by Banjo Paterson (1864-1941)
Published in The Bulletin, 8 April 1893
The actor struts his little hour,
Between the limelight and the band;
The public feel the actors power,
Yet nothing do they understand
Of all the touches here and there
That make or mar the actors part,
They never see, beneath the glare,
The artist striving after art.
To them it seems a labour slight
Where nought of study intervenes;
You see it in another light
When once youve been behind the scenes.
For though the actor at his best
Is, like a poet, born not made,
He still must study with a zest
And practise hard to learn his trade.
So, whether on the actors form
The stately robes of Hamlet sit,
Or as Macbeth he rave and storm,
Or plays burlesque to please the pit,
Tis each and all a work of art,
That constant care and practice means
The actor who creates a part
Has done his work behind the scenes.
About the Author
See our page on Banjo Paterson. Includes a linked list of all his writing available on our website.