The tough no-nonense actor, Robert De Niro delivered a realistic speech filled with wisecracks and solid golden advice to Tisch School grads recently.
Robert De Niro was his usual cynical and witty self as the chief guest and speaker at the Tisch School of Arts Graduation Ceremony. He doled out some very succinct and memorable advice to the graduates which may have stung some of them in the wrong places. Yet it was meant for their betterment and grooming.
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The actor, who is known for calling a spade a spade and saying it like it is, didn’t mince words and got to the point by telling the group of grads that they were fornicated for sure (he used a coarser slang word).
He even went ahead and told them that he gave his own kids (and there were half a dozen of them) to get an accounting job instead of becoming actors. This was because there was a lot of rejection and toil involved in becoming a reputable actor or actress.
De Niro went ahead and gave the acting grads an example of how he had wanted to play MLK in the film Selma but didn’t get chosen for the role. The director was right every time so that was that (watch video here).
In fact, De Niro told them that they ought to keep a motto and that was “Next!” since they would be hearing that word so often. The pain resulting from the offhand treatment by their higher-ups would only be assuaged by tons of Valium, said Robert De Niro.
But then in a lighter vein, the gangster-playing actor soothed the nerves of the acting grads by saying that they had to try their best and take their passion and make it happen. Their ambitions and hopes may be thwarted but they could not be killed. Adversity was part and parcel of the acting profession and they had better get used to it, if they wanted to see any success.
Finally, De Niro said that if they wanted to explore the exciting and excruciatingly painful avenues of life, then acting ought to be their goal. It was a minefield of hurt and hunger, but at least it taught you something in the process.
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You didn’t just sit there on your butt all day getting bored stiff like an accountant. The misery and pain was worth it in the end and the important thing was to never give up. Pain only meant that the person feeling the pain was alive!