“Perseverance, secret of all triumphs.” ~ Victor Hugo
Hailing from Fargo, North Dakota, Jan Maxwell hasn’t shed her humble roots. Those who know and appreciate theater, know Ms. Maxwell. The stage and television screen have been her professional home for decades. Critically acclaimed, Ms. Maxwell made and continues to make a name for herself while being a full-time mom.
What began as a “hobby,” Jan sensed early that she might be able to carve out a modest living as an actress. She enjoyed performing before live audiences and left North Dakota for New York City, unaware of how competitive and demanding her chosen field was and is.
Years later (she’s 57), she has five Tony Award nominations (she’s one of only three women to be nominated in all four acting categories) and countless other industry awards from her peers, yet she’s still Jan from North Dakota, a mom, and a woman who just happens to love her work. And, I’ll add, is very good at it.
Jan was my guest this week on the Awakening to Awareness Radio Show during which she talked about the irony in her profession being called a “play” when in reality, it’s hard work. She spoke about the range of emotions she has to exude while in character; making ‘real-time’ mistakes on stage and how she’s learned and practices “instant forgiveness”; her philosophy on aging and; the importance of perseverance on stage and in life.
When I invited Jan to share one take-away with listeners, she didn’t hesitate and said: “Follow your passion and do it now!”
Our conversation provided a glimpse behind the stage curtain; identified who she believes are the hardest working people in theater and; what she may find herself doing when she chooses to retire from a world many only see on the surface.
If you’re interested in listening to Jan’s thoughtful perspectives, here’s the podcast link.