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Sir Anthony Hopkins recently spoke at an impromptu gathering of students at Thomas Aquinas College in Ojai, California. While his talk emphasized the dramatic arts, Hopkins gifts in poetry, painting, and musical composition also come to bear here. Thus, there is much to be gleaned for artists of all types, including writers. The talk is about one hour in length, and while hyper-speed hackles may bristle at the investment of time, I’ve come up with 10 great reasons why making the investment will ensure great returns for your own creative practice.

1. He does Hamlet‘s “To sleep, perchance to dream” speech off the cuff, beautifully…

2. He wisely and humbly speaks about the necessity of living in the present moment.

3. He is an inspiring model of the consummate artist — something all of us should strive to be, regardless of the type of craft we practice.

4. He reminds us not to look at the end product so much as at deeply experiencing the process of creation.

5. He emphasizes that the artist PRACTICES constantly until he is so comfortable with his medium that he can “relax” in his craft — this does not mean the artist becomes lazy, but rather that the artist becomes open and free of obstacles.

6. He understands the artist must often work in spite of and not because of his “feelings” about the piece.

7. He has a deep understanding of the spirituality of art, especially of Shakespeare, which grows and deepens through age and experience.

8. He intuits the deep level of education and formation the immersion in one’s craft can bring about in an individual.

9. He reminds us not to take ourselves so seriously, while still respecting the intensity of the work and joy in practicing one’s craft.

10. It’s Anthony Hopkins. . . why WOULDN’T you want to listen?

Bonus: For film buffs, especially of the Psycho variety, you’ll especially enjoy hearing Hopkins discuss the unique challenges and opportunities for artistic growth in his new project.

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