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Chita Rivera Quotes

Chita RiveraChita Rivera quotes: words of wisdom from the actress.

“I don’t think you know how much you can do until you try.”

“You have to be passionate about things in your life.”

“I think you have to love what you do and have a passion for it.  You have to want to learn and want to tell these stories.  And you have to want to share the space and the magic.”

“If you’re fortunate enough to be in something… it’s God touching you on the shoulder: ‘I’m going to give you this.  Now just do what you have to do, and be worthy of it.'”

“You have to know what came before, whose shoulders you are standing on as you pursue a career.”

“You have to have the lows in your life so you can deal with them.”

“This is the terrible thing about fear.  It just holds you back.”

“Too many people give up because they feel somebody’s hit them too hard, somebody who couldn’t shine their shoes.  Creative people are sensitive.  Otherwise, they can’t feel, and they can’t show you your own feelings.”

“I have always loved a challenge.”

“I’m very competitive.  I do like to win.”

“It’s nice when your life goes that way and you’re climbing and climbing.  Gives you more courage.  I think being an example is the best thing you can be.  They have their own experiences and they form their own selves, but looking at somebody else and saying, ‘Well, if she did it, maybe I can do it.’  That’s good stuff, I think.  It keeps things moving forward.”

“I think a lot of it is… being lucky, being there at the right time, being prepared and it just being meant to be.  I tell the kids they’ve got to be prepared and available, and certainly dedicated.”

“You really never know what the next day brings you.”

“Looking back doesn’t have to be painful.”

“You get the best out of people by allowing them to do their best work.”

“It’s important that the kids stay busy.  It’s important that they have something to focus on, and something that they feel good about.”

“I love life.  I love the live theater.  I love the theater because the theater is alive.  The audience is right there.  Theater is immediate gratification.”

“It’s a wonderful place to be, the theater, because you learn an awful lot about yourself.”

“That’s how it all happened: I was not dreaming of being in the theater or dreaming of being in the movies or anything like that.  I just wanted to dance.  My mother said, ‘Go for it!'”

“Fate never played a big role in my career.  I was always prepared for my breaks.  I wasn’t tall, like many of the dancers I auditioned with, so I had to offer something different to stand out.”

“It was an exciting time.  Somebody pushed you to the limit and you had to respond.  You felt as if you were discovering yourself, really.”

“I’ve been very blessed.  I started out pretty good.  The shows were wonderful that came along.  And I’m still doing it.  And that feels good.”

“To me, that’s it.  What you want to do is breathe the very first bit of oxygen into that character, and be responsible for making it come alive.”

“I give credit to all my teachers and all my choreographers, but also to myself for listening to them.”

“The spirit of dance is an amazing thing.  When the body and the spirit meet, it’s a good thing.”

“A lot of Americans like happy endings, but life does not necessarily have a happy ending.”

“I don’t go into things with preconceived ideas.  I like fairness.  I like sharing.  I like people who are nice.  I don’t like schmucks.  I love what I do and I love sharing it, and it’s great when people give you their affection.  I love to laugh, and it’s important to not take yourself too seriously.”

“The best advice?  Oh, it would have definitely been from my mother!  But my mother brought all five of her kids up with a certain way to live your life, anyhow.  That would apply to any profession.  I knew very well to try not to lie, to try to be yourself.  It was much simpler then, than today.  You lived your entire life a certain way, being straight and honest and staying out of trouble.  Mother never said to me, ‘Stay out of trouble.’  She didn’t have to!”

“There was always music in our house; my father was a musician.  My mother was wise to channel that energy by putting me in ballet school.  My mother did it, really.”

“I was just me being me.  That’s what I want kids to know: just be themselves and they’ll find out what course their life is going to take.”

“Life keeps me going.  The opportunity to do all of this.  This is a wonderful business to make people feel whatever it is they need to feel.  You’re telling stories to people and singing at the same time.  You’re lucky enough to be kind of breaking molds and opening doors.  You don’t know all of that when you’re doing it.  You have to do what you’re called to do, otherwise you keep breaking furniture.”

“I’ve been lucky to be part of it.  I’ll be doing that and hopefully lifting spirits.  And showing people over 21 that life goes on.”

“I tell kids sometimes today: if I thought I was in some sort of situation, I’d always hear my mother’s voice in my head or see her in my inner eye, and it saved me.”

“You’ve really been a worker all your life, never expecting anything except the satisfaction of doing what you do to live.  It makes you say, ‘Wow!’  You don’t think about this when you’re doing it.  You’re doing it because you love it.  Now I know a little more about who I am.  Just a little bit.”

“I am young in my energy because I really still believe that we can share who we are, and we can wipe off on each other.  I see this huge tapestry when we’re born, and this red blob that’s your soul or your heart.”

“I do believe that separation can be a bit damaging at times.  To be happy about yourself and your culture and all of that is necessary and fulfilling, but the whole tapestry is what’s important.”

“You really have to be in touch with your soul and spirit and your imagination.  It keeps you in shape, and it makes you like yourself a bit more.”

“Beauty is not everything!”

“The river is one of my favorite metaphors, the symbol of the great flow of life itself.  The river begins at source, and returns to source, unerringly.  This happens every single time, without exception.  We are no different.”

“I love to laugh, I love the joy of life, and I love sharing it.”

“I have a blessed life.  I really do.  I have a great family, a great daughter, I love life, I love living, I love people.  I love all the blessings that God’s given me.”

“I have been very lucky.”

Related: Julie Andrews quotes.

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