Words to Live By in 2020: The Stars Give Their Best Piece of Advice
As 2019 comes to a close, BroadwayWorld is bringing you the stars' best advice, to give you a bit of inspiration for the new year.
BroadwayWorld's own Richard Ridge ends many of his Backstage interviews by posing the question: what is the best bit of advice that you've been given, either personally or professionally, that you live by?"
"If you trust one specific person in your career, you can really just get to know that person and work with them, and then you guys can both find great ideas, and great opportunities. I think being a family with the people you work with is incredibly important."
"Don't feel it's your job to know all of the answers in the room. In a way, you need to create a room where you can get the answers from somebody else so that they can take ownership."
Holley Fain - "Theatre is the most important kind of art that I can do. I am no longer interested in saying no to a theatre job because of something else that might come alone that is more lucrative or flashier or busier. Theatre is always so worth it for me."
Emily Bergl - "Acting is like giving birth to something creatively, and giving birth is a painful process. You learn as you grow as an actor that pain is a part of the process. So it's not like it stops, but you learn to accept it as part of your process."
Kiss Me, Kate
Kelli O'Hara - "Have something besides this. It can be punishing. Whether or not you're winning. Sometimes if you're winning it can be more punishing because there's pressure there, there's 'oh I must do this, I must deserve all of this somehow.' But when you look into the eyes of your loved one, your children, your best friend, your oldest friend, the one who's known you since before anything happened, whoever they are that make up your 'other.' When you look into their eyes and they don't need any of that from you, they need the real you. For me, it's my children, because they don't care about the rest of this. They don't care who I am, all they know is that I'm mommy. It puts everything into perspective for me. It made me a better artist because the pressure of this ego, fulfilling it all the time, I've got that. There's a balance. That balance is really important so we don't lose ourselves."
Will Chase - "For me, it's about enjoying that moment. Whatever that moment is. I have to remind myself, you get into the mindset of the next gig, the next thing, and it's important to do that. But as I get older, it's about enjoying this night and this moment on stage. Or I'm at home and enjoying this time. Life seems longer that way."
Corbin Bleu - "I never feel like I've won. The second I go 'I'm good' I feel like I've lost. There's always something to obtain. Once you get to that next step, you're always going 'What's next?' It is the curse of the actor or the performer of always maybe feeling like you haven't quite reached it yet, or you're not good enough."
Stephanie Styles - "I'm a big proponent of dreaming big but working really hard. Things don't just happen. That was definitely my journey here today, having those big dreams but knowing that the road will look different than you think it's going to be. There's a great quote where they say, 'keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground' and that's something I really like to live by. That's a quote from Newsies."
Amanda Green - "Staying in the moment in the day, and being grateful for what is in front of you, because there are so many gifts that we have. Being in the rehearsal room with these people was just fantastic. Hanging out with my husband and laughing is fantastic. Just being grateful for what's in front of you."
"Mary Beth Peil said to me, when we did Nine together, and I know this is a quote that is not attributed to her but I had never heard it before, she said to me, 'when you meet someone, they tell you exactly who you are, and you choose whether or not to believe them.' I was like 'yeah, yeah' and that's true."
George C. Wolfe
"My grandmother has a saying, just personally, about if you tell one lie, you're doing to tell two, which is brilliant. Once you start those lies, you're not going to just tell one. So, careful with the lying, which I love."
"Protect your joy. Don't let anyone, mama, daddy, lover, accountant, IRS, don't let anything contaminate your joy about the thing that you love. Don't let a bad review, don't let a horrible person you're working with...You have to work really ferociously. If somebody takes away your joy, you have to be careful because then resentment can set in, and then bitterness can set in, and bitterness eats talent. It eats it. I've seen it in people. It eats talent. I've worked with people who have so much rage. I'm an angry boy too but I use anger as fuel. I make sure that it does not get anywhere near the joy of the doing or the making or the discovering."
Rebecca Naomi Jones - "Try as much as you can to be a whole person. Work as hard as you can to be as prepared as you can for the work and for the job, or for the potential job. But also you're just going to be a better actor if you're a better human, if you're curious about all things and all people."
Damon Daunno - "Something that I've personally come to really understand and appreciate, is genuinely the art of not giving Fs and being true to yourself in that way. The world and the business is very tricky, and ups and downs, and sometimes things do not make sense, and you put your heart and soul into what you do. If it's in your heart and you really love it, don't ever stop. Be kind to everyone. Give absolutely zero Fs about expectations or pleasing people or thinking you need to fit in a box. Authenticity is rewarded and is, I think, the most engaging, watchable thing. If it's in your heart, don't ever stop, don't let it kill your kindness, and give zero Fs."
"It's my mom, really. Someone quoted it on Instagram recently and I thought 'where did they get that?' and it was my mother. 'If it's for you, it will not go by you.' Especially in our business, we live in such rejection. I do believe if something is for you, it will come for you, and it works that way. If it's not for you, it will go by you. Maybe you'll think 'I've lost out on that' but, I think Hamlet says it, but there's a providence on men's lives and women's lives, and I think you have to accept that providence."