Time for some linkage!
:: Fast food is obviously not great for you in the best of conditions. So if you’re going to indulge in a burger like me, or (God help you) a burrito – pick a good one. Don’t waste the calories and cholesterol on a Jumbo Jack for crissakes. Treat yourself to whatever you feel is the best. (If I must have a fast food burger, it's Wendy's. McDonald's has its uses, but they're pretty limited to Shamrock Shakes.)
:: I will not describe the finale to you because like most of this film it has to be seen to be believed. Not the worst way I have spent 90 minutes of my life.
:: I was reading a bit about Scientology today, on account of a Gawker network article about someone who went in to take their personality test just to see what the results were. (Spoilers: She's a terrible person and she needs Scientology's help badly.)
:: One of the things I've always thought was interesting about Jim Henson is that he never really set out to become a puppeteer. He wasn't really that interested in the art of puppetry.
:: Taking a picture of a flower is a substitute for picking it. I get to pick flowers and leave them where they are, to live a little longer.
:: Great fear makes your choices clear: get the hell OUT OF THERE. But performers have to learn how to cope with nerves, work with them, embrace them, turn that stress into something positive and expressive. It sometimes takes years to master. This is why actors spend so much time in learning relaxation techniques. Because it’s all well and good to be brilliant alone in your bedroom, but when an audience is suddenly looking at you, shit starts happening to your body that you cannot control. You have to anticipate that: “Okay, I am going to have a dry mouth and throat, so make sure to drink a lot of water, and vocalize.” “Okay, I am going to be scared, so I need to find a way to concentrate and relax anyway.” Normally, this takes training. It takes practice.
People like clutch hitters are those who can come up BIG in very stressful moments. They do not lose their nerve. They are special people, different from most of us. Nerves do not affect them in a detrimental way. On the contrary: nerves are what make the clutch hitters do their best work. They perform their best when the stakes are high. (Longer excerpt than usual for one of these posts, but I couldn't figure out where to stop quoting Sheila. It all adds up.)
:: Sendak had a tart wit and a low tolerance for foolishness, but when it came to the people who were working for him, he never had a diva-ish moment. He was, to use a sarcastic phrase in a sincere way, good to the little people. And people just don't come much littler than a young woman calling you to ask if a school may do a staged reading of Where the Wild Things Are. (This wonderful post is almost two months old, but somehow I missed it, so it's still new.)
More next week!