, it might be a lot of young people, super-high-energy dancing. I mirror that. Other shows, it’s much more calm.
I learned early on that you do yourself a disservice trying to replicate the record onstage every night. As a player, and for the audience I think, it’s a mistake.
I try to avoid gaining weight as much as possible because it hinders my performance onstage. Touring demands so much energy.
When you’re onstage in theater, if you mess up a line, there’s no ‘Cut! We’ll get it again.’ It’s full steam ahead.
There was a time where I knew I was as funny as many dudes, but I had people telling me, ‘You have to wear a dress onstage. You need to be more feminine.’
I knew that I could be more creative onstage, to state my own case and deliver my own interpretation of the role much more aggressively than in the recording studio.
It’s not about me. It’s about what I’m doing for kids. When I walk out onstage, there’s 15,000 kids that, to me, represent potential.
The most memorable night of The Judy Garland Show for me was the night my mother pulled me out of the audience and sang to me onstage.
Do I show up onstage late sometimes? That’s something I could definitely work on. I’m human.
Lesbian humor isn’t trying to sell anything, it doesn’t have to sell out. Coming out as a lesbian onstage is still a very political act; if it weren’t, more women would do it.
We pray before everything – videos, onstage, TV shows. I think that has a lot to do with being successful.
In real life we don’t know what’s going to happen next. So how can you be that way on a stage? Being alive to the possibility of not knowing exactly how everything is going to happen next – if you can find places to have that happen onstage, it can resonate with an experience of living.
Well, a lot of people don’t know this about me, but I’m actually shy around people I don’t know. I would just say with my first concert, my first tour, I didn’t really talk onstage. I was like, ‘Thank you, I love you guys,’ or whatever. But now I’ve just kind of learned to work a crowd.
We’ve just always felt like we had a product onstage that represented us.
I have a wonderful psychiatrist that I see maybe once a year, because I don’t need it. It all comes out onstage.
I’m actually not an exhibitionist at all. When you get onstage and you get under the lights playing music, I feel more hidden and more alone than anywhere else. You hide behind your music and let your emotions come out through the music.
You hope to catch the band on a good night and you hope that it sounds good when you hear the tapes back, and you hope that when you mix it you still have the feeling that you had when you were onstage, but it seems like it never quite works out that way!
The silent thing onstage allows for a kind of intimacy that no conversation can have. If I just shut up, we’re forced to look at each other and really confront that moment.
The first time I performed onstage was at church. Then I formed a rock cover band – Pink Floyd and Joan Jett. We’d play at birthday parties, since it wasn’t exactly church material.
It took me a good eight to ten years to really formulate what I was doing onstage and start to get really personal with comedy. I always really had timing naturally, it was just about trying to figure out how that timing was going to work onstage.
I was more used to acting onstage, for a long time. I don’t know, maybe I was temperamentally more suited to stage stuff. And there are things about the stage that I miss in a lot of ways.
When you start performing, you realize that you have to separate yourself from the pack. So I would never wear bell-bottoms, which everybody else was wearing. I had short hair – and to see a 21-year-old guy walk onstage without longish hair was, in itself, weird. Every entertainer needs a shtick.
One of the big conversations I’m trying to have onstage right now is that to be pro-woman, you don’t have to be anti-man. Saying all men suck makes you look like an idiot. And it’s not helpful.
Playing onstage, I’m always aware of where the bathrooms are. When Crohn’s hits, I have to run, or it won’t be pretty.
James Brown really taught me a lot – his lyrics and his performance and whatever he does when he’s onstage. I’ll always call him a legend, and I’ll always respect what he did.
I can never tell when something is funny. I just have to do it onstage and find out.
For me, music is so passionate, I have to give it my all every time I go onstage. Onstage, it was always comfortable for me, because that’s where I felt at home.
I was onstage with Menudo since I was 12 years old. To us, the most successful one was the guy with the most fans. If you moved your hips and the girls screamed, you were getting it right. Who wouldn’t want to be like Elvis or Jim Morrison!
Film acting is really the trick of doing moments. You rarely do a take that lasts more than 20 seconds. You really earn your spurs acting onstage. I needed to do that for myself. I would hate to say at the end of everything that I never did a stage play.
I continue to write songs that are topically related to social, political and economic issues of our time, but I also recognize that onstage, I have a lot of fun and audiences have a lot of fun, so I’m trying to package the messages in music and sounds that are fun to perform and fun to listen to.
I’m sure when alternative comedy started, before which – Billy Connolly aside – standup was essentially a person being racist and sexist onstage, there was also the sense that this was the death of comedy. But it’s just progress.
When I get onstage, I automatically feel beautiful.
Even though I was very shy, I found I could get onstage if I had a new identity.
