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John Lithgow Quotes

John Arthur Lithgow

John Lithgow quotes: intelligent quotes from the actor.

“Everybody’s a dreamer.”

“When good things come along, you end up saying yes to them.  Because they’re rare.”

“Be creative.  Be useful.  Be practical.  Be generous.  Simple as that.”

“Keep yourself alive with just creative energy.  You have given yourself hope that you can accomplish something.  It’s very important to stay creative and not simply to wait around for people to want you.  It’s the hardest thing about the business.”

“Stay creative, try to develop things all on your own that you yourself can control.  Try writing.”

“Where there is heroism there will always be hope.”

“Every time you’re scared to do something, you should do it.  Whenever I’ve felt that, it’s been a colossal breakthrough.”

“Powerful people are always in charge.  You have to acknowledge that and deal with it as a reality.  They’re not devils.  They’re not monsters.  They’re human beings, like us, that have their share of insecurities and fears.  You have to contemplate that as you go through life.”

“People have to be angry at someone.  But as leader, one cannot simply react to everything.”

“Many of you have ambitious goals.  Those of you who have no immediate goals, don’t worry, you will discover them soon.  A lot of you will achieve those goals, some with extravagant success.  In fact, I’m secretly counting on you to go out and make things right in this perilous, suffering world and in this deeply troubled nation.  But when you get what you’re aiming for, or even as you go through the process of getting it, think about what else you can also do.”

“Listen to the audience, and listen to critics.  It’s often very hard because sometimes audiences hate you and critics pan you.  But listen to them.  They’re the ones you truly learn from.  Everybody else has an agenda.”

“I got a wonderful college education.  I went to Harvard.  In those four years I accumulated a lot of knowledge but I also created a kind of habit of learning that has stayed with me my whole life.”

“Academics tend to have wonderfully infantile senses of humor.”

“When were you happiest?  In my college days at Harvard, when I was first acting and directing… it was the most creatively free I’ve ever felt.”

“I learned the most about myself, and you ask what I learned?  Well, I learned my strengths and my weaknesses, and it’s far more important to learn about your weaknesses than your strengths.”

“I’m a very hopeful person.  I mean, I’m an optimistic person, sometimes stupidly optimistic.”

“I gave up shame a long time ago.”

“That’s how you deal with stardom; you make it the least important part of your life.”

“Money is just a low priority for me.  I’m more interested in good work than a big bank account.”

“I never get tired of hearing compliments.”

“I have a lot of faith in people.”

“It’s much easier to work creatively when everyone’s friendly.”

“The most exciting acting tends to happen in roles you never thought you could play.”

“I consider myself a very lucky actor that I’m still employed and employable.”

“It’s a good thing to grow old and know you’ve accumulated a lot of experience to get over your fears.  I know who I am by now.  I have many other things in my life that are just as important to me as acting, if not more so.  My family.  My wife.  I entertain children.  I have a book of poetry coming out in the fall.  I danced for the NYC Ballet and sang with Met Opera stars at Carnegie Hall.  I’ve had these extraordinary opportunities.  I tend to think that both grounds me, and makes me levitate.”

“I owe my whole career as a storyteller to my father.  He was an actor, director, producer and teacher.  To my mom, I owe security in a very insecure young life.  We lived in about 10 different places because of my father’s checkered career, and she always made me feel a sense of consistency and security.  I was a well-mothered boy.”

“My life is so damn scatterbrained.  Whatever comes up, I just do it.”

“I’m pretty content with being myself.”

“If I could have a super power it would be power to make people healthy.”

“Books make great gifts because they’re something you love that you can share.”

“If you read in front of your kids, it’s very likely that they’ll become readers, too.”

“I need a good book, I need a good story.  The kind that explodes off the shelf.  I need some good writing, alive and exciting, to contemplate all by myself.  I need a good novel, I need a good read.  I probably need two or three.  I need a good tale of love and betrayal or perhaps an adventure at sea.  I need a good saga.  I need a good yarn.  A momentous and mightily or slight one.  But with thousands and thousands and thousands of books, I need someone to tell me the right one.”

“I am a storyteller, and the stories I tell are, when I’m lucky, really good ones.  It’s a very exciting thing to do with your life, and that’s, I think, what keeps me hopeful.”

“I’m really like a first-time parent who makes mistakes and tries to learn from them.  And like that parent, I find myself at that moment when I have to decide.  Do I hold on or do I trust you to yourselves?  Let go and hope that you’ve understood at least some of my lessons.  If we don’t start trusting our children how will they ever become trustworthy?”

“I’m very concerned for the future of the earth and its amazing creatures.  We’ve got to be careful and make sure we don’t foul our own nest.”

“Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug.”

“I keep looking for things I haven’t done yet.”

“Perfect happiness?  It’s elusive, of course.  You have to embrace life’s imperfectability.”

“I believe in living a life of passion and creativity.  Staying imaginatively young in dreams and charm.  Find success, success in doing what one loves.”

“Take care, be kind, be considerate of other people and other species, and be loving.”

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