Thank You James Lipton
I’ve been on a rash of Inside the Actors Studio viewings lately and I feel like I owe James Lipton a debt of gratitude. I’ve been filming all week and each night when I get home, I've been watching old episodes as a way to relax and find inspiration. I've looked up some of my favorite actors and directors who I hadn't seen on the show before - Mickey Rooney, Steven Spielberg, Ian McKellen, Michael Caine, and James Cameron.
In an industry with so much negativity, it’s great to watch these titans of cinema talk about the days before they were famous, about their craft, and about their non-film lives. Agents, managers, casting directors, other actors, and even the public seem to slant towards the negative when it comes to unknown actors (“you’re wasting your time;” “it’s so hard;” “you’ll never make it;” “you're not [fill in the blank] enough;” etc.). It's nice to know that whenever you need a pick-me-up from all that abuse, James will be waiting like a warm cup of tea on a cold night with a new, inspiring story.
What I love about Inside the Actors Studio is that we get to see people who are incredibly talented and love what they do talk about their journey, what turns them on, and what kept them going. Lipton is genuinely thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with each guest and does an amazing amount of homework to get biographical details on each guest that you won’t find anywhere else. He asks them difficult personal questions but doesn’t press them like paparazzi if he senses too much sensitivity to the subject matter.
Though he leads the guests into some dark places from their past, Lipton always brings them out again. He crafts his interviews to tilt heavily in favor of the positives of each guest’s life so that by the end, everyone feels uplifted. His questionnaire is my favorite part of the show.
Thank you James Lipton, for being a constant voice of quiet inspiration in a sea of reasons why not.
When you get to the Pearly Gates, I'm sure God will say, "The parade is ready, we were just waiting for you to arrive."
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What turns you on?
What turns you off?
What sound or noise do you love?
What sound or noise do you hate?
What is your favorite curse word?
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
What profession would you not like to do?
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
(pic is my own)
-- Gabriel Voss