Audra McDonald Quotes.
I think a part of evolution is the desire to know yourself, and know the world you live in, and discover everything you can about the world you live in. That world can be the microcosm of your own emotions, or a society, or the cosmos. There’s this constant desire for knowledge.
Rise above the way society is going to see you and society is going to see you at the absolutely bottom of the totem pole because not only are you female, you are Black. Never believe it and never give into that, that that’s where you live or that’s who you are.
There’s a lot of traps you can fall into when you are playing someone who existed. If it comes out just as impersonation, that’s bad; it has to be an embodiment. You have to live it, not just sound and look like it.
‘Go Back Home’ encompasses not only actual geographic location but also, for me, back home in the worlds of music and theatre, and back home in terms of making albums again. There are lots of meanings to that.
I think for a lot of people that are in performing arts, it’s easy to fall into the trap of starting to confuse what’s real life and what’s not, because to your body it’s all real.
The arts are so important not only to society but to ourselves as human beings. It keeps in touch with our own humanity. So access to the arts in any way, shape, or form is vital.
Anytime I get the chance to sing or work with Michael John, it is such an incredibly fertile and incredibly creative and safe and encouraging environment – and challenging, too, because he is so collaborative!
The only thing I’ve ever wanted to do in my entire life is to be on Broadway.
The authentic Gullah dialect is actually very clipped, and so it would sound almost Jamaican and be very odd to an American audience’s ears. It’s not the typical Southern dialect that we’re used to.
I certainly miss playing piano, and I really wish I did it more – it’s really a very therapeutic thing to do for me. I just need to be home for more than a few minutes to be able to play more, I guess.
There’s no perfect household anywhere.
I used to practice Tony speeches in my bathroom with my hairbrush.
My voice isn’t an instrument I can just hang up on a hook.
I feel a connection to many songs that I won’t sing because I don’t think they are right for me! There is something in my gut that immediately responds. There’s no science to it.
I don’t see myself as a perfectionist.
I auditioned for Julliard because I wanted to live in New York, and I wanted to be on Broadway at the time. Julliard seemed like right way to get there.
When I was doing ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ with Sean Combs, we began in bed, and he would give me 10 kisses and an 11th for luck before the play began.
I love talking with elderly people.
The authentic Gullah dialect is actually very clipped, and so it would sound almost Jamaican and be very odd to an American audience’s ears. It’s not the typical Southern dialect that we’re used to. It has a much more percussive rhythm to it.
I’m still an artist who’s searching, trying to evolve, an artist who – nine times out of ten – is dissatisfied with her work, and beats herself, and goes out there and tries again and again, and falls on her face and looks for new challenges.
I think it’s absolutely essential to encourage creativity. I think we come in as these wide-eyed sponges, ready to create and absorb and evolve, and I think more often than not we are squashed, the older we get.
I was a little girl with a pot belly and Afro puffs, hyperactive and overdramatic, and I found the theater and I found my home.
I find that I’m just drawn to anything that’s going to challenge me as an actress. So, anything that’s going to help me grow.
I came from a really musical family. I studied classical piano because my grandparents were piano teachers, but started doing musical theater at age nine in Fresno, California, and went to a performing arts high school. That was my life.
When I wanted to audition for a dinner-theater junior troupe in my hometown, I needed to have a piece of musical theater music to sing. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to use. My mom and dad suggested that I sing ‘Edelweiss’ because I knew it from the music box.
Not to get too sort of mystical, but I believe in fate. I believe when roles are presented to me in my life they’re for a very specific reason, something for me to learn.
When I first was exposed to ‘Porgy and Bess’ many, many years ago, I was blown away by it – loved the music, overwhelmed by the production at the Met that I saw, and thought I want to play Bess someday. But I also knew they were stereotypes that were considered racist.
I guess what I know now that I definitely didn’t know as a child, is that being truest to yourself is the greatest weapon in the war to achieve. That sounds really negative, but in conquering or achieving something. I think, as a child, I thought I had to be somebody else.
When you become a parent, it blows you open in ways that you never thought possible in terms of a level of love that I know I never thought I could possibly have.
I admire but don’t envy people who have children and also have big, wonderful perfect houses. Maybe Martha Stewart could do it; to me those two things aren’t compatible, but I know our children will grow up with a feeling that home is a place of comfort.
I grew up in a nonprofit theater company in the heartland of central California, so I am very aware of the importance that company had not only on my life but my community.
I am always so excited to get to know a new audience. My concerts are very personal experiences.
I believe in not whistling backstage and not saying the name of the Scottish play.
I used to think I needed to have drama at all times, or I wouldn’t have the fuel for the performance. Now I know that’s not true. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel it, but I recognize it when I do and put the brakes on. And if the performance isn’t what it might have been once, I’ve learned not to judge myself as much.
Every human being has a dream. I think what’s special about the American Dream is that it implies, given everything that’s happened with the history of America, that there is the opportunity to make your dream come true. So I think America signifies opportunity.
Whatever is the scariest is almost always what I end up choosing.