Mentored Richard Dreyfuss?
Dreyfuss is a well-known stage and screen actor. His
films include Jaws,
Someone asked me, why was Rose Jane such a great teacher?
And I said, because she believed that we were as great
as we thought we were. She was an extraordinary drama
teacher who filled us with confidence. And confidence,
as an artist, is incredibly important.
had a teacher who expected us to fail all the time.
And yet somehow, everything I came to love in my life
I learned in her class. Because she had no patience
for us. "Come on. Shakespeare. Come on, let's go."
And I swear, when Mr. Holland's Opus opened and I was
thinking about Mrs. Wilcox, I tracked her down. Because
I realized this weird thing, that I owed her something.
I had always told the story of this grumpy woman. But
I found her in San Diego. I called her up and said,
you won't remember me but I was in Horseman Elementary
in 1962. And I want you to know that everything I ever
came to love -- history, Shakespeare -- I learned in
your class. And she said, "Thank you very much,"
and hung up.
I swear, those two people, those two teachers clearly
and profoundly affected who I am.
Giving back, or being part of a community, and sensing
your obligation or sensing the weave of community, is
not only a good and decent thing, it's been the goal
of western civilization for 5,000 years. It shouldn't
be thought of as something extraordinary. It should
be thought of as business as usual.
an individual basis, it's fun. It's fun to see the light
in someone's eyes. It's fun to give your own eccentric
experience and have it land. That's fun. And you live
longer. You live in their thought, and their thought,
and their thought. For whatever reason that we fear
death, it's always nicer to think, someone will be thinking
of me in 200 years, or someone will be thinking my thought.
Or I will have contributed to that thought that still