The Shapiro Files

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Zen and the Art of Gene Wilder

I have always been an avid reader. For as long as I can remember, I have never been without a book that I'm currently reading. There's always a book on my nightstand and I have never taken a vacation (no matter the length) without bringing both my current book and a second one in case I get though the first before the trip is over.

I also enjoy taking advantage of any time I have to spend in my car by listening to audiobooks downloaded from The book that's currently in my car's CD player is a wonderful memoir written and read by comic genius Gene Wilder. Called Kiss Me Like a Stranger, the book is a fairly free-form collection of memories of his childhood and development of his career as an actor. It's full of wonderful reflections on the art of acting, which anyone in the performing arts (me especially) would do well to take to heart. Here's one particularly memorable nugget of wisdom Wilder shares in describing Charlie Chaplin's brilliant performance in The Circus:
If the thing you're doing is really funny, you don't need to act funny while doing it.

Learn it. Live it. Be it.


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