A Connection with the Audience

"People, and I count myself as one of them, don't know how to respond to the celebrated. That if I see somebody whose work I admire, or whose work or accomplishments I stand in awe, I feel like I have a connection with them. But I don't. It's an illusion. And so I, just like anyone else, am probably going to be David Mamet by David Shankboneor feel awkward or tongue-tied or incompetent or even envious. And sometimes that's going to express itself in some sort of reserve or even antagonism. Because it seems that there's a connection, but there isn't.

...Then it occurred to me last year that the opposite's always true. That someone who is celebrated thinks that he or she has a connection with their audience. So when people come up to you and say, Oh my gosh, I loved your show or Dave, I love that play, that feels great. And you say, Oh, they really understood, they really understood. But there can't be anything beyond that because there really isn't a connection. The only connection is the work. So that someone in the public eye is almost constantly saddened and disappointed by an interaction with the audience because the audience exists as a whole, but it doesn't exist as individuals. It's an illusion."

~ David Mamet, on KCRW's The Treament (4.05.08)