I really do feel now that the way I dress onstage and for work is a true reflection of my own sense of style as well.
I’d been writing sketches since high school, but ‘Friends of the People’ really taught me about structure – how to wait out a joke, how to stick with it for a while. It also made me more confident onstage as a performer.
I get an idea about something. I just start thinking about it, and then I get onstage and I talk about it, and then I think about it some more and talk about it some more, and think about it some more and talk about it some more, until it starts to take a shape.
The more you work in this business as a comedian, the closer you get to just being yourself onstage, on camera, the more well received you are.
I do secret stand-up shows around New York. I announce and tweet this to nobody – I get onstage and I do a quick five minutes.
For some reason, people don’t want to see a girl onstage. Whether it’s a girl or a guy, if you like the music, who cares?
I’m just a Chicago actor who’s a playwright. Even with the success of ‘August,’ the people in town who come to our theater know me by sight, because they’ve seen me onstage so much.
I also sort of find the idea that not only do actors want to please when they’re onstage, I find actors really want to please off stage a lot of the time, don’t they?
Americans need to call on Boomers, in their next act onstage, to behave like grown-ups. And there is no better way for them to do this than to guide young people to lives of greater meaning, effectiveness, and purpose.
That’s one of the great things about comedy: we can – and should – say the things that other people aren’t supposed to say. If we didn’t do that, if we didn’t push against those limits, we’d just be standing around onstage and yelling.
I don’t really move onstage; all I do is just gradually hunch more and more and jut out at the people in the front row.
I was a crazy Pee-wee Herman fan when I was in my early teens. Before he had the kids’ TV show, he had a nightclub show in L.A., and I had gotten a VHS copy of it. It was a kids’ show, but onstage in a bar, so it’s sort of poking fun at the kids’ show. And I was obsessed with that, and then ‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.’
In the early days, we just wore black onstage. Very bold, my dear. Then we introduced white, for variety, and it simply grew and grew.
I like to pace onstage.
I remember walking onstage in the first performance, and something hit me like a brick wall, and I just knew at that moment that this is something I had to do for the rest of my life, and I’ve never looked back.
No matter what, I’m trying to have fun and, depending on the mood, fun can be on a roller coaster and playing onstage, or fun can be sitting in a room with three of your best friends talking for two hours.
I think there is no better training than being onstage because here’s the thing: the theater requires you to act with your whole body. I think acting with your whole body gives you a root, and you can build from there.
Every time I’ve seen Sheryl Crow perform, it’s like effortless perfection. She’s so relaxed onstage, but she’s really locked into the music and having fun. Vocally, I’ve always looked up to her.
There were not a lot of women in the theater department – it was really run by men, and so the message was that women can be onstage, but women can’t really be backstage.
When I go onstage, every situation I have to play, I feel pain. When I sing ‘Madama Butterfly‘ I feel completely everything she felt: It’s horrible.
When I’m onstage they know I’m honest, and I try to be as humble as I can.
A concert is my experimentation time. I practice playing something several different ways, but in a concert, inevitably I get more ideas onstage, in that combination of focus and adrenaline, than I could ever get in the practice room.
Atlanta was a welcoming presence for a lot of artists; they called it ‘the Mecca of the South.’ I got to see the Negro Ensemble Company, Cicely Tyson, Geraldine Page, Ruby Dee, all onstage.
Good comics gravitate to each other; you know who’s your type of person by watching them onstage, hopefully.
Whatever I talk about onstage is just my story. My fan base is broad… We all have the same mom; it’s just that ours has an accent.
I still have my eyes on the prize: I want to be that old lady onstage shaking her hips and singing her greatest hits.
I’m not drunk onstage, although I’ve done that a couple of times when I was younger. It’s partly just the way I talk – I talk like somebody in a rocking chair. I’m your 150-year-old grandmother.
A woman is like an actress: she’s always onstage.
If I go onstage, I want to give people everything they want and more. I’ll wash their car for them on their way out.
I was convinced that I was going to be onstage for the rest of my life.
I do understand that onstage there are times when you think, ‘I could not be more alive than I am at this moment. I can’t do most things in life. This is what I’m for.’
Jodi Melnick is hotly self-absorbed. Her onstage musicians are much too loud, and like so many narcissistic performers, she goes on much too long: She’s interested in herself; why wouldn’t we be?
There’s a difference between an actual insult and a friendly jab. So I don’t think I’m offensive onstage.
I’m sort of anti-Aristotelian. I want to get an entire life onstage while conveying a sense of how time feels, how unstoppable it is, and how we don’t really know what’s going on because as we’re trying to weave, it’s weaving us.
We’ve played in places where there were more of us onstage than in the audience.
