I began reading Lucille Ball's autobiography, Love, Lucy, again (I've lost count of how many times I've read it, but I do at least once a year) a few days ago, and one particular passage always stands out to me. I love hearing her in her own voice, I can almost hear her saying it. Here is the passage:
"Actors and actresses all strive for affection. We get up on a stage because we want to be loved. The stage fulfills this need better than anything else; especially if you've found a rapport with an audience and can wrap them up in your arms and hug them close.
The irony is that in our terrible need to be loved, we pick an arena where we can also be rejected by the greatest possible number of people. Nothing's quite so wonderful as those waves of love and applause splashing over the footlights--and nothing quite as shattering as when an audience doesn't like you. All you've got to sell is yourself; rejection can't be anything but highly personal."
Being an actor myself, I can personally relate to these words on several levels. I the first time I read this particular passage, which opens the third chapter of her book, when I was about fifteen or so, and it stood out to me then, too. If Lucy, for example, had given up in 1928 when she was rejected on almost a monthly basis, how different would the world have been? Often times I go back to her autobiography to read it and reflect, and feel better about myself and my "terrible need to be loved." I love that her words are as true when she wrote them in circa 1964, remembering experiences in the 1920s and 1930s, as they are to me reading them in the early 2000s and now, a decade later. Thanks, Lucy, we love you too. <3