Maureen Stapleton: Disappointment, Denial, and Love

Interview with Maureen Stapleton
Conducted by James Grissom
Lenox, Massachusetts

First of all, I don't trust anyone--any actress, particularly--who tells me they weren't disappointed in the theatre once they got in it and saw how its guts worked. I think they're lying. We are all disappointed in whatever field we go into, because we have all the dreams that propelled us toward this thing, and the reality is always a hard palm in the face. Nothing is perfect and most things are almost always struggling along, trying to get it right.

That's Number One.

I also don't trust--and will never hear of--any actress who doesn't get over this disappointment. We're not in this to have it be perfect: We're in this to get it right and to contribute to it so that it stays alive and gets better and tells its stories to people who need them. Take the pity party somewhere else and do your job. Make it better. Don't piss and moan about the theatre: Work like crazy toward maintaining the theatre that will drive other people toward it. Always remember that you saw and felt something that made you want to come here and do this, so it can't be all bad.

That's Number Two. I think. Is that a Number Two? Yeah, Get over it.

And Number Three: Love the fuck out of it and everyone in it. 

Disappointment, denial, and love. That's the theatre. That's life. Work with it.

© 2014 James Grissom


Popular Posts