Chaplin and money

This is my favorite quote from Charlie Chaplin.

“I went into the business for the money, and the art grew out of it. If people are disillusioned by that remark, I can’t help it. It’s the truth.”

To really understand this quote you need a bit of history. As a child Chaplin was very, very poor, and had no real formal education. All he had was a bit of theatrical experience gained from his parents. His father was a drunk who abandoned them, and his mother lost her mind. The only chance Chaplin had to make a living was going into theater. Or he could dig ditches.

Later on, when he accepted the contract from Mack Sennett to work in movies, he believed it would be a temporary job. The money was good, and he thought he would take the money and go back to the theater. That’s what the quote refers to.

Still, I think artists should keep this quote alive in their thinking. You can be motivated by money, and bring something special to what you do.

Leave a Reply