Monday, November 3, 2008

Quote of the Day: Elizabeth Ashley

Stage legend Elizabeth Ashley, currently in previews at the Booth Theatre for the Broadway premiere of Horton Foote's Dividing the Estate, was interviewed by

In your memoir, you expressed ambivalence about your talent. Has that changed? Can you embrace the fact that you are an outstanding stage actress?

I think I’m good at my job. Because I look at it as labor. Life is a series of tasks, and ideally we find the tasks to which we are well suited. I understand what my task is on the stage. It’s not “look at me,” it is to serve the playwright and tell a story. I see myself as being part of something really ancient: Let me tell you my story, and if I do it well, maybe you’ll know a little more about being alive than you did before you heard my story. It seems to me that we are smugglers, and I’m a pretty good smuggler of ideas. I like that. But I am only at best a tool of the playwright. The ship is the playwright, the director is the captain of that ship and I am a damned good first mate.

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