This article is from Wizard of Ads Partner Tim Miles on his blog "some Sound Thinking." He captured the essence this interview with Morgan Freeman beautifully and I share it with you here and now:
Arrived wired in Marion, Illinois, last night at around 11:00pm ... here to give two one-day workshops ... back in the land where I cut my teeth in this business.
Couldn't sleep so I flipped on PBS and caught Morgan Freeman being interviewed by Charlie Rose, and they were talking about how damned difficult it was to make it as an actor. It particularly caught my interest because an old friend - the son of another old (and really dear) friend - has finally reached his tipping point in the business after eight years of hard work. You may have seen Ben Falcone as Howard, the odd neighbor, on NBC's Joey. He's also in a new Bud Light spot, playing a football referee, that features Leon.
Rose was asking Freeman about lessons learned in his early years of struggle. He told a story about finally getting a break and being cast in a Broadway production of "Hello, Dolly!" starring Pearl Bailey. Rose asked him what Bailey was like.
"A Pro," Freeman said simply, and Rose pushed him to elaborate.
Then he told a story of how, at curtain call, after the cast took their bows, Bailey would playfully bring a few members of the audience up on stage and have her fun with them for a while.
Each audience ... eight shows a week ... week after week.
Freeman said his fellow cast members grew frustrated and snippy: "We've already done our job. We worked hard and did what we were paid to do. We don't want to stand out here and mess around with the audience. We've done our job. "
And Freeman just thought to himself, "You're going to be unemployed again in about six weeks, and you're complaining? Ms. Bailey never has to work again, doesn't need to work now, but she's doing something extra - something unexpected - every damn night. Eight shows a week she reaches through and does that something extra."
"A Pro," he said again quietly.
Are you giving something extra? Freely offering some additional delight factor to those who pay you for your talents? Leaving them with something they'll never forget ... and tell all their friends about?
Or are you simply doing your job?