Anna Sokolow: Not Enough Years

New York City

There are things within the arts it is entirely appropriate to hate. I do not agree with or approve of all this love and kinship within the arts. I do not believe that we are all equal. I think a lot of bad performers are allowed to play in the artist pool. I don't like it at all.

No one seems to understand that the admission and the acceptance of mediocrity ultimately hurts us all.

When I am bad, tell me I am bad. If I can't improve, then ask me to leave. I have always worked from this principle, and I always got better after I got worse.

There are not enough years in the life of anyone on earth--no matter how talented--that will allow you to master an art or to adequately expel all that you can and should give to the art. Never. This is both repressive and liberating. You have the rest of your life to work and to sweat and to study--all in the service of a great art, whether it is dance or drama or art or literature. Throw yourself into it. But know that you will never reach the peak. You will die reaching toward the peak. But you will die happy. 

© 2013 James Grissom


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