I feel like a little beast when I’m onstage, and I feel like my fans have that little beast inside of them, too: this hunger for life.
I’ve taken all the mirrors out of my house because when I’m playing onstage, I feel like I’m still in high school. I feel like that kid that wanted to play in his first band, and then I look in a mirror, and it’s like, ‘Uh-oh!’ It ain’t pretty.
In TV and movies, you get known for a certain thing, and that’s what’s expected. Onstage, people are more open to whatever character you create from one play to the next.
I get terrible butterflies. Before I go onstage, I’ll have to freak out for five minutes. I scream. It seems to help!
I’d like to sit down with Hillary Clinton onstage and ask her about Glass Steagall and all the big banks and her own campaign contributions.
Most people want to be on TV as much as possible. I went up the ranks so fast because I was doing impressions, and nobody was really doing it when I started. I never got a chance to explore what’s my comfort level onstage.
There are a bunch of talented bands out there… So yeah, I often think, ‘Why aren’t these people onstage and why do I have a microphone?’
That’s kind of fuse for the show – those first 10-15 seconds you’re onstage. The curtain drops and you see the crowd for the first time and they see you for the first time. The response and the energy that’s going on right there – to me, that sets the tone for the rest of the night.
I have never been a different person onstage than I am off.
I’ve never met an artist who was at a certain level of spirituality offstage and then lowered it onstage.
I took dance from a very early age, although my first recital, I remember refusing to go onstage. I think I was three. It’s funny because that stage was also my high school theater stage.
I can’t eat before I go onstage because I’ve learnt that burping on stage isn’t a good thing. It’s all about acid reflux.
I’m not saying I look cool, but every single time I go onstage, it is a fail if I don’t feel like I’m going to pass out at least twice.
But even so, I still get nervous before I go onstage.
I get so nervous before I go onstage – beyond butterflies!
If I was going onstage, of course I would talk about it. How could I not?
I don’t pull punches at all, and I write my material for adults. But if kids like it, they can come watch it. I’ll never change anything about what I do for anyone. I kind of think that’s why kids like me. If you’re a teenager, and there’s someone onstage talking to you like an adult, that’s good.
I loved Roy Acuff with all my heart, and I never dreamed I’d be able to meet him or see him onstage, or especially become good friends with him. For all this to happen, it’s hard to explain what a dream this is when you love something as much as I love traditional country music.
I started singing in coffeehouses when I was still in high school, in Santa Barbara. I took a job washing dishes and busing tables in the coffeehouse, so I could be there, and would beg permission to sing harmony with the guy who was singing onstage. That was the first time I ever got on a stage in front of people.
One time I laughed so hard, I just had to go and change my pantyhose. I lost it. Lost it. At least it wasn’t onstage.
It doesn’t matter how you’re dressed onstage or what you say in your songs: that doesn’t give anybody the right to invade your personal space.
The young man who’s had the Guggenheim fortune behind him all his life – he can hire all the authorities on the subject to teach him how to do a monologue, but he’s never going to have the right stuff to pull it off. If he doesn’t walk out onstage needing to walk out there, he doesn’t have a dream of doing well.
I’ve really improved, I think, as far as just being able to get up onstage with my guitar and sing.
When I played the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas on New Year‘s Eve, I got to bring Wiley, my 85-pound black lab. He’s responsible for my favorite New Year’s memory of all: At the end of the show, he ran onstage and then out across all the tables in the showroom, sending champagne glasses and gamblers flying.
When I perform onstage, I’m actually kind of nearsighted, so I don’t have any real, true understanding of what the audience is like.
If I found a cure for a huge disease, while I was hobbling up onstage to accept the Nobel Prize they’d be playing the theme song from ‘Three’s Company’.
A lot of comedians are really funny onstage, but they can’t do a podcast.
I started as a straight actor. I’d go onstage, and I’d think, ‘Wow, this is the only thing I want to work really hard at. I will rehearse fifty times on a single scene; I don’t care – I’ll do it again.’
I have really musical parents, and my dad was always encouraging, but the desire to get onstage and perform really did come from me. I’d never push my future children.
I meditate and pray before going onstage – it helps me focus.
The first night was awful because I was so afraid, and I was never more afraid because it was going out of my character to be outgoing and to be vulnerable and to be out there and onstage. My hands were sweaty and I couldn’t swallow, and I drank a bottle of wine to calm my nerves.
I like to pick out a certain part of each show I’m in and I watch it when I’m not onstage or in my dressing room. I’ll go down to the stage and watch that part of the show each night.
We put so much of ourselves onstage and we work so hard, that I never get tired of people telling me ‘you’re awesome.’
I play loud onstage for my own benefit as I like. But I’m not too fond of the P.A. either.
