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" Just when did I get to the point when staying at a hotel wasn't fun? "
" I'll meet listeners who tell me what a great voice I have. But I don't have a great voice for radio. My voice is the utterly normal voice, but sheer repetition has made them think it's OK. Mick Jagger once was asked, 'What makes a hit song? He said, 'Repetition.' "
" I have been shocked at the number of people who don't watch television. "
" I was a freelancer all through my 20s and was very slow to get good at what I did. "
" If you want somebody to tell you a story, one of the most easiest and effective ways is if you're telling them a story. "
" I was a semiotics major at Brown, and there's this idea that stories are better, books are better, and movies are better if they cocked you off your axis and you were completely disoriented and you'd really have to rethink everything. Nobody has that experience, actually. "
" Reporters tend to find in others what they are suited to find, so there is a whole school of reporting where they are cynical about the world, and everything reinforces that. Whereas I tend to be optimistic and be amused by people and like them, even rather bad people. "
" Like, radio is closer to a Tumblr, or a blog, or Twitter, than it is to television, I think. "
" We're Jews, my family, and Jews break down into two distinct subcultures: book Jews and money Jews. We were money Jews. "
" Traditional broadcast media seems old-fashioned and vague to me. When I watch television news, I'm aware of what skilled journalists they are, but I find it hard because of the corny way they present it. "
" Unless you work for '60 Minutes', your life is: You do stories about things, and nothing happens as a result. "
" Starting in the 1970s, American cars started to lose market share to foreign cars. It was clear what was happening - these better-made foreign car companies were encroaching on the U.S., and the U.S. car makers had less than half of their own country's market. "
" I hate dream sequences in movies and T.V. shows generally for their heavy-handed symbolism and storytelling tediousness. "
" When you're learning, especially to write, unless you're some incredibly gifted writer, a young Malcom Gladwell, say, you need to be imitating people. You need to be imitating how they make their work, how they structure it, how they design the pieces. It gives you chops; it gives you moves. "
" Harry Potter to me is a bore. His talent arrives as a gift; he's chosen. Who can identify with that? But Hermione - she's working harder than anyone, she's half outsider, right? Half Muggle. She shouldn't be there at all. It's so unfair that Harry's the star of the books, given how hard she worked to get her powers. "
" I can only control what I can control. "
" I've never so appreciated what actors do and how strange it is. "
" When I was in college, I was a semiotics major, which is this hopelessly pretentious body of French literary theory. "
" Honestly, there are so many things about structuring a story for film and telling a story for film that are really different from doing radio. "
" The Flash could do everything twice as fast. Except you never saw him think twice as fast or speak twice as fast. Could he do math faster than the other superheroes? Could he compute the tip for the bill twice as fast? "
" For me to do a story, something has to happen to someone. It's a story in the way you learn what a story is in third grade, where there is a person, and things happen to them, and then something big happens, and they realize something new. "
" I'm a cliche. "
" If you date one woman a year, times 10 years, and that's 10 women. "
" You get into this situation, performing for T.V., where you have to speak with utter sincerity. It's just like the radio. You have to say it like you mean it, even though the thing you're saying is actually planned out. "
" When I was a bad writer, I would consciously imitate other NPR writers who I thought were wonderful. I suppose that everyone's artistic practice is different. But I collaborate and sometimes don't agree at all with my collaborators' opinions. It forces you to understand why you don't agree with something: what's the fight you're picking. "
" But you can make good radio, interesting radio, great radio even, without an urgent question, a burning issue at stake. "
" I didn't have any particular talent for fiction. I took a class in college. "
" I think the name of the show, 'This American Life' - we named it that just because it seemed like it made the thing feel big. But we don't think about whether it's an American story or not. We happen to be Americans. I think for the stories to work, they have to be universal. "
" You'd think that radio was around long enough that someone would have coined a word for staring into space. "
" I'm a reporter - if I don't interview someone, I don't have much to say, and I definitely can't just sit down and knock out 800 words on any subject you give me. "
" At some point, all comics have to go out and be retail salesmen doing door-to-door. And this idea of somebody who totally knows their craft having to get up for free in front of a crowd to work out some stuff they're thinking in their head, still, after as much success as you can get, is really interesting. "