Let's face it: professing a deep interest in movies, the absolutely dominant global art form of the last century, is at this point like professing an interest in air. Passion is nice. Erudition is admirable. But it's like that moment when good manners cross over into meaningless etiquette.
A secondhand wardrobe hand clothes doesn't make one an artist. Neither do a hair-trigger temper, melancholic nature, propensity for tears, hating your parents, or HIV. I hate to say it - none of these make one an artist. They can help, but just as being gay doesn't make one witty... the only thing that makes one an artist is making art.
Everybody's got something. In the end, what choice does one really have but to understand that truth, to really take it in, and then shop for groceries, get a haircut, do one's work; get on with the business of one's life. That's the hope, anyway.
Deprived of the opportunity to judge one another by the cars we drive, New Yorkers, thrown together daily on mass transit, form silent opinions based on our choices of subway reading. Just by glimpsing the cover staring back at us, we can reach the pinnacle of carnal desire or the depths of hatred. Soul mate or mortal enemy.
There's nothing particularly wrong with being more pessimistic than optimistic. Optimism is broad-based, non-detail-oriented thinking; pessimism is detail-oriented thinking.
The rigors of creativity - the self-doubt, the revising, the solitude - do require a kind of self-consumption. It comes at a cost; a cost that isn't for everyone.
At least three times a week, I am overwhelmed with a wave of gratitude to New York City for providing me with a life. Not that my life is so great, although I think it's pretty nifty: I don't mine coal; I get paid to write.
Unless one is planning to go shopping - basically begging to be smothered by the ravening throngs of returners and bargain hunters; an embrace as constricting as that hugging machine designed by autistic author Temple Grandin - then Boxing Day feels like a bar after last call when the lights have been turned up.
I'm not sure. But that bless-his/her-heart kind of melancholic humor is among my favorite things in the world. I guess it exposes a kind of humanity - or that's the hope, at least - a kind of grudging respect for human frailty. Unless it's actually kicking human frailty while it's down - I'm not sure.
Everyone has an internal age, a time in life when one is, if not one's best, then at very least one's most authentic self. I always felt that my internal clock was calibrated somewhere between 47 and 53 years old.
I do tend to be an anxious fellow, and I do tend to see the world as a little darker than perhaps it genuinely is, but I also do appreciate much more than a rosy scenario, I appreciate straight news.
About the only thing that I have - or had, because it's failing me lately - is my memory. I had a really good memory. I was always terribly protective of that fact.
I don't particularly consider myself an actor. I have no training. I love doing it, but I would never consider myself to be a colleague of an actual actor. That would be stepping way up in class on my part.
Fantastic days are what you wish upon those who have so few sunrises left, those whose lungs are so lesion-spangled with new cancer that they should be embracing as much life as they can. Time's a-wasting, go out and have yourself a fantastic day! Fantastic days are for goners.
I value kindness in myself and others. I try to remain super-vigilant about my targets and make extra sure that my sometimes barbed comments are deserved and in response to genuine malefaction.
I was going to say that writing is about disclosure and acting is about obfuscation, but that's such a little lie. Both of them are about obfuscation and masking oneself.
'Play It Again Sam's opening shot is the same as 'Purple Rose's final one: a close-up of a face, rapt in a movie house. I've certainly felt that in my life. I've been known to cry watching Gene Kelly.
It's rare that I'm not at work on some sort of craft project. I've often enthused about the need to make things; how it employs a unique set of muscles - physical, intellectual, spiritual - that I can attain a state of flow when making something that I almost never can when writing.
If you don't have your experiences in the moment, if you gloss them over with jokes or zoom past them, you end up with curiously dispassionate memories.
I will forever be grateful to my oncologist for opening the door and saying, 'Damn it, the tumor's 10 percent bigger,' before he even said hello.