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Lloyd Richards

Tony Award-Winning Director

Lloyd Richards: It's all special. They were all very special experiences, even the ones that didn't work. It's like saying which of your children do you love the most? Sometimes you have a special feeling for things that didn't work. It's like a child with a deformity, a child that doesn't quite make it. He is not loved less, he is sometimes even loved more, because you felt you didn't do enough for him. So, they all stand out. And I don't try and differentiate between them. People ask me which is my favorite play. Which is your favorite August Wilson play? I have no favorites. They are all my favorites. My work is my favorite.
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Lloyd Richards

Tony Award-Winning Director

Lloyd Richards: Now, that's why I'm in the theater. To take those lives, to reveal them. Not just those lives, any life. And that's what's important about theater, or should be. It does reflect the lives of a totality of a community that exists out there, and does speak to the totality of that community. Not all at once, but through its own particularness, which is what Raisin did. Other people were able to find themselves in it. I remember when we first did Fences at Yale Rep. My promotional manager, a wonderful woman, she had come to see a run-through, and she sat with me afterwards. She said, "Do you know, I looked at the play, and I looked at that role that James Earl Jones is playing, and I said, you know, that's the man down the street. I know him, that's the man down the street." A little further into the play, she said, "No that's not the man down the street, that's my brother." And a little further, "No, not my brother, that's my father." At the end of the play, she said, "I said to myself, no, that's not my father, that's me." And it's that kind of universality, that stems from particularity, that makes a work of value and reach out beyond itself. Not by trying to reach out beyond itself, but by reaching deeper into itself, to its own truth. And that's what's wonderful about theater for me.
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Lloyd Richards

Tony Award-Winning Director

Lloyd Richards: After three years of it, when I should have gone to law school, I ended up not going to law school and determining that I would have a life in the theater. I had to decide at that point what security was, what it meant. Was security property? Was security money in the bank? Or was security getting up in the morning and not counting the hours? Having a life, not a job. The theater was something that seemed to satisfy my life-need. I was not concerned about, would I make it, would I not make it, would I be successful, would I not be successful. The opportunity to function in that area was something that compelled me and I ended up in the theater.
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Sally Ride

First American Woman in Space

I was literally just a couple of months away from getting my Ph.D. in physics when I saw, believe it or not, an ad in the Stanford student newspaper, that had been put in the newspaper by NASA, saying that they were accepting applications for astronauts, and the moment I saw that, I knew that that's what I wanted to do. Not that I wanted to leave physics, I loved it, but I wanted to apply to the astronaut corps and see whether NASA would take me, and see whether I could have the opportunity to go on that adventure.
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Sally Ride

First American Woman in Space

Sally Ride: I was ecstatic. I was thrilled, and my first reaction was probably identical to the reaction of the other four members of the crew who were told that same day. We could not believe that we got our chance to go into space. We were the first four from our astronaut class to get to go, and so we had been in training for four years at that time, building up to this point, and the moment that we were told, it was, "Oh my gosh, I can't believe that I get a chance to do this." And it was only after that, not long after that, but after that, that I thought, "Oh my gosh, I am going to be the first woman to get to go up, representing this country."
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Sonny Rollins

Greatest Living Jazz Soloist

In the musical realm, I had Coleman Hawkins. After Louis Jordan, I began to gravitate to a more sophisticated -- I might put it that way -- not comparing the two, but Coleman Hawkins had a more intellectual approach maybe to music. He played a lot of very difficult things. So he really became my idol. I wanted to play tenor, and had alto before. So anyway, in the musical field, I would say those were my early idols -- saxophone. I always loved Fats Waller, because I heard him as a boy, and I just loved anything he did.
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Sonny Rollins

Greatest Living Jazz Soloist

Sonny Rollins: Once I started, when I was around eight years old or so, I knew that's what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a musician. So I kept playing, I was really at it. You know, there is one thing about me, I was a guy that would practice. Once I started practicing, my mother had to call me to stop practicing. "Come and eat dinner!" Because I was in my own world, and I am like that up to this day really, except that I am older now, and I can't practice like 15 hours a day, but I still have the same inclination and same spirit. But I kept at it, and by the time I was about 14, I guess, we got a little neighborhood band. Then, by the time I was 17, we had a neighborhood band, and I was beginning to get recognized by some of the older people, older musicians. Then, by 18, I made my first recordings. So I was straight, I was on that track. I was on the track to be a professional from that early age, from eight years old I would say.
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Sonny Rollins

Greatest Living Jazz Soloist

If a young person that's a scientist, or wants to be a musician, wants to be a painter, sculptor, and you love it, then, give yourself to it, that's all. This is the only way to do it, that's its own reward really. And if you succeed, I don't know. It's a matter of what you just said, "What is success?" I don't know, but giving yourself to something you believe in, that is success. So I would tell people to really get with what you are doing, with abandon, do your thing and really want to do it, and believe in it, and block out the rest of the world, because you are the world. You are the world, not these other people around you. Your project, your love, your art, that's the world. That's where you have to be.
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