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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


Hilary Swank

Two Oscars for Best Actress

Hilary Swank: School was the place that I would go where -- the kids whose parents didn't want them to play with me -- it was just an extension of that. Unfortunately, it was a place where I didn't necessarily feel like I belonged. I had a couple of wonderful teachers. My fifth grade teacher was also a big influence in my career because he had us write a skit in front of the class and perform it in front of the class, and in that moment, now I realize, I found what we call our calling. At the time, I had no idea, but I knew that something came alive inside of me and that I was doing something that I loved tremendously.
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Amy Tan

Best-Selling Novelist

I was in a school in the third grade and they were thinking of skipping me, putting me in a higher grade. But then somebody said that would be bad psychologically. So, for that entire year, because I had learned all the lessons that year -- the multiplication tables, whatever the reading was -- this teacher let me go off by myself and draw pictures. So I had hours and hours of time where I was just left to my own devices, drawing pictures. And she would encourage me. That was a wonderful period in my life. I mean, I didn't become an artist, but somebody let me do something I loved. What a luxury, to do something you love to do.
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Amy Tan

Best-Selling Novelist

I've learned that achievement is a sense, what -- more importantly -- is a sense of oneself and that it's never a feeling of self-satisfaction. That the people who have achieved more probably are those who always say, "I don't deserve this." Because they were doing exactly what they loved to do, and what ended up being quite helpful, maybe, to other people. But not seeking approval, not trying to follow the ordinary way of doing things, the expected way of doing things, the accepted way of doing things. They are not aversive in their actions and, yet they know how to ruffle the system and make better things happen, not for self-importance but for larger reasons.
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Julie Taymor

Theater, Opera and Film Director

When you're trying to make those visual effects real, the audience wants to believe it. They want to believe those things. And in theater, they jump with you. They are transported. They know that that's just a piece of fabric on a stage, or that sun is just sticks -- bamboo sticks with fabric hanging in a bunch of strings. But when you bring that sun up with those "invisible" but visible wires, the audience is moved because they fill in the blanks. They're there as participants. They are there to fill out the rest of the sentence. You don't patronize your audience with reality. Oh, we could do a sunset with a projection. No. Why would you do that? That's not what you want. You want to create -- you want to say -- if I were to create one of those suns that are on the desert with those lines that shimmer, how do I do it with just silks and sticks? That's why I do theater. I do theater to be able to figure out how to create that and let the audience be the participant in creating the whole story.
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Julie Taymor

Theater, Opera and Film Director

I love to make people laugh and cry, and that's very good. But in another way, when these moments have happened, and people have written me or have told me, "You don't know what that did to my life," I feel incredibly blessed. I was just given this gift somehow from my mommy and my daddy, and whatever else, to actually do that for people. And it's -- I have to say what I have to say, but not in a void. I'm not one of these people that go, "Oh well, I'm just going to do my art and I don't give a shit what anybody thinks." I don't feel that way. I really, really love to have people honestly be moved and inspired. And whether it's just here or just here -- it's always better if it's the both. That's why Shakespeare is so great, because he gets you from the gut to the heart to the head, and that's what I aspire to do, more than anything.
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