The seniors are graduating tomorrow. They'll hear "starting a new chapter" and 1000 other variations on that phrase. They are starting a new chapter..... the first of a 67 chapter book. I don't have any good advice for any of them. Life sucks. What you think is right tomorrow is wrong the next day and vice versa. You'll do most of your changing in the first few years out of school, and then when you're 30 you'll say "WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING WHEN I WAS 22!!!!!!" Then you'll want to go back and kick the shit out of that person. Everything that you think will be in 5 years, won't. Everything you think will be in 10 years, won't have a chance of existing by then. You'll leave school, face the world and say "Why didn't I work harder in school?" You'll spend the next 5 years finding any single morsel of anything that will make you feel comfortable and safe.
That's the bad stuff. The inevitable. Here's my advice: If you are an artist, live the life you always wanted to live. Don't settle for mediocrity. There's enough mediocrity already out there. Fly to heights that you never even comprehended. There are no limits to what we are able to do as artists, but for some reason we choose to take the safe route. Art has become safe. Art has become a safety net in financial decisions. You are waaaaaaaay too young to be worried about the safe choices. Surprise yourselves. Surprise others. Fucking take a chance. I've sat in auditions in NYC and 95 out 100 actors make the choices they think we want to see. Fuck that. You are an individual. You are different than every other human being walking the planet. Trust yourself. Follow your heart and jump. Fill yourself with life and happiness and the trials and tribulations you face will be easier. There is no way in hell you are going to avoid them, but what are you going to do about them?
I can tell you to avoid making the same mistakes I made, but that's ALOT of avoiding. Learn from your mistakes and trust them. Always be growing as an artist. Surround yourself with brilliant people. Avoid people who make you feel less than perfect and stunt your growth. Life is too short for that. Do something everyday that will expand your heart, mind, and life. Don't take anything for granted. If it brings you happiness.....please don't take it for granted.
The problem is, I'm not talking to the graduates right now. I'm talking to every single one of you reading this. I don't care if you're 18, 25, 35, or 45. I'm speaking to the artist inside of you. Take a chance. You deserve perfection in what you want. There are enough things you will face in life that will hold you back, don't choose to collect more than you want to.
As I write this, I'm trying to speak to myself too. Telling myself I deserve everything I always dreamt I should have is the hardest thing in the world..... that's what she said. I'm a preparer. I collect things. I have stash of tools and talents that are just waiting to come out when life calls upon them to show themselves. They do present themselves and I shy away from them. I protect myself from going after something. I always think there's another day to get it done. I protect myself from truly embracing life. I'm scared. Guess what. I'm fucking scared out of my skull. Time and time again I have had beautiful opportunities show themselves or be given to me and I sabotage them. My God how I've sabotaged them. It makes me sick to my stomach the countless ways I have sabotaged them. Almost to the point that I believed I deserved nothing and that was what I deserved.
Well Jason....No More.
Here we go........