Robert De Niro Speech: Next!

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Robert De Niro Speech: Next!

Learn English with Robert De Niro. Honored Speaker Robert De Niro’s address at the 2015 TISCH School of the Arts Salute ceremony. Robert Anthony De Niro Jr. (born August 17, 1943) is an American actor, producer, and director. He is particularly known for his nine collaborations with filmmaker Martin Scorsese and is the recipient of various accolades, including two Academy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. In 2009, De Niro received the Kennedy Center Honor and received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from U.S. President Barack Obama in 2016. In this speech, she also quotes: “I tell them don’t be afraid to fail. I urge them to take chances, to keep an open mind, to welcome new experiences and new ideas. I tell them that if you don’t go, you’ll never know. You just have to be bold and go out there and take your chances.” Watch with big English.

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Robert De Niro Quote:

Robert De Niro

“Time goes on. So whatever you’re going to do, do it. Do it now. Don’t wait.” Robert De Niro


“Dean Green, deans, University Leadership, faculty, staff, parents, friends, and the 2015 class of New York University’s TISCH School of the Arts.

Thank you for inviting me to celebrate with you today.  TISCH graduates, you made it!

And you’re fucked. Think about that. The graduates from the college of nursing, they all have jobs. The graduates from the college of dentistry, fully employed. The Leonard M Stern School of Business graduates, they’re covered. The School of Medicine graduates, each one will get a job. The proud graduates of the NY School of Law, they’re covered, and if they’re not, who cares? They’re lawyers. The English majors are not a factor. They’ll be home writing their novels. Teachers, they’ll all be working. Shitty jobs, lousy pay, but still working. The graduates in accounting they all have jobs. Where does that leave you? Envious of those accountants, I doubt that. They had a choice. Maybe they were passionate about accounting, but I think it’s more likely that they used reason and logic and common sense to reach for a career that could give them the expectation of success and stability. Reason, logic, common sense? At the TISCH School of Arts? Are you kidding me?

But you didn’t have that choice, did you? You discovered a talent, recognised your ambition and developed a passion. When you feel that you can’t fight it, you just go with it. When it comes to the arts, passion should always trump common sense. You aren’t just following dreams; you’re reaching for your destiny. You’re a dancer, a singer, a choreographer, a musician, a film maker, a writer, a photographer, a director, a producer, an actor, an artist. Yeah, you’re fucked!

The good news is that that’s not a bad place to start. Now that you’ve made your choice, or rather, succumbed to it, your path is clear. Not easy but clear. You have to keep working, it’s that simple. You got through TISCH, that’s a big deal, or to put it another way, you got through TISCH, big deal. Well, it’s a start. On this day of triumphantly graduating a new door is opening for you. A door to a lifetime of rejection. It’s inevitable. It’s what graduates call the ‘the real world’. You’ll experience it auditioning for a part or a place in a company.  It’ll happen to you when you’re looking for backers for a project. You’ll feel it when door close on you when you’re trying to get attention for something you have written, and when you’re looking for a directing or choreographing job.

While preparing for my role today, I asked a few TISCH students for directions for this speech. The first thing they said was keep it short. And they said it’s okay to give a bit of advice, it’s kind of expected and no one will mind. And then they said, to keep it short.

It’s difficult for me to come with advice for you who have already set upon your life’s work, but I can tell you some of the things I tell my own children. First, whatever you do, don’t go to TISCH School of the Arts. Get an accounting degree instead.

Then I contradict myself, and as corny as it sounds, I tell them don’t be afraid to fail. I urge them to take chances, to keep an open mind, to welcome new experiences and new ideas. I tell them that if you don’t go, you’ll never know. You just have to be bold and go out there and take your chances. I tell them that if they go into the arts, I hope they find a nurturing and challenging community of like-minded individuals, a place like TISCH. If they find themselves with the talent and the burning desire to be in the performing arts, I tell them when you collaborate, you try to make everything better but you’re not responsible for the entire project, only your part in it. You’ll find yourself in movies or plays or concerts or dance pieces that turn out in the eyes of critics and audiences to be bad, but that’s not on you, because you will put everything into everything that you do. You won’t judge the characters you play, and shouldn’t be distracted by judgments on the works you are in. Whether you are working for Ed Wood of Federico Fellini or Martin Scorsese, your commitment to your process will be the same.

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