Ensemble Quotes by Shanola Hampton, Arthur Koestler, Rob Lowe, David Ayer, Robert Schumann, Mariah Carey and many others.
I love ‘Shameless’ as a fan. But I love lots of television. And as an ensemble, I have never seen a group of people put on screen what ‘Shameless’ – the ‘Shameless’ cast as an ensemble and as individuals – in decades.
If there is a lesson in our story it is that the manipulation, according to strictly self-consistent rules, of a set of symbols representing one single aspect of the phenomena may produce correct, verifiable predictions, and yet completely ignore all other aspects whose ensemble constitutes reality.
I think [The Outsiders] really forged who I am as an actor, and it’s one of the reasons why I keep being drawn to big ensembles where I’m surrounded by strong, successful actors or personalities. Because that was my initial foray into movie making.
I’m all about real drama, real performance, and real people, so my twist on this is: I’m creating a family, a brotherhood here. I’m creating a very real chemistry and I have this incredible ensemble of actors led by Will Smith, who are basically playing dimensional characters with lives and souls.
If we were all determined to play the first violin we should never have an ensemble. therefore, respect every musician in his proper place.
Forget the image, forget the ensemble, forget the rumours, forget the short skirts, the big hair, whatever! I owe this to the fans and I will never forget you so I want to accept this award on behalf of all of you.
The idea of having one ensemble do everything is what was on ‘Sea Lion’ and that’s what I tried to make happen for ‘Metals,’ which is having five people in the room and all of us contributing equally to every arrangement and every song.
If an ensemble – I don’t care if it’s a duet or a forty-piece orchestra – the musicians, the two of them or the forty of them, are all trying to play as tight as possible, as one person. They’re trying to play like they are one person.
Which is why you chose to wear that delightful ensemble from the skank-wear collection at Hoes-n-Thangs?” -Tommy
It’s more fun in a way to do ensemble scenes, where you know your background, you know the scene, but you can’t prepare because someone else is going to say something that is going to lead you off
Joe and I have always been drawn to ensemble storytelling. We like the idea of telling stories from multiple characters’ points of view and thinking about the story from multiple characters’ points of view.
When you’re working with an ensemble, I think you really need different energies because you don’t have much time with each character to make them feel real. You want strong personalities that are very different.
I sort of was inspired by ‘Friday Night Lights,’ where it was a very different show, but similar in that they were both large ensemble dramas where you had many stories going on at once. I wanted to do a show that shared that element, and that’s really why I wanted to develop ‘Parenthood’ as a series.
I was surprised I was nominated for an Oscar because ‘Cocoon’ was such an ensemble picture. But now I’m certain it wasn’t only for ‘Cocoon.’ It was a lifetime award, so I accepted it in that vein, and it probably meant more from a recognition standpoint.
The great thing about making an ensemble show is it becomes modular. It might work on the page to cut from one scene to another, but on the screen, it’s more powerful to take that second scene and move it first or move it later.
It really doesn’t matter whether it’s an ensemble cast or it’s a lead or what is perceived as a commercial or non-commercial or an offbeat film. None of that would matter, what really matters is the story and who’s telling the story.
Any show that has a completely gay ensemble has the very difficult task of trying to represent the community.
The cast of ‘Vikings’ is a real team, a true ensemble. It’s a mad, eclectic, great bunch! But we support each other and trust each other completely. There are no egos.
‘Stargate SG-1’ is one of Sci Fi’s sure-fire hits. It’s got one of the best ensemble casts on television and one of the best production teams as well.
I most enjoyed doing ‘Whites,’ a show BBC2 cancelled after one series. It had some beautiful, witty, charming scripts and was one of the most positive ensemble pieces I’ve done. I thought the end result was really special. I’m still confused about why it didn’t last longer.
Luckily enough, I’ve been able to work with Ava DuVernay, who was able to rally this large ensemble and get us all on the same page for ‘Selma.’
A lot of times, working in stand up, youre by yourself ,and so you just have to rely on yourself only but I like working in an ensemble.
Honestly, ‘Parenthood’ was not what I planned. I didn’t plan to do another drama. I didn’t plan to play a single mom. I didn’t plan, even, to do an ensemble show. But I hadn’t found anything I liked as much. I just connected to the show.
