David Bruce: Boredom is Anti-Life — Work; Be a Work of Art — Introduction, Acting and Actors


• Follow your bliss. Ron Shelton, a minor-league baseball player, was fascinated by director Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch when it first appeared in movie theaters. He saw it at least once every day for two weeks, risking his job because he began to arrive late at the ballpark. After seeing the movie, he decided to become a film director. Now, he is known as the director of Bull Durham and White Men Can’t Jump.

• Phil Baker was both a comedian and an accordion player. Even though he was not a very good accordion player, a manufacturer of accordions once asked him to endorse its products. Mr. Baker asked, “How come you selected me? There are a lot of better accordion players.” The answer came back, “I know, but you’re the only one who’s working steadily.”

• Like many writers, Quentin Tarantino, famous for his movies Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Jackie Brown, worked at many odd jobs before becoming famous. He once worked on a workout video starring Dolph Lundgren. (Mr. Tarantino’s job was cleaning doggy doodoo off the parking lot so Mr. Lundgren wouldn’t get his outfit dirty.)

• A teacher let her 1st-grade students know that after returning from work, she liked to sew. One of her students asked, “Where do you work?” In another classroom, a student asked her teacher the same question. Of course, the teacher said, “Here. This is my job — teaching.” The student was shocked: “You mean you get paid for this?”

• As a salesman, Myron Cohen told a lot of funny stories to his customers. One day, his boss talked to him and said, “Myron, you’re a wonderful, funny guy and you should be paid for telling those stories of yours — but not by me!” So Mr. Cohen became a professional comedian.


Living works of art tend to take joy in living. So how can we be a living work of art? Some ways include living a life of wit and intelligence, practicing an art, doing good deeds, paying attention to your soul as well as your body, staying angry at the things that should anger us, and being aware of the fabulous realities that surround us despite the presence of evil in the world. Here are some bumper-sticker condensations of ancient and modern wisdom: Resist Psychic Death, Do It Yourself, Resist Mindless Consumption, Don’t Fear the Reaper, Maintain Maximum Cool, Do Good Now (and Maybe be a Hero), Love and Live Life, and Reality is Fabulous. Of course, more good advice is this: Dress Like a Work of Art.

Acting and Actors

• Some people can’t distinguish the actor from the actor’s role. A grocer from Lichfield once carried a letter to the famous actor David Garrick from his brother. However, the grocer never delivered the letter. After seeing Mr. Garrick perform on stage the comic role of Abel Drugger in The Alchemist by Ben Jonson, the grocer said that he didn’t want anything to do with such a shabby creature as he had seen on stage.

• Sir Henry Irving (1838-1905) was proud of his performances as the lead of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Once he asked his dresser, Walter Collinson, to say in which play he was at his best, and he was pleased when Mr. Collinson answered, “Macbeth.” Sir Henry said, “It is generally conceded to be Hamlet,” but Mr. Collinson insisted, “Oh, no, Sir. Macbeth. You sweat twice as much in that.”

• In 1642, the Puritans closed the theaters in England. By the time they reopened 18 years later, the boy actors who had played the roles of women had grown up and no apprentices had been available to learn to take their places. When theater-friendly King Charles II wanted to see a play, he was forced to wait until the man playing the Queen had finished shaving.

• Sam Mendes was very young — 23 years old — when he directed Judi Dench in three plays. During a conversation, they talked about some plays that Ms. Dench had starred in during the mid-1970s. Ms. Dench asked Mr. Mendes if he seen the plays, and he replied, “Well, no. I was 10 years old.” Ms. Dench screamed, then pretended to choke him.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


Boredom is Anti-Life — Buy

Boredom is Anti-Life — Buy the Paperback

Boredom is Anti-Life: — Buy Kindle

Boredom is Anti-Life: — Buy Apple

Boredom is Anti-Life: — Buy Barnes and Noble

Boredom is Anti-Life: — Buy Kobo

Boredom is Anti-Life: — Buy Smashwords: Many formats, including PDF

Be a Work of Art — Buy

Be a Work of Art — Buy the Paperback

Be a Work of Art — Buy Kindle

Be a Work of Art — Buy Apple

Be a Work of Art — Buy Barnes and Noble

Be a Work of Art — Buy Kobo

Be a Work of Art — Buy Smashwords: Many formats, including PDF

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