Yesterday at New York University's Tisch Salute I sat next to people I started college with, decked out in our cap and gowns, and I thought, "Yes. I am part of something amazing. Something great."
Have you ever been in a place with 1,347 arts students? It is ROWDY. It is FUN. It is over-the-top, dramatic, artsy and spectacular. Tisch School of the Arts is just one of the 17 schools at New York University. In my opinion, it's the best, but hey I'm a little biased. (-;
I wish I could go into complete detail about the ceremony yesterday. I would talk about the bagpipe procession (I couldn't help but scream out "BAGPIPES!" the minute I heard them)...I would talk about the awesome and old-school academic garb that adorned the faculty and how THAT made me scream out "HOGWARTS!!!" because, let's face it, it looked so much like I was graduating from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I would talk about the moving speeches from the deans, head chairs of departments, and the guest speaker Academy-Award winning producer and business partner/friend of Ron Howard--Brian Grazer. Some of my favorite quotes included, "This [graduation] is just one door closing. And another door...will slam in your face. There are so many doors, just stay away from doors." That was definitely one of my favorite and one of the most hilarious. Another favorite quote from some high up faculty member: "Don't be afraid to experiment and fail. You have the training to get back up." The dean of Tisch's speech was amazing and I can't remember it all but it was all about the IMPORTANCE of art and how having a degree in the arts is not just second-best to a degree in law, medicine or something in the sciences. I loved that. So moving and inspirational.
Brian Grazer's entire speech was amazing too. I think I have overused the word 'amazing' in this post. Overall, I have never felt more passionate about my work than I did in that moment. It made me realize again and again WHY I went into debt for a degree from NYU. A degree in acting. It's not just about moving out to LA, waitressing and hoping to get a big break. It's about creating. Creating something MEANINGFUL, something beautiful. It's about creating, performing, challenging, failing, experimenting--it's about the art.
Yesterday affirmed me that I am NOT crazy. That spending 2.5 hours laboring/writing/editing a screenplay on a Friday night is not ridiculous. That saving every single penny so I can move to L.A. and audition for the rest of my life isn't pathetic or just a dream--it's reality. Because there were 1,346 other students graduating yesterday that are just as passionate about their work as I am. I LOVED that. I also LOVED what the student speaker had to say--he's graduate student in Dramatic Writing and he said that it doesn't matter that no one may see your work for a long time but a youtube video of a cat playing the piano can garner 12 million hits---we must continue to create, to challenge, to experience. LOVED IT. You're awesome student speaker.
And I have to give all the credit to God. Because He moved the heart of the woman who put my application in the 'ACCEPTED' pile. He held me and comforted me when I was tempted to lose who I really was my freshman year of college. He led me to Campus Crusade for Christ where I met my best friend and who would be the reason of so many memories of laughter, craziness, and true fellowship. He gave me my talents and passions.
Lord thank you. Thank you for bringing me to NYU and for leading me to graduate. I love and love and love you.
|in front of a Tisch banner before the ceremony.|