‘7th Heaven’ was a big ensemble cast, so everyone would get a turn. Basically, I’d get a script that focused on my character and think, ‘Oh, I’m working every day this week.’ The mindset was I’ve got more to do, so I had to focus.
I feel like the songs that I write are best when they are performed by an ensemble, rather than by one solo instrument.
It’s refreshing to see a woman who can artfully weave her individuality into an otherwise safe ensemble.
All my voice training comes from choir and small ensemble singing.
‘Desperate Housewives’ is an ensemble cast, where I played a tertiary character. I made a lot of great friends, but that show didn’t keep me very busy.
I know that John Adams has had a very hard time directing French ensembles.
We both [me and Eugene Levy] come from the same place. Eugene did most of his work in SCTV and ensemble situations. I’d done all this theater work before I got into movies and ensemble situations. We both learned how to develop characters and interact with other people in a unique and economic sort of way.
When I listen to a record, or when I’m making a record, I listen to everything. I listen to the drums, the bass, the voice, the arrangement. I listen to the whole piece as an ensemble.
Ensemble is hard to do. It’s like 3-D chess.
The best decision I made at NYU was joining the Shakespeare ensemble. It literally led to everything I did after that. It gave me the kind of confidence I really needed.
I hadn’t done just a straight-out comedy in a long time, just letting an ensemble do really good character acting, having them carry the movie as in my earlier pictures.
As an actor, I’m always playing solitary characters. But as a director, I’m always making ensemble movies, which focus on lots of people’s lives and how they intertwine.
I think ‘Lost in Space’ certainly shifted from being an ensemble adventure series about a family facing the unknown alien environment to this trio of comedians – Dr. Smith, the Robot, and Will Robinson being the straight guy. It definitely changed its tone over the three seasons and 84 episodes we did.
The talent of historians lies in their creating a true ensemble out of facts which are but half true.
I’m always having to check myself and make sure I’m not over singing in some ensemble thing that will render me unavailable for participation in the stuff where it really counts.
Peter Hall was just organizing the Royal Shakespeare Company. It was going to be an ensemble, it was going to be in repertory, it was going to have a home in London as well as in the Midlands, and all of those things were happening at that time.
‘Friends’ was a true ensemble. There really was no star of the show.
Even though I started playing the violin when I was four, my early chamber music experiences helped build a strong foundation for my solo work, as all music is a rich language and dialogue that is shared on stage, no matter what the size of the ensemble.
I’ve been lucky enough to be part of some great ensembles in theater – I’d been doing theater since college.
I’ve appeared in those kind of films and have great fun doing it, and I’m always up for a challenge. I think with things like Mission: Impossible and Star Trek, those things are such an ensemble, it’s not like I’m Ethan Hunt. I’m Benji. I’m the guy that does the computer business. I know my place.
I never started out to be an action actor. I was an ensemble actor. “Rocky” was an ensemble film. “F.I.S.T.” was an ensemble. “Paradise Alley” was an ensemble.
I was very pleased you know, and I was afraid that I might stick out, but I didn’t. My happiest thing about that picture is that I proved that American actors can speak as well and also fit in with an ensemble like that.
One of the ingredients that made Cheers work so well was the great ensemble of actors we had. That’s the case with any good series.
The great thing about space films generally, with the exception of Apollo 13, is that big stars tend not to work in space and I think that’s because space is an equaliser. It makes everyone the same really and suits an ensemble cast and actors who are prepared to work with each other.
I’ve never directed before, so I need to make sure that people know that I can. The movie that I’ve written, ‘The Sophisticates,’ is a… small ensemble comedy and I hope it’s charming and funny.
‘Ten Year’ was probably – I might say ‘Ten Year’ was my favorite filming experience of anything I ever worked on. It was totally different from ‘Moneyball’ in that it was a small budget, independent movie. It had a giant ensemble of actors, all of whom were basically working for free.
If you’ve only got one horn playing, I still want the sense of ensemble.
My father gave me formal education in raagdari. He died in Lahore in 1964 when I was 13. I was in the tenth year of school, and my father’s brother took me into the qawwali ensemble and started giving me formal education in qawwali.
