The Actor’s Vow by Elia Kazan captures the essence of what many of us long for in life. I was introduced to it when I began my journey into acting and find it to be a great source of inspiration whenever I’m feeling discouraged or emotionally drained.

It helps to lift up my spirits after a long day spent in court absorbing “blows” while fighting zealously for my clients. I hope that it can help you to see the humanity in what we, as lawyers, are called to do each and every time we step foot in the courtroom.

“I will take my rightful place on stage

and I will be myself.

I am not a cosmic orphan.

I have no reason to be timid.

I will respond as I feel;

awkwardly, vulgarly,

but respond.


I will have my throat open,

I will have my heart open,

I will be vulnerable.

I may have anything or everything

the world has to offer, but the thing

I need most, and want most,

is to be myself.


I will admit rejection, admit pain,

admit frustration, admit even pettiness,

admit shame, admit outrage,

admit anything and everything

that happens to me.


The best and most human parts of

me are those I have inhabited

and hidden from the world.

I will work on it.

I will raise my voice.

I will be heard.”

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