USC School of Dramatic Arts
I believe that I am here today because someone, a veteran in my field, a number of them actually, took an interest in the possibility of me. In the old days, in our ancient discipline, a veteran artist would show you the ways of the theatre. She would instill a sense of respect and humility about the magic of our craft. She would share with you secrets of the trade and guide you on this life long journey of discovery and expression. She would also give a sense of the scope of discipline and technical skill our field demands. A baton, of sorts, passed. Not to everyone, of course, but to the artist willing to make the life long commitment necessary to making the work.
We hardly do that anymore. I believe that what I do as a mentor is to introduce the idea of possibility. To inspire a sense of what happens when we reach for excellence. How in this culture of result, can I convince you that the journey is more important than the destination? How does the coupling of passion/desire meeting at the intersection of craft/skill make for the extraordinary alchemy of the theatre? This is the motto I use for mentorship: they were many great artists before you, and there will be a great many after – but for today, you get to tell the story of what it means to be here, in this time and in this place. To possibility.