I like ensemble shows.
I’ve always considered myself an ensemble girl, meaning I was always cast in the ensemble.
I love being in these ensemble comedy movies. I love working with a bunch of people and coming up with, you know, How can we make this moment funnier?
I would act whether or not I was paid. I would be involved in ensemble groups. I would have the desire to tell stories.
Part of an ensemble show is realizing it’s a collaboration. It’s like a symphony. Everybody takes their turn, but it’s really the collective group that matters.
When you are a part of an all ensemble kind of thing, with many composers in one film, you get the freedom to work on one, or maybe two songs, and experiment without thinking too much about the film.
All the others arts are lonely. We paint alone–my picture, my interpretation of the sky. My poem, my novel. But in music–ensemble music, not soloism–we share. No altruism this, for we receive tenfold what we give.
Even on a large ensemble where their parts are relatively small – because having ten main characters obviously affects their screen time – the thing that attracts great actors is when there is that challenge to get some reality into something.
The ‘DuckTales’ ensemble is clearly critical. There’s the core set of characters – Scrooge, Webby, Launchpad, Huey, Dewey and Louie… Plus there’s Gyro and Duckworth and Mrs. Beakley and so on. The cast is huge.
The toute ensemble was such as to make polished society blush, when compared with these savages.
I had begun my professional career when I was 9 years old at the Cleveland Play House, and it was a very specific, real theater sort of like, you know, in England and the Berliner Ensemble – very devoted people. And I thought the theater was the greatest place I had ever been, and that’s what I wanted to do.
The architect should strive continually to simplify; the ensemble of the rooms should then be carefully considered that comfort and utility may go hand in hand with beauty.
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.
The Emmy should be an ensemble award, too. I kept howling at everyone else’s performances.
If you are in an improv jazz ensemble or a small chamber group, you learn to think fast on your feet and how to be flexible and to collaborate and compromise, and that may yield a creative outcome.
A lot of the shows I have done, I’m often the only black guy and I have often had to play second or third fiddle. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it is a strong ensemble cast. But I feel people have overlooked my abilities.
A lot of the things I’ve enjoyed the most and that I think have been the best are ensembles.
For me, ‘Mary Magdalene’ is the most beautiful film I’ve shot with the performances and the script and the actors and ensemble. But not one saw it.
Saturday mornings in spring should always start with a jolt of dance by Paul Taylor performed by Taylor 2. The touring ensemble, an adjunct of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, offered a rare New York performance… It was an impressive event, presented by a group of highly individualistic dancers.
I had studied at the NYU School of the Arts under Lloyd Richards, who also worked with the Negro Ensemble Company.
Personality-wise, I’m much more suited to be in a band and part of an ensemble than I am to lead. I never have been comfortable with the leading thing.
It is not easy to make an ensemble film – if there is one person with the wrong attitude, you are jacked.
I quit it because at the end of seven years in an ensemble show with one leader, I thought: ‘I will be known as ‘Dallas’ starring Larry Hagman and the cast.’ And at this point in my career – I was in my mid to late 30s – I thought, ‘Now is the time when it’s hottest for me to go out and establish my thing.’
The whole period has taught me that I enjoy being part of an ensemble rather than just a front man. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy that too, but I get more enjoyment out of really listening to everyone.
In 1993, I retired from the Art Ensemble of Chicago to devote myself full time to Buddhist studies and to the practice of Aikido.
The most important part of filmmaking is the collaboration and the ensemble element of it. If you just all focus on the task and the work and try and make the best film that you can then people will come.
I don’t like the term ‘ensemble.’ It’s bland to me.
We want an ensemble of stars, not comets.
I don’t mind sharing my success with a super star or an entire ensemble cast. I have no qualms being part of a film that has super stars.
The less people that are on the stage, there’s more drama. You start living the music with each individual. When you see a band with ten people on stage, just a huge ensemble, you don’t know who’s doing what.
I love working with ensemble groups of actors.
I think women are different, and I think having them in the room is crucial to a family comedy, ensemble comedy, television comedy, where half the eyeballs on your show are women.
In the early days of jazz, it was ensemble music: everybody playing all together. Nobody really stood out.
