Saturday, July 6, 2013

Kerry Washington Quotes

1. I don't have to be perfect. All I have to do is show up and enjoy the messy, imperfect, and beautiful journey of my life. It's a trip more wonderful than I could have imagined.

2. People don't think about the fact that when Barack Obama's parents had him - it was illegal for them to be married in several states in this country. So if we start making it okay that certain people can marry and other people can't, it's a slippery slope of civil rights. Who knows who is going to be allowed to marry or not marry next.

3. The breakdown of the black community, in order to maintain slavery, began with the breakdown of the black family. Men and women were not legally allowed to get married because you couldn't have that kind of love. It might get in the way of the economics of slavery. Your children could be taken from you and literally sold down the river.

4. You know what's funny is that I have this ongoing relationship with the city of Washington D.C. I went to George Washington University, and my nickname was K-Dub - based on G-Dub - and I'm now on the board of trustees at George Washington University.

5. I come from the theater and I plan to always do theater. So I don't really see myself not being able to act even if people don't think I am sexy enough for film at 40, I'll still be acting.

6. Today there are people trying to take away rights that our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers fought for: our right to vote, our right to choose, affordable quality education, equal pay, access to health care. We the people can't let that happen.

7. I really love research. It's one of the things I love most about my job. I feel like it's me in the lab cooking up the character.

8. I'll be honest with you. I'm a little bit of a loner. It's been a big part of my maturing process to learn to allow people to support me. I tend to be very self-reliant and private. And I have this history of wanting to work things out on my own and protect people from what's going on with me.

9. Year after year, GW sends its graduates into the world on the wings of advice from esteemed leaders and thinkers. And this year - you got me. I know what some of you are thinking. You're thinking: "We're celebrating our academic and intellectual achievement with that lady who's having an affair with the president on that TV show?" I play a character that is smart and successful and powerful. Olivia Pope could give you awesome advice on making it to the top, but in real life, I'm just an actor. I play pretend. I tell stories. So bear with me, because that's what I'm going to do.

10. You see the transformation that the arts have on young people. It changes their lives for the better. That's where my engagement is.

11. I wouldn't just come home from school and watch TV everyday, they had me involved in lots of local theatre. I was a very dramatic, talkative child. And that was part of my mother's creative solution - to put me in workshops and classes and children's theatre programs.

12. As a young girl, my real dream was to be the woman in the shows at SeaWorld.

13. So many struggled so that all of us could have a voice in this great democracy and live up to the first three words of our constitution: We the people. I love that phrase so much. Throughout our country's history, we've expanded the meaning of that phrase to include more and more of us. That's what it means to move forward.

14. One of the most profound things for me about the show is the number of white women of all ages who come up to me and say: "I want to be Olivia Pope." It's especially profound in a place like South Africa. It's called The Fixer over there…The fact that white women can see this woman of color as an aspirational character is revolutionary, I think, in the medium of television. I don't think white women would feel that way about Olivia if her identity as a woman, period, wasn't first in their mind. 

15. I grew up in New York, so I fell in love with acting on a stage, not in front of a camera.

16. I always prided myself on the fact that I could live out of milk crates forever. It was kind of my way of detaching from materialism.

17. What I think is cool about Olivia is that she fully owns being a woman. There's a very nurturing sense of "I'm going to take care of you - don't worry about it. I'm gonna be your mom in this situation. You come stay in my office, have a cup of tea, and let my gladiators take care of you." There's something very maternal about it. But there's also something very executive about her, and I mean "executive" in a presidential way. 

18. When I arrived at GW, I didn't think I would be an actor. I dreamt of being a psychologist or an educator like my mother. From an early age, I was fascinated with people and how we become who we are, but acting? That was a hobby…I designed an interdisciplinary major in various social sciences: psychology, sociology, history, and anthropology, and one of the things that fascinated me most was the importance of storytelling. In every culture and at every moment of human existence, the ritual of storytelling has been a central tenet of our experience because it is through stories that we understand ourselves and each other. When we engage in a great story, whether it's a novel or a film or a documentary, we learn something more about who we are...As we journey along with the hero of any story, we realized that we, too, are the lead characters of our own lives.

19. I think generalizations of any sort are dangerous. I'll say, if that is the case - right now it's an American issue.

20. You may not be thinking about politics, but politics is thinking about you.

21. That's what acting is - it's about…having the courage to allow your audience into the private moments of your characters' lives.

22. You and you alone are the only person that can live the life that writes the story that you were meant to tell. And the world needs your story because the world needs your voice. Every single one of you. And because as your story unfolds, you will inspire others to find their stories, and so on. And those are the stories that I can't wait to watch. In fact, don't be surprised if you get a call from me wanting to option the really good ones into movies because I'm so Hollywood now.

23. About a year ago I got really exhausted from reading bad scripts and I know that I am a writer and that I have stories to tell, so I thought: "Let's do this!" So I'm co-writing a screenplay now with another screenwriter and loving it. Absolutely loving it. And I would like to be the producer on the project and of course the lead is me.

24. Every actor you work with has a different method, same with the director. You have to figure out what your shared language is and how to best support each other, and also take care of yourself.

25. I am co-writing a screenplay now and I'm working on the rights to another story I want to do. So I plan to produce and direct. So, for me, I don't really feel that I am vulnerable to that sad baggage that comes with the business of filmmaking.

26. I don't think I'm even close to fulfilling my potential. And I think also that, unlike a pianist or a flutist, an actor has an instrument that is constantly changing.

27. I feel like any single woman of color who's been onstage has a Shakespeare monologue in her back pocket, and a monologue from "For Colored Girls." It's just part of what you should have, as a woman of color.

28. Your degree is proof that you have what it takes to take the leap into the adventure of your unique experience. You don't earn a degree by doing and being and existing in the comfort zone of what you already know. So whether it's taken 2 years or 7 to get today's degree, I want you to look back on the journey that brought you here. What moments challenged you most? When were you asked to step outside of your familiar territory in order to rise to the occasion of your potential? How have you pushed past your fear? I want you to remember those moments because they will embolden you and affirm you and remind you that you did this.

29. I think as a whole America is dealing with the issue of homophobia. We got to be really honest about whether we believe in civil rights for all people or not. As Black people we need to remember the moment that we say it's okay to disenfranchise one segment of society, we're opening the door to move backward on ourselves.

30. I think most people, when they think about the Black Panther Party, they think in very abstract, caricatured terms. They think about black fists in the air, but they don't think about the actual people, and the families, and the relationships.

31. I think sometimes in life we want to ignore the problems of society and just think about the good. I believe in positive thinking and affirmative living, I also think it's really important to remember all of our disenfranchised members of society.

32. I'm here not just as an actress but as a woman, an African-American, a granddaughter of Ellis Island immigrants, a person who could not have afforded college without the help of student loans and as one of millions of volunteers working to re-elect President Obama!

33. I'm doing this play right now, the new David Mamet play. It's called "Race," and it's very interesting how people really leave the theater filled with the desire to talk about the play and the issues and the characters, and how they're all navigating their personal views around race.

34. When you leave here today and commence the next stage of your life, you can follow someone else's script, try to make choices that will make other people happy, avoid discomfort, do what is expected, and copy the status quo. Or you can look at all that you have accomplished today and use it as fuel to venture forth and write your own story. If you do, amazing things will take shape.

35. I've always been a writer because I've always been a student. My mom's a retired professor, so I come from a very academic background. I love writing, you know?

36. Making the unbelievable believable is different on a set with "Fantastic Four,"where it's like: "Wind machines! Because the airship is coming in and you're pretending to be afraid!"

What do you think of Kerry Washington's quotes?

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