I took a break from revisions to catch a recent episode of Inside the Actors Studio with Hugh Jackman. Much to my delight (other than it being Hugh Jackman, hello!) was how the advice he gave pertained not just to acting, but also to writing (and creativity in general).
The part that struck me most (probably because I’m striving toward “perfection” right now) was when he said:
“I’m sure you all relate to this. You do a great show, you can’t help wanting the next night to be better. It’s what drives us. It’s this long kind of road to some weird idea of perfection, which we know does not exist… Actually we’re constantly wanting to better ourselves. I truly believe the job of an actor and the drive of an actor is simulating the internal journey in life, which is to get deeper and deeper into our understanding of who we are. And that actually through acting and through actually releasing and through breathing and through connecting with other actors and allowing yourself and the story to connect with the audience, something greater can happen. So there is this constant thing going on which is not just ambition, not just ‘I want to be better’… It’s actually a reflection of what we want in life, which is for our experience to open up…. How do you get better? You go deeper.”
Replace “writer” for “actor” in that quote, and you see how it’s the same.
Good stuff, that. Important to keep in mind, wherever you are in your journey.
Here’s a full video of the episode. The above quote starts at the 7:11 mark, but I encourage you to watch the whole thing. It’s full of great advice. (And also, it’s Hugh Jackman!)