Elaine Stritch on Judy Garland: The Next Challenge

Interview with Elaine Stritch
Conducted by James Grissom
New York City

I don't have the talent of Judy Garland, but we shared a lot of the fear of sharing the talent we had; of taking care of the talent that had been left in our possession. God, we were both so scared, all the time. And we both loved to perform. We both loved talent, and we talked about it like thieves after a good heist. We both craved and idolized talent, and we wanted to be so good--so damned good--but we were always terrified of the next rehearsal, the next challenge, the next performance. What we enjoyed was the conclusion--when we knew we had gotten it right or fucked it up or gotten a little closer to that special place where the work becomes as good as we can manage it. And then the cycle began again. Some of the luckiest people in the world are those who lived when Judy Garland was working and performing and surprising us. And the all-time luckiest ones were those who knew her, who had her as a friend, and as a buddy terrified right along with you.

©  2014  James Grissom


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