Lightly Child, Lightly

You will recall the young age, when you realized that you wanted to act or write or paint or dance. You’re very young, and everything is a dream waiting to be fulfilled, and everyone who has created something that moved or amused or changed you is a hero, an idol, someone to emulate. Some people never get past this phase, and they will never believe that anyone–no matter how great–is ever as talented or worthy as those childhood idols.

This is one form of artistic suicide, and I see it often. You cannot allow your standards to calcify at that tender and impressionable age, set by what you loved in your bedroom when you knew nothing and furiously felt everything. Those loves and influences will be your foundation, the scaffolding upon which you add everything else, but it cannot be the end of your development.

There is then the realization, through the duck press that is the professional theatre, when you realize how much you do not know and how many things you cannot do or do well.
You have two choices: You can deny the reality of your situation and look upon those who try to shape you or educate you as imbeciles or enemies, or you can look at yourself brutally and honestly and try to become the best artist you can be
. An awful lot of people, the majority, sadly,-choose the former route, and they rail against the theatre or film or dance, and they maintain that they are so special that they cannot be understood by those who are sell-outs or favored or compromised.

—  Elia Kazan, from “Elia Kazan: Artistic Suicide” in Follies of God by James Grissom


Notes:

  • Quote Source: Wait-What? Via Follies of God. Eliza Kazan portrait via Frank Beacham’s Journal.
  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 6:51 a.m. May 8, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.
  • Kazan writes: “I don’t move unless I have some empathy with the basic theme.”
  • Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Comments

  1. Not good to calcify when young and certainly a lousy idea when getting old. That said, we do morph with age, finding value in the living and refusing to let go.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This applies to everything in life. Love it. 🤗

    ‘You have two choices: You can deny the reality of your situation and look upon those who try to shape you or educate you as imbeciles or enemies, or you can look at yourself brutally and honestly and try to become the best artist you can be!’

    Liked by 1 person

  3. so well said by one who knows firsthand and has lived it and seen it over and over again. the refusal to calcify and the growth and acceptance of reality and possibility, or the stubborn refusal to do so as we go through life, impacts everything.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “You have two choices: You can deny the reality of your situation and look upon those who try to shape you or educate you as imbeciles or enemies, or you can look at yourself brutally and honestly and try to become the best artist you can be.”

    Need to frame this for the office!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. He writes so well. Great message for us all. Love this – (When we were young,)“ we knew nothing and furiously felt everything”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. well said, Elia…

    I’d be happy to be a sell-out 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There we three passions (besides wanting to be a mother) that I didn’t follow through on…you and your readers should guess what they were! & no writing never crossed my mind…( I studied business & real estate & lots of accounting & statistics), when I attended two Universities.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This: but it cannot be the end of your development – is so important. We never stop learning and improving. Or rather, we must not.

    Liked by 1 person

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