Quote of the Month: Use the difficulty

“I was rehearsing a play, and there was a scene that went on before me, then I had to come in the door. They rehearsed the scene, and one of the actors had thrown a chair at the other one. It landed right in front of the door where I came in. I opened the door and then rather lamely, I said to the producer who was sitting out in the stalls,’Well, look, I can’t get in. There’s a chair in my way.’ He said,’Well, use the difficulty.’ So I said ‘What do you mean, use the difficulty?’ He said ‘Well, if it’s a drama, pick it up and smash it. If it’s a comedy, fall over it.’ This was a line for me for life: Always use the difficulty.”

Michael Caine, interviewed by NPR’s Terry Gross, from her book All I did was ask

5 Responses to “Quote of the Month: Use the difficulty”

  1. Scott Berkun

    I took a class in improvisation years ago and this little story encapsulates what I learned – there is always a way to make use of whatever someone puts in front of you.

    The Pollyanna, cheesy version of this is “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade” which always makes me want to punch someone in the face for some strange reason – perhaps it’s because this saying reminds me of The Sound of Music, which also makes me want to inflict pain on whoever is around.

    Anyway – use the difficulty. I will remember this.

  2. Kirkistan

    It’s a nice quote for when you’re having, ya know, difficulties.

  3. Dorian Taylor

    Michael Caine is way more badass than Julie Andrews (or Shirley Temple for that matter).


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