next graduation speech

John Malkovich

Actor
The Savannah College of Art and Design SCAD, 2017

 To have the opportunity to live a creative life, to have even the possibility of the opportunity to live a creative life, is a gift.

 

 

Excerpts

Congratulations to the professors, instructors and administrators. I trust you have a passion and an aptitude for educating young people, and may that ever be the case. I hope you realize your importance to this class graduating today, and your importance to past and future classes. Simply put — great educators change lives.

I wonder how many of you are nervous today, unsure of your next step, fearful of what tomorrow will bring, doubtful of your talents, uncertain of your preparedness, dubious about your prospects. When I was your age, I wasn't at all sure of the path I had chosen. I had decided to join with some kids I had gone to college with, and to move to Chicago and start a theatre company. A part of me — perhaps the bigger part of me — was quite certain this effort would be doomed to fail. I suppose it's time for me to finally admit I was wrong, as over 40 years after its founding in 1976, Steppenwolf Theatre continues to flourish. For those of you receiving your degrees today, my wish for you is that you find somewhere the same sense of community, the same singularity of purpose, the same sense of working towards a common goal, and the same forum for self-expression. I can't imagine what shape my life would have taken had I not met my colleagues at university. They were — and remain — the most important influences in my working life.

To have the opportunity to live a creative life, to have even the possibility of the opportunity to live a creative life, is a gift. Yes, the gift may come at a price, but there is always a price for doing what you want in this life. But the rewards far outweigh any obstacles. So, graduates, I'll leave you with that one. You'll find your way. I did, and have more or less lived to tell the tale, and I sincerely doubt I was half as clever or talented or prepared as you are today.

 

 

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Posted on: 01/23/18


 

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