In his memoir 'Nevertheless," Alec Baldwin recounts that he assumed that he was going to become a lawyer. That was when he left New York and enrolled in George Washington University in D.C.
His grandfather Alexander Baldwin had been an assistant DA in Brooklyn. Baldwin adds that gramps had been indicted for allegedly taking a bribe. Although acquitted, he was disbarred. Quickly he lost everything and turned to drink.
Perhaps that negative family legacy was what provided the wiggle room in Baldwin's career planning. When doing some acting at GW, he had the epiphany that finally he found heaven. Up until then, he was just another lost soul from a dysfunctional low-income family.
He transferred to New York University. That had and still has a well-respected acting program.
Just when he was running out of money at NYU, the universe smiled on him. From nowhere, he was invited to audition for the the part of cad on the soap opera "The Doctors." Since audiences prefer cads over good guys, that was exactly the break Baldwin needed. As they say, the rest is history.
What Baldwin hammers early in the memoir is how his Dickensian childhood shaped the personality traits he needed to be a first-rate actor.
For example, he took refuge from the unhappy house inside himself. There, he could inspect his feelings. Another refuge was watching plenty of television. He also lived inside the small screen. In addition, he got it that he had to run his own show. Both his parents were ineffectual.
The book is a useful read for anyone who can't ferret out purpose in their pain.
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