This first one is a reminder. I have to read it every so often to get a shot of courage.
“It is not the critic that counts. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marked by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasm and great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” — Teddy Roosevelt
This is for actors and speakers, but especially speakers. I offer to you the actor’s life – what it is about them that makes their work and their experience important for you to examine and include in your own creative endeavors.
If someone asks why you do what you do, tell them this:
“Actors are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the Earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in 1 year than most people do in a lifetime. Every day, actors face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get “real jobs,” and their own fear that they’ll never work again. Every day they have to ignore the possibility that the vision to which they have dedicated their lives is a pipe dream. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life – the cars, the family, the house, the nest egg.”
“But they stay true to their dream, in spite of sacrifices. Why? Because actors are willing to give their entire lives to a moment – to that line, that laugh, that gesture or that interpretation that will stir the audience’s soul. Actors are beings who have tasted life’s nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another person’s heart. In that instant, they are as close to magic, God and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.”— David Ackert
“… I never understood why people get into such a state about nudity. For God’s sake, it’s much, much more difficult and revealing, and incredible, to show your soul, and that’s what you’ve got to be willing to do. Why anyone should want to be an actor, without being prepared to do that, I have no idea.” — Eileen Atkins
And this can never be said enough. Too many of us focus on what doesn’t work about us and don’t treat ourselves with the love and respect we give others.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” — The Buddha
♦ The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves. ~ Carl Jung
♦ When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college – that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me, incredulous, and said, “You mean they forget?” ~ Howard Ikemoto
♦ Art… does not take kindly to facts, is helpless to grapple with theories, and is killed outright by a sermon. ~ Agnes Repplier, Points of View, 1891
♦ Artistic growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness. The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is. ~ Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark, 1915
♦ Any great work of art… revives and re-adapts time and space, and the measure of its success is the extent to which it makes you an inhabitant of that world – the extent to which it invites you in and lets you breathe its strange, special air. ~ Leonard Bernstein, What Makes Opera Grand?
♦ Each time an actor acts he does not hide; he exposes himself. ~ Rodney Dangerfield
♦ Bunny slippers remind me of who I am. You can’t get a swelled head if you wear bunny slippers. You can’t lose your sense of perspective and start acting like a star or a rich lady if you keep on wearing bunny slippers. Besides, bunny slippers give me confidence because they’re so jaunty. They make a statement; they say, ‘Nothing the world does to me can ever get me so far down that I can’t be silly and frivolous.’ If I died and found myself in Hell, I could endure the place if I had bunny slippers. ~ Dean Koontz
♦ With any part you play, there is a certain amount of yourself in it. There has to be, otherwise it’s just not acting. It’s lying. ~ Johnny Depp
♦ When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap. ~ Cynthia Heimel