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Seen and Heard in New York: Laura Linney, Diddy, Sally Potter, Tilda Swinton, Lupe Serrano

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Laura Linney, star and producer of the new Showtime series, The Big C, and star of Time Stands Still, which is resuming its Broadway run this fall, in conversation recently with Jordan Roth, president of Jujamcyn Theaters, at the 92nd Street Y in New York:

'I was not looking to do the (TV) series. I read this thing. It's a combination of being the age I am in life, I lost a lot of friends in the last year, mortality, my parents aging. It dealt with a lot of issues I am still struggling with, what you do with your time, how you live your life. Is it a blessing or a curse to know you have a year to live? I don't know. What do you do with the responsibility of living? Then I heard it was a comedy."

"There's a lot I don't know about producing. It's going to be a learning experience for me."

"There's nothing better than the sound of 500 people listening (in the theater). I can tell when a play is working because of that sound. It's a communion in a way, it's great."

"I really knew what I was getting into, the life in the theater, that it costs. I knew I had to love it more than anything else. Fortunately I had that alignment correct before I went to drama school."

"You don't live a normal life. You miss birthdays, funerals, holidays. Over time it affects you and your relationships with people. It's hard when you let down people you love. I sort of live in a state of chaos a little bit."

"I don't think about my career. I try not to think about my career. I try not to make decisions based on my career. Worry will eat you alive if you let it."


Diddy in conversation recently with Peter Rosenberg, hip hop show host on New York's Hot 97, at 92YTribeca:

"Football and sports were definitely my passion in high school (Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx). Football was a perfect match for me. I knew I'd play in the NFL, win the Heisman, Super Bowl rings. The last day of camp I broke my leg, I was out for the season. I had no plan B, I was broken-hearted. That's when music became my release."

"At home, there was a tradition in my household, you had to do chores on Saturday. My mother used to blast music, dance was a big part of my life. When the music came on I was always dancing. In high school, dancing was a tool for me to get girls. Nobody had money. I was dancing to make sure I could catch me a cutie."

"I went to Howard University, I thought it was a party school. When I got there the parties were not hot. I was a doorman at a Marriott. As a doorman I made $1,000 a week. I started to hang out at clubs, parties, with people from the city and Howard."

"I've been a workaholic and my personal life has really suffered, from my obsession to be the person I want to be. I started doing meditation today. I have such a blessed life, I enjoy life, have a good time. I want to slow down, but not lose my edge."


Director Sally Potter and actress Tilda Swinton, star of Potter's 1992 film, Orlando (released this summer by Sony on a special-edition DVD) in conversation recently at the Museum of Modern Art, part of a series of exhibitions celebrating publication of Modern Women: Women Artists at the Museum of Modern Art:

Potter: Orlando was " a very complex adaptation. It was very difficult to raise money for it. It was considered impossible to adapt. You don't dare touch a classic. It's an unrealistic story, over 400 years, someone is male and female. To be truly respectful of the work you have to be incredibly ruthless to make a cinematic equivalent. I was confident that as a book it could become a film. My intention with the book was to take a collective stream of consciousness and turn in into images."

Swinton: "I have a strange relationship with the film. When I made it, even though it was not my autobiography and it was written by Virginia Woolf as a novel, when we were shooting the film, it played in my head, it was some kind of prognostication of my life. It has been borne out."

Potter on Rage, a 2009 film that is made up of 24 cell-phone interviews: "I was deeply influenced by Warhol--I used flat color, like Warhol, behind the faces. It evokes the entire history of portraiture. The cell phone reinvigorates the self-portrait."


Lupe Serrano, principal dancer from 1953 to 1971 and current faculty member of the American Ballet Theatre, speaking at a recent "Works and Process" program at the Guggenheim Museum celebrating the ABT's 70th anniversary:

"The company was quite different, there were 42 members at that point. We toured a lot, in some years ten months of the year. We'd rehearse four to six weeks for the year, there was no time for coaching."

"Everybody got paid the same, $50 a week."

"The State Department sent tours to South America, Europe. We were the first company to go into the Iron Curtain. It was very challenging to perform in the USSR. It was frightening to think that well-known ballerinas were in the audience watching us."

"We couldn't afford to get injured. If you couldn't perform, they changed the program."

Discussing her favorite roles, Serrano named, "La Fille Mal Gardee, it was a comedy. I could run around the stage like a crazy woman. The fourth act of Swan Lake, it was so intense and the music was so fabulous. I loved the pas de deux in Giselle."