the world according to my heroes – Julia Child

For those not familiar with this series: I extrapolate quotations from those who influence me strongly to apply to playwrighting and theater.  And life.

Life itself is the proper binge.

[On rewrites] It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.

[On structure]  A cookbook is only as good as its worst recipe.

[On the house-side of theaters]  Being tall is an advantage, especially in business. People will always remember you. And if you’re in a crowd, you’ll always have some clean air to breathe.

[On theatricality]  Drama is very important in life: You have to come on with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper. Everything can have drama if it’s done right. Even a pancake.

[On inspiration]  Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.

[On taking yourself seriously]  I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I’m cooking.

[On empowerment]  I think every woman should have a blowtorch.

[On heightened language]  If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.

[On what’s hot now]  In spite of food fads, fitness programs, and health concerns, we must never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal.

[On attending theater and reading plays]  Just like becoming an expert in wine, you learn by drinking it, the best you can afford. You learn about great food by finding the best there is, whether simply or luxurious. The you savor it, analyze it, and discuss it with your companions, and you compare it with other experiences.

[On putting up signposts]  Just speak very loudly and quickly, and state your position with utter conviction, as the French do, and you’ll have a marvelous time!

[On rewrites]  Nothing is too much trouble if it turns out the way it should.

[More on rewrites]  One of the secrets, and pleasures, of cooking is to learn to correct something if it goes awry; and one of the lessons is to grin and bear it if it cannot be fixed.

[On life]  The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a ‘What the hell?’ attitude.

[On how to treat an audience]  The waiters carried themselves with a quiet joy, as if their entire mission in life was to make their customers feel comfortable and well tended.

[On your plays]  Never apologize for your cooking.

[On being yourself]  Why languish as a giantess when it is so much fun to be a myth?

[On craft]  You must have discipline to have fun.

[On first drafts]  I always give my bird a generous butter massage before I put it in the oven. Why? Because I think the chicken likes it — and, more important, I like to give it.

[On letting your work be theatrical, actually, on requiring your work to be theatrical]  How can a nation be called great if its bread tastes like kleenex?

[On practice]  No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.

[On taking care with your work]  I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give.

[On forgiving yourself]  You’ll never know everything about anything, especially something you love.

[On writing, theater, singing]  Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.

And my all-time favorite:  Everything in moderation, including moderation.


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