This thing from Arthur Penn is pretty interesting and really worth a read.
I'm difficult and sometimes I like myself for it and sometimes it gets me into a lot of trouble, but I do like it when people fight, and people care, and people are something other than what everyone else is.
I was recently told I was 'too strong' for a character, which might have just been a way to let me down, but if it is true, is one of the worst reasons for not getting a job ever. Cast strong people! Make the rest of your cast step it up! No commitment to mediocrity! Also, given the particular character, I just think it is a terrible choice and will ruin the play. Characters are strong. Actors should be strong. Give your audience, give the play, something great, or awful, or big, or insane. But something.
I want to work with nice people and I think I can be nice, and I am on time, and I know my lines and I'm very very good at showing up (this is the one positive thing that can be said of me, I show up when I am supposed to, and often when I'm not), but 'pleasant' is not the same as 'good' and that's not the same as 'exciting'. A little cackle means there's a fire!
Having just been in 'The Clockmaker' room where I was definitely the least experienced and arguably the least talented, it was really great to feel challenged and that I had to step up and that I would let people down if I was anything less than 100 percent.
I also just love a good fight when someone really cares. It can be like an intellectual colonic.
I think there's a way of balancing kindness and rigour, and I tend to fall on the rigour side of things, but I really believe there are environments where everyone is pushing and pushing each other and still everyone is happy. I have to believe that work can happen in that kind of room and that I can find those kind of rooms and get to work in them. Someday. Somewhere.