Judd Hirsch

1961 – 1963

My days at HB were at a very exciting time for the studio. Herbert (although quite aware of the burgeoning theater in Germany with the Berliner Ensemble making a strong move on the international theater scene with works of Bertolt Brecht) was insistent on his great desire to promote only American work. So, I was glad to be in the presence of this great man of the theater who was so excited about finding new American work.
But my experience at HB was actually in the atmosphere of Bill Hickey, whose look at life was so unique that every actor in his class went home with the knowledge that he or she was a special person, a one-and-only actor with the absolute right to express their individual talents and surprise even themselves. My greatest challenge in that class was to make Bill Hickey laugh and if I did, I knew it came from a truly unique place in me, because that’s what he inspired us to do. Yes, it was a very exciting time for me and the true beginning of my career.