Transformation | Juilliard Drama 50: The Readiness is All

–The experience of the school is really
putting up magnifying glass on who you are and then expanding who you are, kind
of beyond, your idea of yourself. –Nobody knows what’s gonna happen.
You think you know, but you don’t know. –So your first couple years, you’re just like,
you know, they’re…you feel like you can’t do anything right, which is part of
the process. –I feel like every year I’m going through
the same process at the same time,
but hopefully a step better. –And of course this was, you know, my
teacher Ralph Zito, and he looks at me and he goes, “Please suck. I’m so
tired of watching you try to get it right. If you would let yourself make a mistake,
you’d be surprised how quickly you would grow.” –I was in a meeting with
Moni Yakim. He just looked at me and he said, “You know, nobody
cares about Superman. It’s not until Superman loses his
strength that anybody gives a damn.” –You go through a kind of crucible while
you’re here. You have to learn to sort of shed your former self and become someone
new, and that’s a very arduous task. –I just began to relax, and it started to
make sense, and all that intensity and craziness and weirdness and freakiness
sort of faded away. –I don’t really think I knew
what listening was before the teachers pointed out to me that maybe I
wasn’t doing it. –Is it painful? Sometimes…and
maybe that’s where people get the idea of this being a painful experience.
Maybe? But, like, it’s painful to be born. It’s painful to grow, you know, but it’s
good, otherwise we’d all be babies. We’d all be, like you know, stuck up in the
womb there. Scared to come out.
It’s so bright out there! –I think that the Juilliard experience
has helped me move through the world–in
and out of my creative life–in a way that’s given me a different level of
confidence. –They taught me how to let go,
and be free in my body, and in doing so, I feel like
I learned how to be free in my life. –At the beginning was tough for me, I
love it now. And it has to do with the program here. It’s the…when I think back
and the discipline instilled in me for theater has been–it’s remarkable. –You have to trust who you are and what
you’re bringing to it. –I always try to see if I can
make it a little better and not always just rest on a laurel and think
“that was fine,” because there’s got to be somewhere else I could go in there. –They created such an amazing environment
for you to be exactly who you are and, and to kind of go, “It’s okay” and
“let’s be your best self.” –What people want to see is
your essence, who you really are. And all the tools are meant to help you
get out of the way of that, to the part of you that is the most true, and we have
to all accept that we are enough. –And it really speaks to this place as an
organic building, where it is not dead. It’s quite alive. –When you go through
a challenge, you…you come out stronger, and that’s the point.
That’s why you sign up to go through this, even though–even if you don’t
really know that at the time. Your body, your spirit knows that
challenge is what you’re looking for.


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