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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


Philip Johnson

Dean of American Architects

You get very excited about something but you don't know you're getting excited about it and you think everybody's the same way. I don't see how anybody can go into the nave of Chartres Cathedral and not burst into tears, because I thought that's what everybody would do. That's the natural reaction I had. That and the Parthenon -- one in 1919 and one in 1928 -- gave me the realization that I had to be in architecture in some way. Those events were sort of a Saul/Paul conversion kind of a feeling that determined me to play some part in architecture. So when I joined the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, I started the Architectural Department and worked there for some years and wrote a book. When I went to Harvard, it was taught in the school, so I was allowed not to take that course. It was very funny.
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Philip Johnson

Dean of American Architects

As the richest and the greatest American architect said, "The first principle of architecture is, get the job." In other words, if you aren't personable enough or persuasive enough to get the job, you'll never get anywhere. Another important thing, it's hard to tell anybody what's important because it's inside you. Alas for education. Education doth not help you. You can read all the books in the world and make terrible designs. I had learned professors that I worshipped. Russell Hitchcock. He was a great, great historian of architecture. I wanted to be an architectural historian, that was one of my passing fancies, but I wasn't any good, and this guy was great. And then he tried to build a building. Disaster! In other words, it takes something else besides intellectual prowess. Harvard will never help you become an architect. Never. It takes what they laughingly call genius, but there are only a couple of geniuses once in a while like an Einstein or a Frank Lloyd Wright. No one can aspire to that. That either is God-given or not. There is nothing you can do about it. It's just too big. So you've got to have at least a spark. I'm no Frank Lloyd Wright, that doesn't bother me anymore. It used to, but I was never the genius. It was interesting though, to see who would be and who could be. I foresaw a lot of kids' careers that are now on the top, and I foresaw. I could tell when they were younger that they were going to be good. "I never could see why you like Frank Gehry's work," and I said, "You wait." And in ten years, indeed, he's the leading architect of the world. That kind of thing gives one a certain pleasure.
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Chuck Jones

Animation Pioneer

Chuck Jones: You cannot take anything for granted. The fact that he was different than other cats. If you see a cat, you do not necessarily see all cats. He was not every cat, in other words, any more than any of us are really every man, or every woman. We do take that for granted, too. That laid the groundwork, so when I got to doing things like Daffy Duck, or Bugs Bunny, or Coyote -- that's not all coyotes, that is THE particular coyote. "Wile E. Coyote, Genius." That's what he calls himself, at any rate. He's different. He has an overweening ego, which isn't necessarily true of all coyotes.
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Chuck Jones

Animation Pioneer

Often, when I'm halfway through a picture, I don't know how the hell I'm going to end it? And, then I have to think more carefully, "What would Bugs Bunny do in a situation like this?" In other words, I can't think of what I would do, or what I think Bugs Bunny should do. I have to think as Bugs Bunny, not of Bugs Bunny. And drawing them, as I say, is not difficult. Just like an actor dressed like Hamlet can walk across and look like Hamlet. But boy, when he gets into the action, he has to be thinking as Hamlet.
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Chuck Jones

Animation Pioneer

When I went into animation I was like 17, and the old man of the business was Walt Disney, who was 29. Walt Disney was not 40 by the time he finished Fantasia, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and Pinocchio. And the people that worked with him were younger than that. So it takes young people. And that's what I'm -- I think I've just about gotten to where I've finished to work out a deal with Warner Brothers to do some more films. But I want to be the old man that pulls together the young guys today. If I can, I want to be a magnet, pulling in creative young people from the art schools, and get them started again, doing some of the old characters, but in new stories, and so on. But new characters too, and hopefully a Warner Brothers feature. That's what I'd like to do. And I've written a couple of scripts that are not too bad, I think.
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James Earl Jones

National Medal of Arts

James Earl Jones: Donald Crouch in high school said, "Do you like these words?" And, I was then writing words of my own. He said, "Do you like these words? Do you like the way they sound in your head?" He said, "Well, they sound ten times better when you give 'em out in the air. It's too bad you can't say these words." He began to challenge me, to nudge me toward speaking again, and by using my own poetry and then other poets because he himself was a compatriot of Robert Frost, he himself was a poet. He himself said he learned a poem a day, in case he went blind, he'd have a whole book of poems in his head. And he nudged me toward that, toward acknowledging and appreciating the beauty of words.
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James Earl Jones

National Medal of Arts

I happened to happened to land in a time, in the middle '60s, that without knowing it, and without being told by the history of theater -- which we now see from a historical point of view was an explosive time. I got out of the Army -- in my world -- I came to New York, for instance, when the civil rights movement was just beginning, and that created a certain energy, a certain rumble, a certain impetus for black actors. And the game was not to get caught up in it, not to get swept away by it, but to keep on track of what you wanted to do. You weren't going to the theater to change the world, but you had a chance to affect the world, the thinking and the feelings of the world.
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James Earl Jones

National Medal of Arts

I met the whole avant garde world, and in England it was referred to as the "angry young men" period. In Europe it was avant-garde, and we were "theater of the absurd." Put together, you saw, internationally, theater now being available to the proletarian, that anybody could be an actor. You didn't have to have the elite family background of the Barrymores. The door was open for Marlon Brando, you know, real common man. When Marlon did his work, when he did his Stanley Kowalski, every truck driver in New York said, "Hey, I could do that! That's me, I could do that!" And that was very important. It was a very, very important movement, the "I can do that" movement, you know. And I was a part of that, you know. So that included women could play men's roles, and blacks could play white roles, and truck drivers could play Marlon Brando roles. And I think that's what sort of opened life up for me, opened up that artistic life up for me.
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James Earl Jones

National Medal of Arts

James Earl Jones: Acting is not about anything romantic, not even fantasy, although you do create fantasy. It's not about that. It's simply very concrete. A playwright conjures a vision of a world, and he interprets that world through words. You then take those words on stage or on the screen and try to bring it alive by the interrelations between one character and another and what they say to each other. In movies it's less important what they say; it's how they behave. It's about that.
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