If your love is true, strong and innocent it can pass through the lives of evil men and still remain pure.
DB - The Vagabond
Romeo: Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear
That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops, --
Juliet: O! swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,
That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.
Romeo: What shall I swear by?
Juliet" Do not swear at all;
Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self.
Is there such a thing as constancy? I believe there is, although I would certainly not hold myself up as an example of it. I have known and admired couples who have maintained a constant love affair through many decades of married life. I also knew a couple who got married to each other three times and divorced twice. There seems to be a wry consistency there. These days the news is filled with accounts of infidelity among the rich and famous, of sexual wickedness in high places (to paraphrase).
50 years ago I got married to the theatre. It took me many years to realize and understand that. Meanwhile, everything else, including my social life, took second place. I used to blame myself for that. I don't any more. Recently a woman said to me that she admired me for sticking with my career for so long, even through the hard, thin times. It's true that the life of an artist, particularly a performing artist can be hard on one's social and family life. Some make it work, some don't. For those who don't it means that people are going to get hurt along the way.
It may seem selfish and cruel, and it is. Make believe can carry one a long way. How long it does determines how many people get hurt. But eventually an artist has to come to understand himself well enough to know how not to fool himself and.others, and if he does, the cruelty will stop.
There were many moments in my life when I would step off the stage after a performance and say to myself "I love this. I love this more than life itself." And with that attitude nothing was going to stop me.
An actor cannot work alone. He is surrounded by people: other actors, designers, choreographers, stage managers, directors, managers, producers, critics. And some of them are "evil" men and women. Some of them will do everything they can to stop him, interfere with him, discourage him and bring him down. It comes with the trade.
An actor has to constantly fight for the right to do his work. But it's the imperturbable love of doing it that carries him through the attacks with grace and innocence so that his work is pure and strong. As far as I know there is no other way.
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