I don’t feel guilty about the music I love. If you feel guilty about something you dig, then you should stop feeling guilty about it. One of my favorite albums to this day is the 10th anniversary ensemble cast of ‘Les Miserables,’ the ultimate cast recording, and it is still something I love listening to top to bottom.
I gravitate to ensemble comedy.
I don’t have any tattoos – I live vicariously through my sister, Langley, who has many. If I can’t stick to one ensemble, I don’t think I could stick to one tattoo.
If you get a show named after you, and then play another character, that’s fine. But if you do a show that’s an ensemble show like… MASH, then you’re in trouble.
The challenge, and also what I like most about a big ensemble movie, is that all actors have completely different processes and all of them prefer scenes to be done a different way.
I do more of ensemble casting, roles that are different. In one film I’m playing a villain, in the other I’m playing a son.
When I was doing ensemble theater and comedy work, I felt I had some talents. But when I started doing my shows in Berkeley and found that I could be funny on my own, I was shocked.
‘BUMP’ deals with all the joys and trauma that comes with a woman’s changing body and the struggles of going through labor. It’s a beautiful ensemble cast of wonderful people, and I get emotional just being part of the process.
I’d love to have my own TV show, in the way that Julianna Margulies has ‘The Good Wife,’ or a lovely ensemble show, like ‘Six Feet Under.’
I love the camaraderie that develops on film sets and ensemble casts. It’s really special.
I don’t have the time to tell you all the things I’ve learned from this cast. It’s an extraordinary ensemble because we all support each other so well.
All conventional wisdom has an element of truth to it, but good design requires more than an element of truth – it requires an ensemble of correct assumptions and valid calculations.
‘Bhuj’ has a strong ensemble and I play a Sikh fighter pilot in it.
When I was in college, the Roots, the sui generis ensemble from Philadelphia encompassing all manner of black music, played a show on campus.
It is not together, but the ensemble is perfect.
I think for a lot of artists, if you’re lucky enough to have a kind of career, especially toward the end, you start to think about what the whole ensemble looks like. It’s the whole that counts. The parts are given, but you don’t know how the whole thing’s going to look when it’s all put together.
The quality of instruction is very high at the Silverlake Conservatory of Music. It’s not about being a rock star. It’s about the fundamentals of music, theory and technique on a particular instrument, and playing in an ensemble or private setting.
Denzel Washington is a big Hollywood movie star now. But he started out as an actor in the Negro Ensemble company.
Picture-taking is an ensemble art-like theater.
I like being the lead but I like being in an ensemble. There are different challenges and dilemmas with both. If you’re carrying a film, there’s a certain weight, but there are a lot of scenes to explore the character. When you’re in an ensemble, you have to convey the entire character in a limited number of scenes.
I’ve always been attracted to ensembles. When I started doing plays in high school and in college, I always loved the community aspect of it. I loved these little families that would develop.
When you go and you tell a studio and that it’s an ensemble, that doesn’t mean a lot to them. But, my hats off to Paramount and Warner Brothers, because when we told them that these were the kinds of people that we want to get, across the board, they were unbelieveably enthusiastic about it.
And then ‘Wanderlust,’ Ken Marino and David Wain wrote the funniest – they’re amazing. That was one of my most favorite creative experiences; we’re all up at that commune, a small group of people. Everyone was funnier than the next. It was an amazing ensemble feeling. Everyone gave and took in the best way.
I actually kind of prefer working with an ensemble. It’s just cool to be surrounded by such great people.
The reason why lovers and their mistresses never tire of being together is that they are always talking of themselves.
[Fr., Ce qui fait que amants et les maitresses ne s’ennuient point d’etre ensemble; c’est qu’ils parlent toujours d’eux memes.]
[Fr., Ce qui fait que amants et les maitresses ne s’ennuient point d’etre ensemble; c’est qu’ils parlent toujours d’eux memes.]
Hamlet’ is a real ensemble piece: you have to realise that he’s just one part of the story.
It was very much about performances, the whole ensemble thing was just great – everybody working together. Sometimes it didn’t feel like a film set. It wasn’t technically driven, it was very, very enjoyable.
