“We have our Arts so we won’t die of Truth.” –Nietzsche

Steve Jobs on creativity:

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.”

That’s how I feel about my acting. When I was asked how exactly I go about playing a 14-year-old, what my “process” is… I can’t really explain. Basically I do a lot of thinking, a lot of feeling, and eventually I’ll just find and think something thatclicks, that makes sense, that feels and seems right. Sometimes I feel guilty I don’t do enough “work” when I’m working on a role, but I think it’s just that the work I do is more internal, less obvious to the naked eye. I am a synthesizer of feelings and thoughts… as my director told me during tech, what he likes about my acting is that he can “always see what I am thinking.”

Anyway, back in NYC. Parents fly home today. I stayed over with them in their little rental house in Jersey last night after a fancy dinner out. I always feel a little guilty having my parents buy nice dinners, but a part of me thinks they like treating me. I also tried to make clear how grateful I was that they came all the way out to the dreaded Jersey Shore to support me– it is NOT their scene. They said, “We’d go anywhere.” But I hope they heard that what I said was true… I know it was a sacrifice of time, money, and effort, especially to take my grandmother, and I am grateful. I am proud that they are my family, and I think they are proud of me.

Henry James on art:

“We work in the dark — we do what we can — we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.”

And finally, Jonathan Franzen on the chronically depressed David Foster Wallace (who eventually killed himself):

“Once, when we were driving near Stinson Beach, in California, I’d stopped to give him a telescope view of a long-billed curlew, a species whose magnificence is to my mind self-evident and revelatory. He looked through the scope for two seconds before turning away with patent boredom. ‘Yeah,’ he said with his particular tone of hollow politeness, ‘it’s pretty.’ In the summer before he died, sitting with him on his patio while he smoked cigarettes, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the hummingbirds around his house and was saddened that he could, and while he was taking his heavily medicated afternoon naps I was learning the birds of Ecuador for an upcoming trip, and I understood the difference between his unmanageable misery and my manageable discontents to be that I could escape myself in the joy of birds and he could not.”

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