Now is the time of year you’ve likely taken a hard look at yourself and tried to determine what, if anything, could improve your life. We create New Year’s resolutions as a plan of action for achieving our goals. The list is typically filled with the same handful of vague promises to self, such as ‘eat better, save money and exercise more’.
You might want to take a look at 29-year old Marilyn Monroe’s detailed resolutions from 1955 for a bit of inspiration. She didn’t make a resolution to hit the gym, she wanted to be a better actress. It was the year that she was accepted into Lee Strasberg’s prestigious Art’s Studio where she was determined to turn the opportunity to study with the best teachers and actors into a career that would acknowledge her talents more than her looks. Monroe is sometimes unfairly pegged as merely a Hollywood sex symbol but these resolutions shed light on how she hoped to be taken seriously in her chosen profession.
The detailed resolutions reveal a woman determined to turn her ‘miserable’ life around with a dedicated plan to do so. Monroe’s determination to become a better actress restyled in a Golden Globe for her role in Some Like It Hot in 1960.
Here’s the full transcript:
Must make effort to do
Must have the dicipline to do the following –
z – go to class – my own always – without fail
x – go as often as possible to observe Strassberg’s other private classes
g – never miss actor’s studio sessions
v – work whenever possible – on class assignments – and always keep working on the acting exercises
u – start attending Clurman lectures – also Lee Strassberg’s directors lectures at theater wing – enquire about both
l – keep looking around me – only much more so – observing – but not only myself but others and everything – take things (it) for what they (it’s) are worth
y – must make strong effort to work on current problems and phobias that out of my past has arisen – making much much much more more more more more effort in my analisis. And be there always on time – no excuses for being ever late.
w – if possible – take at least one class at university – in literature –
o – follow RCA thing through.
p – try to find someone to take dancing from – body work (creative)
t – take care of my instrument – personally & bodily (exercise) try to enjoy myself when I can – I’ll be miserable enough as it is.
Indeed the final line, “I’ll be miserable enough as it is” seems sad in hindsight, but it’s undeniable that Monroe’s 1955 commitment to her craft paid off in her career.
What are your New Year’s resolutions?