When I’m onstage, I have to have primer. Actually, the more primer, the less makeup I have to put on.
Most of the time, it’s pretending I’m somebody else to get into a different head space. A lot of times, it’s just, ‘Who do I want to be onstage tonight? Is it going to be Marc Bolan, or is it going to be Grace Jones, or Roy Orbison?’
I have four or five custom suits, including one that’s velvet, and a gray one I wear onstage. It’s wool.
I always just felt more comfortable just kind of hiding behind a character than being myself onstage.
I think the inception of my interest in arts was when I was around 9 or 10 and I started dancing. I was really convinced that I was going to go to New York and be onstage in ‘A Chorus Line.’
I find with television, you have to play personality, whereas onstage, everyone talks about ‘the character,’ and what you do. It’s a very different thing, because stage is much bigger, but on television, for things to come across to the public, I think you have to play a bit of your personality.
Most people think the character I do onstage is the way I am offstage, but I’m just a regular guy who spends time with his family and who turns on the television and watches a lot of sports.
Every now and then, when I think about it, I think, ‘What would I even talk about onstage?’ It’s never been, ‘I wonder if I’m funny. I wonder if I can come up with jokes.’ It’s more, ‘What would it be like without the leather suit and the anger?’
When I was onstage doing the work, adrenaline killed the pain because I never hurt in front of an audience.
It’s always been about the live show for us. We’re having Halloween onstage every night.
All the truly great stand-ups say, ‘I go onstage, and I work on jokes. The inspiration will happen while I’m doing my work.’ To me, in the end, the surest thing is work.
We run around onstage constantly for about an hour and 45 minutes, and we know what that can do. You just feel great at the end of the night and when you wake up in the morning.
Pure entertainment is not an egotistical lady singing boring songs onstage for two hours and people in tuxes clapping whether they like it or not. It’s the real performers on the street who can hold people’s attention and keep them from walking away.
You don’t need to exorcise your personal demons onstage.
I feel powerful when I’m onstage talking to an audience. I like communicating; it feels like my calling in the world. Knowing what you’re meant to be doing with your life is pretty bloody powerful.
Also, as I’ve gotten older and more mature, I’ve become much more comfortable in my own skin. After 25 years of doing stand-up, that’s reflected onstage.
People are always quick to judge SPW because of the fact that I wear heels. For me, I just have no choice. This is just how I feel beautiful and how I feel awesome. I would just be so uncomfortable onstage if I was wearing something else.
A lot of people get a high from being onstage. I found ways to enjoy it. But I get it from being in the studio.
The Comedy Store in LA, it’s a really loose room and it’s really dark and creepy and a great place to explore your own thoughts onstage.
As a result of being on ‘SVU’ and ‘Homicide‘ all these years, there’s a lot of people who don’t know I used to do stand-up. When they see me onstage, it’s a surprise, and it’s revelatory. I’m happy because I can do my old material, so everybody wins.
I’m very self conscious in a bikini, and I would never get my tummy out onstage.
I like being out onstage in front of everybody, getting that energy and giving that energy. Hopefully I am making them forget about all their problems in the world. For however many hours they are at our show, hopefully they are going to have a great time, and it makes life a little more bearable for everybody involved.
People are used to us being onstage for a while.
I didn’t think I could go onstage and play unless I had a beer to loosen up. Well, if it was only one beer to loosen up, I’d probably still be drinking today.
When you get onstage, you can see everyone in the audience’s face, down to the detail. You can see who may or may not be yawning.
I love experimenting with clothes for photo shoots, but when I’m onstage, I want to show people that there are other options. You can just be yourself and still make good music.
All the satisfaction I need… comes when I step out onstage and see the people. That’s awesome. I love that.
When you look into the eyes of your people out there that came to see you, that’s when it’s like, ‘Yep, this is what it’s all about.’ This is why we don’t sleep, and this is why we write songs and try to be the best. This moment right here onstage.
The stuff I do and say onstage I can do easily. As a performer, that comes easily. But being social offstage, it’s not easy for me.
I’ve always felt a spiritual connection with acting. And I felt whole when I was onstage.
Instead of acting in court, I decided to act onstage.
I’m too scared to perform onstage. I’m not very good with big crowds.
I was in the original cast of ‘Wicked‘, and that got a bad review in ‘The New York Times,’ and it’s the most successful thing that’s ever been put onstage.
Howard Stern gave me the best advice about Twitter and the N word. He said maybe onstage people get the intention behind the joke, but a tweet is 140 characters or less, and maybe that’s why people overreact. I don’t need to rustle any more feathers and lose any investors.
I began thinking I would do musical theater because in high school that was really the only sort of curriculum they had as far as getting onstage and doing anything that anybody would see. So that’s what I did.