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Clara Kimball Young – photos and quotes

Clara Kimball Young

“Lines in picture acting are just as necessary as they are on the stage, and herein is the secret of my success, if there is any secret to it. Of course we are not provided with any lines. We are given business, situation, position, movements, gestures and facial expression, but no lines. So I make up my own lines. If you cannot provide yourself with the proper lines you will never be a star of the movies. And you must give yourself just the right line, too. It takes a great amount of thinking sometimes to hit on just the correct line, but when you do strike it, you may be sure that it will go over on the screen just as if the audience heard you speak it.”Clara Kimball Young 

Source: Colgate Baker (1915)

 

Motography cover with Clara Kimball Young, circa 1913. (Bizarre Los Angeles)

 

Clara Kimball Young

 

Clara Kimball Young

“The great thing in acting for pictures is to be perfectly natural. It is the naturalness of motion pictures – the illusion of real life which they convey – which gives them their appeal and popularity. So above all other things I try to be natural. The gestures, the expressions, the business of the legitimate dramatic stage seem artificial in pictures, and that is why so many stars of the stage fail when they act before the camera. It shows up every defect and mannerism.”Clara Kimball Young

Source: Colgate Baker (1915)

 

 

Clara Kimball Young

 

Clara Kimball Young

 

Clara Kimball Young“The changes I have taken place since I began to act for motion pictures four years ago are astonishing. A movie star was not thought to be a person of much consequence them, while I do not think that the President of the United States receives more attention or publicity than some of the favorite picture actresses.”Clara Kimball Young

Source: Colgate Baker (1915)

Photo: 1915

 

Clara Kimball Young candid

“Personally fame does not trouble me, for to tell the truth I do not have time to enjoy much of it. I am so tired when the day’s work at the studio is finished that I only want to go home and stay there. One of my chief regrets is that I can never find time to do any shopping, which is my chief delight. I have not been able to go to a dressmaker in three months, I have been so busy — think of it, isn’t that awful?”Clara Kimball Young

Source: Colgate Baker (1915)

 

Clara Kimball Young

“I also find it rather embarrassing when I do go out to be stared at by hundreds of strangers, who do not quite recognize me, but look at me with expressions in their faces which says, ‘Where have I seen her before?'”Clara Kimball Young

Photo: With producer/director Harry Garson (Chicago Tribune Historical Photo)

Source: Colgate Baker (1915)

 

Clara Kimball Young“I frequently hear young women say, ‘I think I will go into moving pictures – the work is so easy. I know I can do it.’ But these girls deceive themselves, or if they carry out their intention, they are quickly disillusioned. Directors are agreed today that successful motion picture acting requires more temperament and a stronger personality than is necessary for the dramatic stage. We try out hundreds of aspirants here, regular actors and people from all walks of life, and about one in five hundred has enough temperament or the right personality.”Clara Kimball Young

Source: Colgate Baker (1915)

 

 

Clara Kimball Young“Youth is a great essential for the camera is merciless upon age. Every wrinkle and line comes out with painful distinctness in motion pictures.” Clara Kimball Young

Source: Colgate Baker (1915)

 

Clara Kimball Young“Professional actors as a rule have acquired certain mannerisms which render them useless for picture work. Many of our well known stars of the screen have mannerisms, I admit, but they are not very pronounced. Mannerisms are the one thing which must be avoided. I never go to see moving pictures made by others for fear that I may catch their mannerisms. Unfortunately, I am very easily infected.”Clara Kimball Young

Source: Colgate Baker (1915)

 

Clara Kimball Young

“I do not like to see myself in pictures and I never go unless it is necessary. Whenever I see a picture I have made, I am filled with vain regrets that I did not do better. I feel sure that I might have done better if I had another opportunity. However, if we are satisfied we never progress, so perhaps it is just as well I feel as I do about my work.”Clara Kimball Young

Source: Colgate Baker (1915)

 

 

Clara Kimball Young (Bizarre Los Angeles)

 

Clara Kimball Young silhouette (Bizarre Los Angeles)

 

Clara Kimball Young“I have acted many love scenes on the sage as well as in moving pictures and I find there is a great difference between them. One the stage an actress may go through a love scene with an actor she personally detests, and it makes no difference in her work. Before the camera it is almost impossible to act a love scene with a man who is personally distasteful. There is something very subtle about this, I admit I do not quite understand it, but I know that I cannot act a love scene well in pictures unless my leading man is personally agreeable and a gentleman. Neither can act well before the camera with a villain whom I like. Oh, it is a terrible to like the villain! There is another interesting psychological subtlety about picture acting.”Clara Kimball Young

Source: Colgate Baker (1915)

Clara Kimball Young

“The cast of a motion picture today presents a problem which is not easy to solve. In spite of the large number of actors who are anxious to do work for the camera, there are comparatively few who are able to meet the artistic requirements which with the steady improvement in pictures are constantly becoming more difficult.”Clara Kimball Young

Source: Colgate Baker (1915)

 

Clara Kimball Young“Mental concentration, I have found, is the thing which wins in acting for the camera. There is not the sustained inspiration that is found on the dramatic stage, working up to one climax after the other, through one continuous performance. We usually begin making a picture by taking the last scene first and then we work backward. So one must have the ability to concentrate instantly, to get into the character and the situation, to work up the inspiration in the moment – it is very difficult at first to do this. Even the experienced dramatic actor finds it hardd to act a character piecemeal in this manner. But the more I act for the camera, the greater possibilities I see in the art, for it is an art, and it will be recognized as one of the greatest before long, I am sure.” — Clara Kimball Young

Source: Colgate Baker (1915)

 

Clara Kimball Young

 

“The average person knows nothing whatever of the distinction to be obtained by certain colors under the photographic lens or an indistinct white, while other colors change their identity in a most confusing manner. Another most important consideration is that the color scheme of the gowns worn must harmonize with the interiors, drapes and hangings used in the different sets, so that all strong, primary colors, shadings and gradations of tone are arranged for composition effects.”Clara Kimball Young in 1920

 

“In ‘Eyes of Youth’ I was forced to wear certain shaded cloth while the Yogi character was dressed in white. This color combination created the problem of arranging backgrounds of such shades that while I was properly silhouetted in a scene, the Yogi would also stand out. A number of days were spent by the director and myself before we struck the happy color schemes, and in one instance it was necessary to make use of a bare wall with hangings of tapestries as a background.”Clara Kimball Young in 1920

 

 

“If one were to judge my gowns from the standpoint of street wear and availability some of the color combinations would seem hideously out of place and clash outrageously. For this reason, many of the gowns worn by me in ‘The Forbidden Woman’ have been created and designed solely for use in this one picture, because by virtue of the peculiar combinations of color, they could not be worn for any other purpose or occasion. I never wear a gown twuce for the simple reason that each new production demands a radical change in period, style and dress, and thus entails completely new wardrobe. For instance, the clothes I wear in ‘The Forbidden Woman’ could not possibly be used in my next picture, ‘The Soul of Rafael, laid in the period of 1850.”Clara Kimball Young in 1920

 

The Forbidden Woman (1920), starring Clara Kimball Young. Bizarre Los Angeles

 

The Forbidden Woman (1920)

 

Clara Kimball Young Charge It

Charge It! (1921)

 

Art Prints

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