On April 26, Actor Jeffrey Tambor spoke in Christ Chapel about “What’s keeping you from performing your life.” Beforehand, Gustavian Weekly staff got an exclusive interview with him.
Q: Why did you decide to become an actor?
A: “I lived across the street from a theatre at San Francisco State University. I watched actors perform, and they did this remarkable thing where they would stop rehearsing, talk about the scene, and then jump back into it. And then they did something that had never happened to me before, they asked me what I thought. I got to help them strike the set. I remember one day was the most magic day, maybe of my life, when I picked up a rock and realized it was fake.”
Q: What inspires you?
A: “Lots of things inspire me. You guys inspire me. Music, art, people. People yearning to be better than they are. My driver picked me up at the airport today, he told me that he had been late to work three days in the last thirty-one years. That’s a happy man. Like people who want to make themselves and the world better. I also get inspired doing this [speaking].”
Q: What do you hope people get from your talk?
A: “About 2% of people will really get what I’m saying. About 10% will change after this speech. Most will get inspired, but won’t do much. I’ve taught actors, some really famous actors, but a lot of them have quit because the pressure is too much. They’re saying the same thing that stopped them before.”
Q: Do you have any advice for people?
A: “My entire talk is advice. I change my talk every time when I learn from the people I’m around. I’ve learned that you guys like community. So if you have community here, how will you engage community when you leave Gustavus?”
Q: What’s your next dream or goal?
A: “I’m writing a book, so my goal right now is to finish it. Every morning, I’m inspired and in the evening, I think no one wants to read this. Something I learned along the way is to write ‘Dear Mother’ in front of everything, and then when you’re done writing, cross out ‘Dear Mother’ and you’ve got good writing.”