Last week with the loss of Steve Jobs I’m a bit off balance like many out there. I shared some of my thoughts with NPR’s Morning Edition, but am still way bummed right now. I clip a lot of things out of magazines and the likes and put them in my wallet, and rifling through it this morning I found something that gave me a needed smile. It’s from an interview with actor George Clooney on the topic of failure from Parade Magazine.
You’ve talked about how lucky you are. What have you learned from your failures?
It’s hard when you get thumped. I’ve been proficient at failure. But the only thing you can do is say, “Here’s what I won’t do next time.”
I was a baseball player in school. I had a good arm, I could catch anything, but I was having trouble hitting. I would be like, “I wonder if I’ll hit it; just let me hit the ball.” And then I went away for the fall, learned how to hit, and by my sophomore year I’d come to the plate and think, “I wonder where I want to hit the ball, to the left or right?” Just that little bit of skill and confidence changed everything. Well, I had to treat acting like that. I had to stop going to auditions thinking, “Oh, I hope they like me.” I had to go in thinking I was the answer to their problem. You could feel the difference in the room immediately.
The greatest lesson I learned was that sometimes you have to fake it. And you have to be willing to fail.
Thanks George. Thanks Steve. -JM