Richard Kind

On Saying Yes to Everything
How a Willingness To Try Anything Changed His Life

“My goal in everything I do is to be better than what the author had in mind. That’s my goal for life.”

Richard Kind is an American actor who grew up believing he would follow in his father’s footsteps and take over the family business someday. But taking the advice of his father’s best friend would change the course of his life forever. In this episode, Kind discusses growing up and doing his best to follow the rules, and how saying yes to every opportunity would lead him down a path he couldn’t have possibly imagined.

Richard Kind is an award-winning American actor, best known for his TV roles as Dr. Mark Devanow in Mad About You, Paul Lassiter in Spin City and Andy in Curb Your Enthusiasm. He began doing theater while still in school, at which time he fell in love with acting. He has had an extensive career on stage, in film and in television. His film credits include A Serious Man and he is known for many voice performances including such Pixar films as A Bug’s Life, Cars and Cars 2, Toy Story 3, and Inside Out. He has been nominated for several awards, including a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his role in The Big Knife.

What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • How his grandparents influenced his love of theatre and the arts
  • The advice that led Kind from being a history and communications major to acting
  • The journey of his early days in theater
  • Why he surrounds himself with people who are smarter than he is
  • How his “toe-the-suburban-line” attitude has shaped his life and career
  • Why he says he didn’t have a big break
  • Why acting teacher Bud Beyer attacked him as an example to the class
  • The adventure of a months-long tour in 36 states that he “cut his teeth” on
  • Why Second City was a big step in his career
  • Why Kind did not want to be “an Aaron Spelling actor”
  • Why he calls himself “the Jiminy Cricket of this generation”
  • The reason he says yes to any offer of work
  • The advice he would give to his young self before college

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