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Jay Leno - 20 Rules of Show Business

Emerson College | May 11, 2014


You need a soulmate not a cellmate.

Try Not to Get a Regular Job

Because, "When you get a regular job, you start acting like regular people. And if you graduate from [Emerson], you are not a regular person.

Always Keep People in Your Life Who Don't Quite Understand What You Do 

Those people will help remind you, "You're never as important as you think you are."

Keep the Friends You Made in College

After all, "One of them could be the key to your success, or you could be the key to theirs."

Do Not Judge Your Own Success by the Success of Others

Everyone's road map charts a different path.

Never Turn Down a Job Because of Money

Rather, turn down the job only because you don't like it. Money will come.

If You Can't Get in the Front Door, Go in the Back Door

Leno wasn't good enough for The Tonight Show at first, so he accepted every second-rate talk show, no matter how terrible, until he was.

You Can Only Live in the Time You Live In

So, deal with it and stop complaining.

Don't Have a Relationship with a Partner Who Doesn't Get It

"You need a soulmate, not a cellmate."

Never Go on Stage Mad

Because, "Anger robs creativity."

Never Create Anything Bigger Than Your Act

Leno used Meryl Streep as an example, a woman who's recognized for her brilliance, not her wealth. "Try to get press for things that have to do with your abilities," he said.

When You Get Too Comfortable, Move On

"You should always try to find the toughest audience you can."

Anybody Can Have a Life. Careers are Hard to Come By.

The journey begins now, so start working hard for it.

Posted on: 11/02/14

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