When I was an actor (among many things) I had a great director Dianne Houston (first Academy Award for a black woman writer) who told us how it was. “You need to develop the person, to develop the artist to develop the writer/actor/sculptor, painter, whatever it is you are doing.”

In this age where we so readily celebrate the achievements of this week’s genius, we need to step back and realize this is a life-long process. There is no difference between the great artists of any medium – whether it be film, music, painting, writing or (insert your favorite here). At a recent film symposium, directors were complaining about the quality of films being entered as being “stories about what they’ve seen in everyone else’s movies.” How can you go make a masterwork when you haven’t ever had a valid passport? As Salman Rushdie once said..”he had pre-travelled eyes.” Or something like that.

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