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    stephen sondheim Quotes

    The worst thing you can do is censor yourself as the pencil hits the paper. You must not edit until you get it all on paper. If you can put everything down, stream-of-consciousness, you'll do yourself a service.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: service  censor 
     
    One of the hardest things about writing lyrics is to make the lyrics sit on the music in such a way that you're not aware there was a writer there.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: music  writing  lyrics 
     
    You may know what you need, but to get what you want, better see that you keep what you have.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    The situation's fraught, Fraughter than I thought, With horrible, impossible possibilities!
    — Stephen Sondheim
    Work is what you do for others, liebchen. Art is what you do for yourself.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: work 
     
    Best to take the moment present as a present for the moment. . .
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: present  moment 
     
    I chose and my world was shaken. So what? The choice may have been mistaken; the choosing was not. You have to move on.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: world  choice 
     
    I read to see myself in other people's lives.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: live  read 
     
    Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    Into the woods you go again You have to every now and then Into the woods, no telling when Be ready for the journey Into the woods, each time you go There's more to learn of what you know.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: time  journey  learn 
     
    I'm interested in the theater because I'm interested in communication with audiences. Otherwise I would be in concert music.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    Everything depends upon execution; having just a vision is no solution.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: vision 
     
    The last collaborator is your audience ... when the audience comes in, it changes the temperature of what you've written. Things that seem to work well - work in a sense of carry the story forward and be integral to the piece - suddenly become a little less relevant or a little less functional or a little overlong or a little overweight or a little whatever. And so you start reshaping from an audience.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: work  stories 
     
    I like neurotic people. I like troubled people. Not that I don't like squared-away people, but I prefer neurotic people. I like to hear rumblings beneath the surface.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: people 
     
    The only reason to write is from love.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: write 
     
    Anything you do, let it come from you. Then it will be new.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    If I cannot fly, let me sing.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    I love the theater as much as music, and the whole idea of getting across to an audience and making them laugh, making them cry - just making them feel - is paramount to me.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: music  ideas 
     
    All the best performers bring to their role something more, something different than what the author put on paper. That's what makes theatre live. That's why it persists.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: live  author 
     
    Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: chaos 
     
    Success is like failure, It's how you perceive it, It's what you do with it, not how you achieve it.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: failure  achieve  success 
     
    Any moment, big or small, Is a moment, after all. Seize the moment, skies may fall Any moment.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: moment  sky 
     
    Bit by bit, putting it together... Piece by piece, only way to make a work of art. Every moment makes a contribution, Every little detail plays a part. Having just the vision's no solution, Everything depends on execution, Putting it together, that's what counts.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: work  moment  vision 
     
    The nice thing about doing a crossword puzzle is, you know there is a solution.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    Musicals are, by nature, theatrical, meaning poetic, meaning having to move the audience's imagination and create a suspension of disbelief, by which I mean there's no fourth wall.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    The Tonys ignored West Side Story. The Tonys ignored Gypsy. It's a kind of public humiliation.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: gypsy  stories 
     
    When you trance out properly, when you're completely in that world, there is no other world, so there's no conflict.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: world  conflict 
     
    White. A blank page or canvas. So many possibilities.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: possibility 
     
    I've always preferred actors who sing to singers who act in all the shows I've done.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    Sometimes colleagues in performance are absolutely astonishing.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    Lyrics have to be underwritten. That's why poets generally make poor lyric writers because the language is too rich. You get drowned in it.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: language  poor  poet  lyrics 
     
    Stay a child while you can be a child.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: children  child 
     
    Deciding what is to be sung and what is not to be sung is really what writing a musical is about.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: writing 
     
    No one has ever known me as clearly as you. No one has ever shown me that love allows everything. Not pretty or safe or easy but something I never knew. Love within reason, that isn't love and I learned that from you.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    Art is craft, not inspiration.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: craft 
     
    Two of the hardest words in the language to rhyme are life and love. Of all words!
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: language  rhyme 
     
    It's not so much do what you like as it is that you like what you do.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    The more restrictions you have, the easier anything is to write.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: write 
     
    Music straightjackets a poem and prevents it from breathing on its own, whereas it liberates a lyric. Poetry doesn't need music; lyrics do.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: music  poetry  poem  lyrics 
     
    Let the moment go. . . . Don't forget it for a moment, though. Just remembering you've had an "and" when you're back to "or" makes the "or" mean more than it did before. . . . Now I understand! And it's time to leave the woods.
    — Stephen Sondheim
    tags: time  moment 
     
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