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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


Julie Taymor

Theater, Opera and Film Director

We had to push to producers to postpone, which is unheard of in opera, they say. But I said, "It's safety. If you don't postpone, I'm not going to back going on that stage, because we have people on high cliffs and mountains and flying in the air, and staircases flying all around. It's too complicated." So later than sooner they decided to postpone the opening and call it two previews -- our premiere was a dress rehearsal. And we haven't had that much time to fix it, but it is definitely running now. Knock on wood. Because who knows? You know, it's human error or computer error.
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Kiri Te Kanawa

Beloved Opera Singer

The reasons that I'm here today is because of the sacrifices of my parents. And I know how much they sacrificed. My father was a very hard worker. He didn't know what was happening to me. My mother didn't really know what was happening to me. But they sacrificed. And I can't tell you how much, because it would go into years and years of what they did do for me. And I look at my children, and I say to them, "You're here because of my father and my mother. Not because of me." I did it. And I said to my son the other day, "I can't actually thank my parents enough because of what they did." And it really, really was. It was huge. They've given me this amazing life, and then I can't even thank them. So all I can do is help. And I think in lots of ways -- with young students, and I'm working with them right now here at the Met -- that is, I suppose, my little bit of payback, if you know what I mean.
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Kiri Te Kanawa

Beloved Opera Singer

My mother had a really tough time when she was young. She came from a very, very poor family. And they all, you know, this is something that she did that was a super thing that did a lot for New Zealand in lots of ways. Because, you know, I am a Maori. And I'm very proud of that and my country is very important to me. Even though I've lived away from it for a very long time. But I've my finger on the button out there all the time. And I want to do what I can, in the way that I can do it, which is helping young students and singers. For them to find their way in life, whatever it might be, but to inspire, would be an achievement for me, to give somebody direction, to inspire them and to get them to a level that they never thought they could ever get to, and I think that's what I like to see.
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Twyla Tharp

Dancer and Choreographer

Twyla Tharp: There are ideas, and then there are ideas. The piece was not without a certain amount of calculation. That's the first piece I did for the Joffrey. I went for a season to watch the Joffrey Company and the Joffrey audience, before I made the piece. It was very distinctly tailored for both the audience and for the company. On the other hand, it is extremely arrogant and very foolish to think that you can ever outwit your audience. And all you can do is make your sincerest stab at saying, "Hey, I think you could understand what I'm trying to say if I say it this way. I think I know you well enough that this is how I need to say it for you." I don't consider that selling out. I consider that going halfway to meet a person, and I consider that to be what communications is all about. Deuce Coupe was very successful in that regard. As far as watching, I was in it. So I was too busy hopping around backstage to have any sense about what it was doing to the audience out front. I was having too much fun.
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Twyla Tharp

Dancer and Choreographer

I think that the challenge is always in taking with you what you understand, but pushing it to another point. I don't believe in rushing, and dropping it off and saying this is done and over with. That to me, that form of rebellion doesn't make sense to me. I've always attempted to familiarize myself with the traditions, and consider that a responsibility of the artist. I think it's a bit facile to go in as the avant-garde traditionally is expected to do and just chop off the past and say, "Okay, now we start." It seems a little wasteful to me. Let's take what we've got and let's push it somewhere and let's use it because why waste all those good lessons about how the body moves. We don't have 300 years. The classic ballet has been working that long, learning lessons of the body. Let's hurry up and get that together, so we can go on with it.
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