“Whatever it is, I have to really love it – that’s what’s important to me.
“I wouldn’t have done ‘The Lion King’ if I didn’t believe it has something solid to say to people.”
Director Julie Taymor added, “When you approach it that way, you come at it with all your soul and intelligence.”
In our interview about her film “Titus” she noted she had directed the play off-Broadway previously, and commented, “I was very passionate about the power of the play, and thought it would make a brilliant screenplay.”
[Photo: Julie Taymor on set of her movie Across the Universe. Initial quotes by Taymor from O, the Oprah Mag., Nov. 2001.]
Becoming more aware of our passions can enhance our creative potential and expression.
And passion fuels excellence.
Kate Winslet’s director for their film “The Holiday,” Nancy Meyers, commented, ”People do love her. The only other person I’ve ever seen love acting that much is Jack Nicholson.” [Entertainment Weekly, Oct 6 2006.]
Psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamison talks about passion in terms of enthusiasm.
Author of Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament, in her newer book Exuberance : The Passion for Life, she wants people to “appreciate how life-saving exuberance is to us as a species.
“I have always been fascinated by mania. There is an exhilaration in the early stages of mania that people who have experienced it would sell their firstborn to feel again. Mania is a sickness; it’s easy to romanticize unless you’ve been there.
“What is really healthy and great is exuberance. A passion for life, an exuberant temperament, allows people to do things they wouldn’t be able to do if they didn’t have it,” Jamison says.
[Also see my page on Hypomania – which is, of course, not the same thing as passion – but seems to share some of the emotional charge.]
Writer Susan Orlean has an interesting perspective on passion.
She says in her book The Orchid Thief, “I was starting to believe that the reason it matters to care passionately about something is that it whittles the world down to a more manageable size. It makes the world seem not huge and empty but full of possibility.”
But pursuing our passions is not necessarily a simple or easy matter, as actor Alice Krige has noted: “It seems to me that the greatest challenge, at once the easiest and the hardest thing for human beings to do, is to follow our passion.”
[See more quotes on my page: Passion.]
It isn’t always easy or natural for many of us to acknowledge the value of the achievements our passions lead to.
But paying more attention to what our passions really are can help us pursue fulfilling creative ventures.