Arthur Penn: Sacrifices Must Be Made

Arthur Penn directing Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty in Bonnie & Clyde.

Sacrifices must be made. There is no way around this. Sadly, I find the very idea of sacrifice today repellant to everyone. There is no fast or easy way to get the work or to do it well. If you cannot develop the patience or the strength to live with very little--attention, money, encouragement--then I would suggest that you find a more stable line of work. It has never been easy, and it is now harder than ever to work consistently and well.

But you do it.

There are people raising funds and working for four or five hundred dollars a week in some hole of a theatre because they believe in what they are doing. They care for the work. As long as you care for the work, I think you are better able to handle the lack. But that could just be my way of looking at things.

As long as you are looking for the projected outcome of whatever you're doing, you're going to be miserable. Pour the fantasies and the dreaming into the work, not the life. Exult in the work, which is a reward in itself. Then wait for the rewards which come--I do believe--for work done well.

© 2013 James Grissom 


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