Is there a key to why one cigar is considered great and another voted as mediocre? Flippancy and an inflated ego will never produce a celebrated brand. It takes skill, talent, practice – those micro differences are so subtle that they cannot be captured or felt or tasted by a person who just wants to blend a cigar. It takes . . . To wit:
(If you don’t plan on listening to both links in this essay, you’ve rendered the point of reading this post as moot and you can go on smoking your Swisher Sweets.)
Why are people drawn to watching films starring the actor Anthony Hopkins? The one point I could make is how he is able to develop his character. It is a fact that he will read over the entire script with emphasis on his parts in excess of 200 times. From an interview, “ . . . let the part play through you . . . .”
That’s not to say other actors didn’t or don’t do the same. Marlon Brando is considered to be one of the greatest actors of all time, but far from Laurence Kerr Olivier. When he was asked why he used cue cards, his vitriolic response created his character, “If you don’t know what the words are but you have a general idea of what they are, then you look at the cue card and it gives you the feeling to the viewer, hopefully, that the person is really searching for what he is going to say—that he doesn’t know what to say.”
Brando used the Brando method of acting, but he also incorporated the Stanislavsky techniques. The Strasberg method was not to his liking, quoting, “After I had some success, Lee Strasberg tried to take credit for teaching me how to act. He never taught me anything. He would have claimed credit for the sun and the moon if he believed he could get away with it. He was an ambitious, selfish man who exploited the people who attended the Actors Studio and tried to project himself as an acting oracle and guru. Some people worshiped him, but I never knew why. I sometimes went to the Actors Studio on Saturday mornings because Elia Kazan was teaching, and there were usually a lot of good-looking girls, but Strasberg never taught me acting.” (Wiki)
Two distinct variables as to how to do something. Yet, both actors are considered two of the greatest. Ergo, you can do something different and achieve the same results.
Take Horatio Cigars and HHB by Nat Cicco. Two relatively unknown brands of cigars. About Horacio Cigars Fine Nicaraguan Cigars. Horacio cigars were first produced in Costa Rica, as the result of a meeting between three aficionados at the dawn of the third millennium. Horacio cigars are extremely well-filled and firm to the touch. Wrappers are rich and silky, applied with great care and rigor.”
And then look at Nat Cicco’s HHB, either the Habano or Connecticut. “Our flagship line, HHB cigars marry a silky, Ecuadorian-grown Connecticut Shade leaf wrapper with a Nicaraguan binder and filler. They reward the connoisseur with a smoke that is robust, well-balanced and full-flavored. Creamy-smooth, with a pronounced nuttiness resulting from their complex blend of the finest tobacco leaves in the region. They come in three distinctive sizes, all with a pigtail-capped head and a foot that is enclosed within the wrapper to preserve freshness. Light of the three. Similarities in size, wrapper, and filler. Both are Nicaraguan. What? Both afford a tsunami of smoking pleasure, both are insatiably satisfying. And both are, as I have said before, relatively unknown. The differences are the subtleties of enjoyment each provides the cigar connoisseur.
Can those subtleties be distinctly defined? The best way is to watch a short YouTube dissection of how Anthony Hopkins plays his role in the new movie, “West World,” that I would ask you to listen to. And compare it with the previous interview of Marlon Brando.
I know we’re talking about cigars and my example is of two famous actors, but you can readily see that there are similarities between how professionals differ but come up with great individually stylized results – be they an actor or a cigar blender. In short, it is not easy to become good at something unless you work at it and, and . . . have a talent for it.