Over a period of time it's been driven home to me that I'm not going to be the most popular writer in the world, so I'm always happy when anything in any way is accepted.
One difference between poetry and lyrics is that lyrics sort of fade into the background. They fade on the page and live on the stage when set to music.
Music straightjackets a poem and prevents it from breathing on its own, whereas it liberates a lyric. Poetry doesn't need music; lyrics do.
The worst thing you can do is censor yourself as the pencil hits the paper. You must not edit until you get it all on paper. If you can put everything down, stream-of-consciousness, you'll do yourself a service.
The movie adaptations of stage musicals that I've seen, without exception, in my opinion don't work. A lot of people would disagree with me.
I'm very opinionated about movie musicals when they're adapted from live shows. You'll sit still for a three-minute song in a theater. But in movies, a glance from someone's eyes will tell you the whole story in a few seconds.
I have, by nature, an analytical mind.
Everybody faces a blank piece of paper, no matter what they've written or painted or composed before. I can't imagine approaching every single new project with-without doubt.
I fell into lyric writing because of music. I backed into it.
I played the organ when I went to military school, when I was 10. They had a huge organ, the second-largest pipe organ in New York State. I loved all the buttons and the gadgets. I've always been a gadget man.
My parents weren't around much, but I assumed everybody's family was the same. I didn't know people had mummies and daddies who would give them milk and cookies after school. I just thought everybody lived on Central Park West and they had a nanny to take care of them.
A close-up on screen can say all a song can.
Musicals are plays, but the last collaborator is your audience, so you've got to wait 'til the last collaborator comes in before you can complete the collaboration.
My mother wanted me off her hands. She was a working woman. She designed clothes, and she was a celebrity collector. It's my mother's ambition to be a celebrity.
If you force yourself to write away from the piano, you come up with more inventive things. If you're too good a piano player, as some composers are, the music may become flavorless and glib. And if you're not a very good pianist, you're limited to the same patterns.
On stage, generally speaking, the story is stopped or held back by songs, because that's the convention. Audiences enjoy the song and the singer, that's the point.
I firmly believe lyrics have to breathe and give the audience's ear a chance to understand what's going on. Particularly in the theater, where you have costume, story, acting, orchestra.
The nice thing about doing a crossword puzzle is, you know there is a solution.
Musicals are, by nature, theatrical, meaning poetic, meaning having to move the audience's imagination and create a suspension of disbelief, by which I mean there's no fourth wall.
I'm a great audience. I cry very easily. I suspend disbelief in two seconds.