Character ActorsSilent Film Stars

Taylor Holmes – photos and quotes

Taylor Holmes

“I can almost determine for a certainty from the way a first-night audience takes a show, whether t is going to be a hit. If the women laugh, or are pleased, I don’t care what the men do. I go ahead and prepare for a long run. Here’s an example. It was our opening night in ‘His Majesty Bunker Bean.’ At the end of the first act, the house manager came running back to tell me that a fat man seated in a stage box hadn’t laughed one single time. He was terrified. ‘Yes, but what about the little woman seated beside him?’ I asked. ‘Well, she got up and left in the middle of the act,’ he said, ‘The maid in the women’s dressing room told she had laughed so much, she broke a corset-stave.’ That was enough for me. Straws may show which way the wind blows, but give me a corset-stave in the show business. On the strength of the woman’s laughter, I refused an engagement in another production which had been offered me only a moment previously, and prepared for an entire season in ‘Bunker.’ My action was justified.”Taylor Holmes

Source: Eleanor Brewster (1918)


Taylor Holmes“You see, I have always believed that the screen would eventually the stage as an amusement industry. It comes within reach of the greatest mass of people, and its productions permit an unlimited and more realistic field for settings. Such a combination, with proper acting, was bound to win out, I always believed. Therefore, I decided that, sooner or later, I would get on the winning side. Here I am.”Taylor Holmes

Source: Eleanor Brewster (1918)

Taylor Holmes“I have learned a tremendous lot since I came to Essanay. One of my chief difficulties has been in refraining from an exaggeration of expression. On the stage, I have always held to acting of a broad style. It requires a slight accentuation of expression to carry the effect over the footlights. But I find this rather a detriment in picture work, for the camera, particularly in closeups, registers so clearly and accurately that reinforcement of expression becomes painfully obvious on the screen.”Taylor Holmes

Source: Eleanor Brewster (1918)


Taylor Holmes“I had no idea of the rapidity with which the film progresses. The world of detail required, the constant changing scenes, to the layman, would seem to necessitate a very slow-moving process. But that is not the fact. As soon as we finish one set, there is another waiting for us to step right into. There must be a veritable army of carpenters, scenic artists, electricians and property men about to accomplish this work so speedily. Another feature most surprising to me is the apparently inexhaustible supplies of properties and scenery which a Motion Picture company maintains. I was taken thru these departments at Essanay and shown enough furniture and scenery to build another Yonkers, in fact, with all its queer little trinkets. And there seems to be no lighting effects they cannot and will not produce, from a volcano eruption to a flock of angels in flight.”Taylor Holmes 

Source: Eleanor Brewster (1918)


Taylor Holmes“With all my experience, I think Motion Picture work is much the hardest, because of the ever changing characterizations and scenes. Once I have mastered a role in a speaking play, it only remains for me to enact that role over and over. But in pictures, one must master a new characterization every few weeks. That calls for more work than the layman. But i like pictures better than the work of the speaking stage – the constant changes, in fact, offer a newness that breaks the monotony and gives fresh vigor and enthusiasm to the work. We tackle each new story with the eagerness of children over a book of fairy tales. At first, the characters seem unreal, but as we begin to pose the action, they become our very selves.”Taylor Holmes

Source: Eleanor Brewster (1918)


Moving Picture World 1920 Taylor Holmes

Liked it? Take a second to support Bizarre.Los.Angeles on Patreon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.