Looking for Mabel Normand

Madcap Mabel Normand


November 27, 1921

New York Tribune


Acting as an Aid to

Development of the Character

Transcribed by

Marilyn Slater

May 2, 2012


Mabel Normand, whose picture, "Molly 0," now running at the Central Theater provides the pretty screen star with a characterization far out of line with the custard pie comedy with which she was so long associated, has evolved a very pretty philosophy in regard to acting and its influence upon the character.  Miss Normand thinks that every one should have a certain amount of acting to do, even if it is only amateur theatricals or school and college plays, as a means of character development and of eliminating undesirable tendencies, as well as of creating higher ideals.

"The contacts of everyday life," says Miss Normand, "give so few definite helps for growth. Acting is a definite help; it widens experience and stimulates imagination. More important still, it furnishes an outlet for all latent tendencies. For years I had to content myself with parts of the burlesque sort. Laughter and the ridiculous were my only outlets, and all the while I was longing to be something different, to show another side of my nature. I loved my work in ‘Mickey’ but even that left something within me unsatisfied, my love of romance. At last, when I had despaired of ever being able to show the public this romantic bent in my nature, came 'Molly 0,' and besides the pleasure of revealing this other side of my character I feel that my experience in this picture actually has enlarged my ideals."