No rock and roll ensemble, however inspired, can deliver the kind of musical variety obtainable with the resources of 110 instruments.
I firmly believe that 90 percent of the confusion that women feel when they are attempting to put together an occasion-specific ensemble is caused by fear: fear of breaking the ‘fashion rules,’ fear of violating some long-forgotten tradition, or the basic fear of looking bad.
When we improvise freely – that is, without a structure – it tends to sound more like 20th century classical music, more like a classical ensemble improvising, as opposed to a free-jazz group, where you’re more used to hearing saxophones honking.
When I was really young, I was reluctant to be perceived as bossy, and I thought that working with an ensemble was about generating a consensus all the time. Later on, I realized that it’s actually generous to know what you want and to tell people what you want – actors, crew, everyone.
I love television, and I get so spoiled because I’m coming from such an amazing ensemble in ‘Hamilton’ to such an amazing ensemble on ‘Bull.’
‘SCTV’ was the concept of a group ensemble doing satirical things. ‘Saturday Night Live’s sketches were broader than ours, more universal.
It was very much about performances, the whole ensemble thing was just great – everybody working together. Sometimes it didn’t feel like a film set. It wasn’t technically driven, it was very, very enjoyable
A lot of times, working in stand up, you’re by yourself, and so you just have to rely on yourself only… but I like working in an ensemble.
I’ve always preferred Marvel over DC. I just relate to their characters better. I mean look at Wolverine, at first he was just a bit player in an ensemble cast. Now he’s the only reason people read X-Men. Just like me and Scrubs.
After being in a ‘professional rock ensemble,’ there’s a great joy in making music with friends, without any release plan.
We sailed to Italy on the Andrea Doria, a year before it sank, and Zoot (Sims) and I played a lot of ping-pong on deck during that trip. Zoot sparked that [Gerry Mulligan’s] sextet in an extraordinary way, soloing with joyous abandon and infusing the ensemble parts with his special brand of swing.
I always want to be a part of ensembles. Besides it feeling safer, I think it’s a more fun environment to work in. To have a bunch of people collaborating on something, it takes the pressure off of each individual.
I was commuting three to four hours a day, I had jobs for much of it. But I was always involved in going to some ensemble someplace. Taking my lessons at the local Jewish community center on Staten Island.
When an ensemble is really tight or playing as one, it’s a transcendental experience. It is spiritual. It goes beyond the ensemble. Ray and I and Robby and Jim were pretty tight, musically and spiritually.
I’ve always been a good ensemble player.
The thing about ‘Next to Normal’ is that it really is an ensemble piece for six actors. They are all asked to do very important things in the show, and I think all six are equal in terms of telling the story.
[ 1600 Penn] is an ensemble comedy about a family. It just happens to utilize the fact that my character is now being forced into this world as a jumping off point. But, in no way is it the crux of the series. It’s simply an introduction to the world.
When you have an ensemble where characters pair off so easily, it becomes extremely isolating in the story world. You can end up with two actors who have not seen each other face to face all season long.
In ’92, I got my first Broadway show as a performer – ‘Crazy for You.’ I was in the ensemble. In fact, I was in eight Broadway shows as a dancer. Seven of them were original shows. That’s how I learned to create something from the ground up.
The emphasis in each piece is on building a whole, totally integrated structure. In doing this, we try to carry on – in ensemble as well as solo sections – the mood of a jazz soloist. I mean that principle of kinetic improvisation that keeps a jazz solo building.
‘Big Love’ was originally an ensemble song, but it’s done now as a single guitar piece.
I’ve never done a [Berthold] Brecht. In the 1960s when the Berliner Ensemble came over [to England] with Helene Weigel [Brecht’s second wife], I saw all the Berlin actors. It was an amazing time, very exciting early 1960s.
My job apart from anything else is to build an ensemble composed of actors who all come from a secure place so that they can all work together to make the film.
I think typically you’d start in a supporting role or an ensemble role, or maybe even an off-Broadway role. So to come into a lead role on Broadway, especially taking over a role that has been played by two phenomenal actors in the past, that is some large shoes to fill.
When you’re on an ensemble show and you’re messing around with everybody every day and you’re not in every scene, and then all of a sudden you’re in every scene, it’s rough.
