Sayings of Maude Adams

“Don't be afraid of failure; be afraid of petty success.”

“Genius is the talent for seeing things straight.”

“I had very little confidence in myself as an actress.”

“I love Salt Lake City, but I love you and the life of work before me better.” (I would like to know the source of this quote. I wonder who the term “you” refers to. I would guess an audience that she was speaking before, but that's just a guess.)

“I've changed my mind about the interview. I shall never give interviews.” (I know she did at least one radio interview, but I don't know the date and don't have a way to get hold of the actual interview. Maude Adams didn't do any regular interviews with the press, as far as I know.)

“If I have smashed the traditions, it was because I knew no traditions.”

“Life is so fresh, life is every day so new if we are fighting, only for the best. Sometimes I think the only real satisfaction in life is failure, failure in your endeavor to do your best.” (I can't figure this one out at all.)

“Sometimes it seems that we are successful only because we have not tried hard enough for our best. We do the hard thing, and one day we succeed, and many things are made plain to us.” (Again, this seems sort of self-contradictory to me.)

“The delightful sense of importance that had been mine as a child actress was taken out of me. It seemed as if anyone could do better than I did. In every part I was worse than in the one before, and even my mother admitted that it would be a mercy if gestures could be dispersed with entirely.”

“When I was about 15...I made my first attempt as a leading lady, and was, of course, a complete failure.”

“You may shelve your Shakespearian plans for the present. I am going to play Peter Pan.” (She had a long, very successful run as Peter Pan, but later did do Merchant of Venice and The Ladies' Shakespeare, along with As You Like It.)