Alan Alda is an actor, director, author, and communications guru. He has received 6 Emmys and been nominated 34 times. He has also been nominated 3 times for a Tony and once for an Oscar. He is most known for playing Dr. Hawkeye Pierce on the TV series MASH and has been inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. He is also an accomplished author with a number of New York Times bestselling books, the latest one titled: If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating. He is the co-founder of The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. And he is also the host of his own podcast called Clear and Vivid.
Some interesting insights from this episode:
- The only kind of formal training Alan had was improvisation which is equally valuable in real life as it is in acting. If you’re able to connect with another person, things happen between you that would never happen otherwise.
- “You have to get your brain so devoted to what you’re doing and to how you understand what you’re doing that the rest of your body comes along with it.”
- In regards to acting, “it’s hard stuff but I’m ecstatic and I love it. There’s a wonderful feeling of flying when it goes well.”
- “If we all thought a little bit more like scientists, we might make better decisions.”
- “The most impressive scientists attack their own ideas before anybody else can.”
- External awards like an Emmy aren’t nearly as motivating to him as the internal reward to getting better at his craft.
- “Rather that strive for excellence, it’s better to strive for pretty damn good.”