Rory O'Malley Quotes

  1. I played Sky Masterson in ‘Guys and Dolls’ at St. Ignatius. I walked out onstage at one point looking for Nathan Detroit, and I’m supposed to say, ‘Has anyone seen Nathan Detroit?’ But, instead, I said, ‘Has anyone seen Sky Masterson?’ I immediately realized what I’d done, so I said, ‘Wait a minute. I’m Sky Masterson!’
  2. You can win your Oscar, and you still wake up trying to figure out how to get your next job.
  3. The theatre community is so powerful.
  4. I was eight when I played St. Joseph, and I told my mom from that moment on I wanted to be an actor.
  5. There comes a point when you have to be more than an actor, and doing something else that means a lot to me has actually made me a stronger actor. It’s stimulated something else in my brain and heart.
  6. As someone who was once in the closet, I can tell you it is the most sad, dark, awful, depressing place to ever be.
  7. Mom was a single mother. So three aunts and three uncles and all of mom’s friends pitched in as weekend warriors.
  8. We cannot give up on working toward that more perfect union.
  9. I obsessively listened to all of James Lapine’s shows as a child growing up in Cleveland and had every cast recording and every VHS tape of ‘Into the Woods’ and everything that James had done that I could get my hands on.
  10. Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence are such legends.
  11. Being a kid and growing up in Cleveland, the Tonys were how you saw Broadway shows: you got to hear from each show, and that’s what inspired me to live my dream, so the fact that I am getting recognition from them, it’s mind-blowing.
  12. My mom was a single mother. She had six siblings in a big Irish family, all descended from shanty Irish folks who arrived after the Famine. They settled along the Cuyahoga River. It’s the river that caught on fire. We’re real good at picking real estate.
  13. It’s about being open to what comes your way. I came to New York and saw ‘Spelling Bee.’ I said to myself, ‘That’s the greatest show ever, and I can’t believe I’m not a part of it.’ I felt the only way I’m going to get to be a part of something that good is to live in New York. So I moved to New York and ended up in ‘Spelling Bee.’
  14. ‘Hamilton’ is a game-changer for the musical theater genre. It’s moved the art form forward so much and redefined so many things about what we do in theater, so it’s pretty hard to oversell it.
  15. Growing up in bars might sound like child abuse. And if it does, then you’re what my mom would call ‘Protestants.’
  16. Los Angeles is where I became an actor.
  17. I’m an actor first and foremost. But I’ve also started an organization, Broadway Impact, that advocates for marriage equality. I’m an actorvist.
  18. I loved ‘Les Miz’ and ‘Into the Woods’ – I used to cast ‘Into the Woods’ with my friends, even if they’d never stepped on stage before.
  19. You put me in the room with my family and everyone I grew up with, and I’d be the last person that you’d say is the performer.
  20. The ‘Cheers’ family seemed like my family.
  21. Elder McKinley wants his homosexuality to be turned off. To be a perfect Mormon, he has to put his feelings away.
  22. The key to doing eight shows a week is maintaining your energy. Getting as much sleep as possible and a big, healthy breakfast is the best way to make that happen. My mainstay is granola cereal, a banana, and soy milk. I also try to add a side of fresh fruit with yogurt and peanut butter toast.
  23. I think that, as an actor, you fight so hard to get work for years that when it actually comes, you just are so grateful. I am so happy to get to do what I love.
  24. It’s definitely a high when you walk onstage and everybody starts applauding before you even say anything.
  25. The only way to get to that next peak is to be ready for that next valley. Being raised Irish, you know to always be ready for the bad times.
  26. To watch Lin Manuel Miranda… you could not make a better spokesperson for Broadway in a laboratory.
  27. The way to talk about something sad is to sing a funny song about it.
  28. I watched ‘Downton Abbey’ twice, and I’m thinking of watching it for a third time. It is so good!
  29. Every actor who’s been around long enough knows that when something bad happens in this business, it’s always for a reason. Really, the hardest part is waiting to find out what the reason is.
  30. After I graduated college, I moved to L.A. I started working for the Garry Marshall Theatre in Toluca Lake and did theater at the Hudson Theatre in Santa Monica. I paid my dues by working at every single restaurant in the Grove until they fired me. I worked an overnight shift at the Mondrian Hotel.
  31. You need to be happy with or without an acting job.
  32. It’s profound to watch a little African-American girl light up when she raps as George Washington and she realizes that Washington’s story is her story. That this history belongs to all of us.
  33. Life comes before the business.
  34. There are a lot of other work forces that don’t do things the way the Broadway community does.
  35. With Irish drama, things are told with humor.
  36. I love how passionate Elder McKinley is about his faith, but he’s a perfectionist in a bad way… to the point he denies his true feelings. It’s a common story, unfortunately.
  37. As a kid, I had nightmares about Freddy Krueger just from the trailers on TV!
  38. Irish music in the local pubs was my first exposure to musical expression, and I feel like Irish music is very close to musical theater because it is always telling a story.
  39. You can’t waste time in your life trying to hide the truth.
  40. I have a picture on my phone of me and Audra McDonald from when I went stage door-ing at ‘Ragtime’ in high school. I always keep it there because I try to remember how important that was to me.
  41. I spent a lot of my time, growing up, at the Beck Center. I’d be in plays there, and I’d get there an hour or two early just so I could be there, where I felt safe and where I belonged. And that’s such an important feeling to have as a young kid. The theater community, and especially the Beck Center, really embraced me and got me started.
  42. Pub life was such a huge part of growing up for me, going to pubs and being around them. It made me who I am today.
  43. When I came out, I thought coming out meant giving up a marriage and a family. That was, to me, the most difficult part of the coming-out process.
  44. I always thought I would move to New York after graduation, but, instead, I moved to Los Angeles. I realized I was more scared of that choice than I was of New York, and I thought, at 22, I should get it over with.
  45. I can’t believe women walk around in stilettos. I would not make it two steps.

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