If you read this blog, or attend #storycraft chat, you’ll know that I have a gluttonous relationship with the process stories of creative people. I’m almost allergic to gossip, but, for each awards season, The Hollywood Reporter sits down with the nominated writers, show runners, writer’s agents, directors and actors and interviews them, and – unless a particularly big ego gets in there and takes over – it’s often fascinating.
Today, with lunch, I was watching the Drama Actor Emmy Roundtable, and (at 56:15) two of my favourite actors, from many of my favourite shows and movies had an exchange which resulted in a profound thing being expressed in a simple way*.
In response to Mandy Patinkin asking the group to share the best piece of advice they could offer, based on their years of experience, to someone just starting out – in any art form – Jeff Daniels said simply: “Go get good.” He went on to say that fame and its trappings may or may not come, and go, but “The only thing you can control is how good you are, so go get good.”
Now, I’ve never been in danger of hankering after fame or its trappings, but I’m going to be re-watching this any time I worry that people will wonder what’s taken me so long in between sticking my head out of my office door and offering up my work – because, whether I’ve succeeded or not, I’ve been at my desk trying to “get good.”
*credit to Bukowski