Tennessee Williams on Fear

Interview with Tennessee Williams
Conducted by James Grissom
New Orleans

Fear serves a purpose, but fear is greatest when it is vanquished--even if only for a short period of time--and you can then make your moves, tell your story, dance your dance. Fear is the shadow-boxer over there in the corner, all the time, waiting to lead you to the floor and have its way with you. And that's ultimately fine, because fear makes you think and makes you study and makes you yell your story a little louder to overcome the murmurs of the fear. But when you write or act or dance or show up at a friend's wedding or a friend's bedside, you have to have shown fear the door; you have to have overcome it and be calm and in control of whatever it is you feel compelled to do. Fear has its place, and it is our job to put it there all the time. The place is one of usefulness to us and others.

©  2014  James Grissom


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