At the New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts graduation, Robert De Niro started his speech with unabashed honesty. He said that though most professionals are sorted, it is difficult for them. “You discovered a talent, developed an ambition and recognised your passion. When you feel that, you can’t fight it — you just go with it,” he said. “When it comes to the arts, passion should always trump common sense. You aren’t just following dreams, you’re reaching for your destiny,” he added.
He then spoke about rejection, the need for it and how it is in fact incidental. “Rejection might sting, but my feeling is that often, it has very little to do with you. When you’re auditioning or pitching, the director or producer or investor may have someone different in mind, that’s just how it is.”
He then backed it up with his own personal experience. “That happened recently when I was auditioning for the role of Martin Luther King in Selma! Which was too bad because I could’ve played the hell out of that part — I felt it was written for me! But the director had something different in mind, and she was right. It seems the director is always right.” The trick, he suggests, is not to take it personally.
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