Oscar-winning Career Counsel — from Diane Keaton

How fabulous to be a media/theater/entertainment student and receive career advice from Diane Keaton.  On a visit to Dallas she generously conducted a brilliant Q&A session at SMU.
She was savvy and assertive.  Witty and wise.  More Murphy Brown than Annie Hall.  Lots of very smart counsel for anyone of any age — whether you are pursuing a career or personal passion.
Here are some highlights:
  • “Observe other people.  It makes your life more interesting.”
  • On aging and plastic surgery:  “When you get older, whatever happens, it’s not going to be good.”
  • On Woody Allen and Annie Hall:  ”It was autobiographical.  Lots of it was me.  Before Annie Hall, his movies were a string of jokes.  This was a love story that didn’t work out.”
  • ”In movies, the director is the boss.  In TV, you are a member of a family.  You have to know the difference.”
  • In describing herself at age 21:  “I was undeveloped mentally.  Iwanted to have lots of men love me.  I wanted to be a movie star.  I had lots of dreams, but they were really small.”
  • Regarding The Godfather:  ”At 23, I didn’t understand the concept of a big movie.  I was out of my league.  Everyone was in awe of Marlon Brando.  He was gorgeous.  He was the greatest actor.  I didn’t even see the finished movie until I was 41.  When I saw it I thought, wow this is a great movie!”
  • On gamechangers:  ”Annie Hall changed my life.  It gave me all the opportunities I ever had.  I got a lot of work from Annie Hall.”
  • Is fame worth it?  “YES.  YES.  No question.  There are complexities.  You have to live up to expections.  But it gives opportunities to explore other realms of life. ”
  • On Jack Nicholson [dish alert!]:  ”I love Jack, but I’m glad I’m not in love with Jack.”
  • Insights for young women considering a career in the industry:  ”You have to hang in there.  Stay with it.  Keep going.  There is a LOT of rejection.  Do you feel like you have tenacity?  What are your instincts?  Will it work out?  Ask the right questions.  Be a smart person.”
In Hollywood, as everywhere,  ”Everything is changing.  This is the most amazing time.  Our lives are jammed with imagery.  There’s so much else [technology and imagery] out there besides movies.  Every minute you could be looking at something.  There is a disparity in budgets.  $8 million indies vs. $200 million 3-D megaproductions.   But…stories will have to be told.”
I love her comments regarding the future.  Applicable to any of us.  Where do you go from here?  ”Regarding movies…hmm…I don’t really know.  I see myself going in to real estate….[audience laughter].  I have a lot of interests and hobbies, architecture, directing, writing.  Maintain a life outside of your career.  You can always find time to do something.  If it interests you, DO IT!”

How did La Belle Diane make it?  “Luck.  Preparation and opportunity.  I made inroads.  I am a hard worker.  Be prepared for the opportunities.  Grab them.

She concedes that it’s more than just acting now, which is true in any path.  “Now you have to be branded to make a dent.  Everybody is doing everything.  Sarah Jessica Parker.  Fashion lines.  Perfume. Products.”

What are the lures of her chosen field?

”It’s the best.  It’s an adventure.  You get to kiss men!”

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One Comment

  1. Bravo for featuring Diane Keaton, one of my heroines! She had her own quirky style in clothing, much the way Katherine Hepburn did, before Annie Hall but, of course, Annie Hall put her and her style/brand/persona in our collective conscious. A very smart, unique lady. Loved her in Something's Gotta Give.

Copyright © 2012 Nancy Keene