Blame It On the Ballpark

· I can’t run on this crappy track.
· This gym is too poorly lit for me to shoot baskets.
· The diving board is too springy for me.
· I need a new set of clubs in order to compete.
· What a lousy script.
· It was a terrible audience.

What do all the above lines have in common? 

Losers delivered them all.

The Actors Studio, The Groundlings, Stella Adler, Meisner, Kazan, Houseman, and oh yes…Stanislavski. Lemmon, Grant, and hordes of other actors and places…
And what did all of the above have in common? All are winners, rare talent, and places to be.
I can’t recall which of the great studios I was privileged enough to visit first. It really doesn’t matter. What mattered was the teacher and the method they chose to use. None of them ever served as a symbol of opulence. As a matter of fact, the winners in the crowd were almost always the shabbiest dressers and often the most unkempt individuals I’ve ever come in contact with. Often the group itself was so poor they were forced to alternate where they might workout. Scenery or equipment was a challenge for the imagination. 
A broken circle, with the great Strassberg, or Meisner, or Elia Kazan in the middle was all that would be necessary for either developing a backbone or finding out you were born without one.
But of all the lines delivered by perhaps the most stalwart of all, John Houseman, to a young actor was…
         “You have far too much time on your hands.”
The actor looked at Mr. Houseman not understanding what the great man was getting at. Then came the explanation.
         “You are finding fault with all in life which matters the least. It is not the acoustics in this building or the short stretches of this stage which makes you an unfeeling actor. Your expended time in order to complain will always be a culprit in waiting.”
It isn’t the microphone; you’re a lousy actor. A role of duct tape may successfully patch a wall, but complainers rarely find time to improve their skills.

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