Marian with a student at Fordham.
I never say or think something of others that I wouldn’t want said or thought of me or of anyone I love. I try to love everyone as a family member when I come to know them or work with them. I absolutely believe that when people we love and admire succeed, we rise with them, and I am happy when they are happy. I’m now invested in a new group of people who are now in my family, or more firmly in my family. I’m going to be doing whatever I can to see that they succeed; that they are happy; that they have love of the theatre in their lives. If I have a creed or a motto it is this: Everything happens and grows from love.
From a conversation in 2002, during the time Marian was appearing in Ellen McLaughlin’s Helen at the Public Theater.
Marian Seldes with Charles Busch, with whom she shared a birthday.
If I ever did anything intelligent or bold, it was to go into the day, into the world, expecting people to surprise and change and delight me. And they always did. They always will. I cannot wait to get out into the world.
Marian Seldes in The Royal Family at the Ahmanson, in Los Angeles, 2004.
More than anything–anything at all–I wanted my students, my friends, to be full human beings. I wanted them to be curious and eager to fill the curiosity; I wanted them to read and watch and listen and share; I wanted them to seek and cultivate friendship; I wanted them to love the ground on which they and their friends and families walked; I wanted them to know, always, that they mattered. And from that, from that perspective, pursue their work, do their work, love their work. Nothing begins with work: Work is the reward and the fulfillment of all you’ve loved and thought and done. I wanted and I want magical lives for everyone, and I want everyone to know it is possible to have one.
From a conversation in 2006
Marian in Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth, at Williamstown, and directed by Darko Tresnjak.
The goal is to love–to love the work and the people with whom you’re working. Love life–love every precious moment of it; be aware of it as you’re in it and as it is passing. Along the way to love, you will find friendship and work and, perhaps, some recognition, but all of that will pale in comparison to the love.
No one has ever disappointed me, because I will not allow that to happen. I know there is virtue in everyone, and I look for it, I dig for it, I find it. I cannot be disappointed in others.
From a conversation in 1986