A dispirited James Dean hand-wrote the following note as he sat in a restaurant in 1952, months after moving to New York in a bid to further his acting career. Full-time auditioning in the Big Apple clearly left Dean feeling a little isolated. Two years later, Dean would reluctantly move to L.A. to shoot East of Eden and write this similarly downbeat letter to then-girlfriend Barbara Glenn.
Transcript follows. Image courtesy of Clive Steadman.
Being an actor is the loneliest thing in the world. The stage is like a religion you dedicate yourself to and then suddenly you find that you don’t have time to see friends and it’s not for them to understand you don’t have anybody. You’re all alone with your concentration and your imagination and that’s all you have. You’re an actor.
by James Dean