I’m only involved really right now with the Art Ensemble of Chicago and the Brass Fantasy.
[Students] they did the sonic meditations, I would observe them in their ensembles, and the ensembles improved incredibly. So I knew I had something to do and something to say.
I’ve done a lot of ensemble work, and I like that.
In the first two projects I’ve worked on professionally, I’ve been doing ensemble work with other young women, which I think is pretty cool. And they both were directed by and written by women. It’s been a wonderful experience of real ensemble support and women lifting each other up, and I feel really lucky for that.
What attracted to me about it was the cast. Working on ‘New Girl’ – I like working with an ensemble.
Working on ‘Downton Abbey’ is amazing, but there’s an ensemble cast of between 18 and 21 actors. With ‘Love Life,’ there are two couples and a few other key characters. As a smaller unit, you’ve got to take more responsibility – at the same time, you can have more ownership of the direction it’s going in.
Well that’s what Andy wore to bed. You know, the oxford button-down Brooks Brothers shirt that he’s been wearing all day and his big long socks. He’d just take off his jeans and his boots and go to bed. Then he’d change into a fresh ensemble after he had breakfast the next morning.
I prefer live musicians whenever possible. And I tailor the ensemble to what is appropriate for the film and the score I’m writing.
I had a professor in graduate school who told us, ‘Know what you’re good at, and do that thing.’ And I thought, ‘Hands down, I’m an ensemble girl. I’m a fierce ensemble girl. I am dependable.’ I was never seen for the ingenue or the leading lady.
At its core, ‘Heroes’ is an ensemble character drama with genre elements.
I learn so much more in an ensemble movie.
It’s one thing to be a perfectionist when you’re alone, but when you’re trying to make it work in an ensemble that’s a whole different deal.
I had dance training from a very young age, 3 or 4… It taught me how to present myself, about preparation and working in an ensemble, and its something that carries with me to this day.
I feel like Josh, Michelle and Adam were all team players, who wanted to be a part of an ensemble.
It is tough, every time. The ensemble is great. I would always ask Andrew, “Is this how Hollywood is? Is this how every TV show and movie is?” And he was like, “No, dude. This is not. Do not get used to this. Be thankful that this is how your first gig is.”
I’m not a great director or an auteur; I’m an ensemble director. I do think I can get wonderful performances out of actors.
I had dance training from a very young age, 3 or 4… It taught me how to present myself, about preparation and working in an ensemble, and it’s something that carries with me to this day.
We opened a theater in 2006 called Loft Ensemble in Sherman Oaks. And we write our own plays and do goofy characters and pack a whopping 20 people per night to watch our work.
Picture-taking is an ensemble art – like theater.
The large ensemble cast and the fact that it was being shot in New York, combined with a lot of strong positive images as far as African Americans are concerned, really turned me on to The Best Man.
Maybe it’s just my improv and sketch background, but I’m a lot more comfortable in a group. I like sharing focus and populating an ensemble.
I’ve been singing with Roomful of Teeth since the beginning in 2009, and it’s a really mind-blowingly wonderful vocal ensemble. Very brave and very creative, and they’re some of my closest friends.
If you’re playing live, I like to think of the ensemble, whether it’s the duet or a forty piece orchestra, as one person. And the entire audience, whether it’s twelve people or twelve thousand at Madison Square Garden, is the other person. The two of you are going to dance together tonight.
Sometimes jobs are jobs, and when you guest star on television, you’re also working with a guest director. You’re the new kid on the block, because everyone else is already in the ensemble.
I would love to do a small indie comedy, like a Wes Anderson movie or, like, an ensemble comedy like ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ or ‘Little Miss Sunshine.’ I like comedies like that, that have a lot of heart and are about family dynamics.
I think that, ultimately, there are so many characters in G.I. Joe that even all the iterations – the comics and the different cartoons and everything – have been a big ensemble. Lots of crossing storylines and stuff.
It’s so rare to have an ensemble cast of women.
I was never really interested in an operatic post, but I took on the Bastille because it seemed a unique opportunity to build an opera ensemble from scratch, and to deal with all the disciplines that go into opera – the music, the staging and the singing – in an interrelated way.