Category Archives: Life

Ease is a Greater Threat to Progress than Hardship – Denzel Washington

Inspirational & Refreshing Acceptance Speech by Denzel Washington at the 48th NAACP Image Awards 2017 | Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture: Denzel Washington, Fences

Transcript:

Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you.

Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Eugene O’Neill, Edward Albee, August Wilson.

August Wilson is one of the greatest playwrights in the history of American or World theatre. It is a privilege, an honour, a responsibility, a duty and a joy to bring his brilliance to the screen.

I am particularly proud and happy about the young filmmakers, actors, singers, writers, producers that are coming up behind my generation, in particular Barry Jenkins. Young people understand, this young man made 10, 15, 20 short films before he got the opportunity to make Moonlight, so never give up. Without commitment you’ll never start but more importantly without consistency you’ll never finish.

It’s not easy. If it was easy, there’d be no Kerry Washington. If it was easy, there’d be no Taraji Henson. P. Henson. If it were easy, there’d be no Octavia Spencer. But not only that, if it were easy, there’d be no Viola Davis.

If it were easy, there’d be no Michael T Williamson. No Stephen McKinley Henderson. No Russell Hornsby.

If it were easy, there’d be no Denzel Washington.

So, keep working. Keep striving. Never give up. Fall down seven times, get up eight. Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. So, keep moving, keep growing, keep learning. See you at work.

 

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Make Your Own Uncool – Letter by Sol to Eva | Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch

Suffering from a creative block and self-doubt, Eva Hesse reach out to her friend Sol LeWitt on her predicament, and Sol responded with the following letter (Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch)

Dear Eva, April 14th,

Almost a month since you wrote to me and you have possibly forgotten your state of mind, I doubt it though. You seem the same as always, and being you, hate every minute of it. Don’t!

Learn to say “Fuck You” to the world once in a while. You have every right to. Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder, wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping, confusing, itching, scratching, mumbling, bumbling, grumbling, humbling, stumbling, numbling, rambling, gambling, tumbling, scumbling, scrambling, hitching, hatching, bitching, moaning, groaning, honing, boning, horse-shitting, hair-splitting, nit-picking, piss-trickling, nose sticking, ass-gouging, eyeball-poking, finger-pointing, alleyway-sneaking, long waiting, small stepping, evil-eyeing, back-scratching, searching, perching, besmirching, grinding, grinding, grinding away at yourself. Stop it and just DO!

From your description, and from what I know of your previous work and your ability; the work you are doing sounds very good “Drawing – clean – clear but crazy like machines, larger and bolder… real nonsense.” That sounds fine, wonderful – real nonsense. Do more. More nonsensical, more crazy, more machines, more breasts, penises, cunts, whatever – make them abound with nonsense. Try and tickle something inside you, your “weird humor.” You belong in the most secret part of you. Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool. Make your own, your own world. If you fear, make it work for you – draw & paint your fear and anxiety. And stop worrying about big, deep things such as “to decide on a purpose and way of life, a consistant approach to even some impossible end or even an imagined end” You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO!

I have much confidence in you and even though you are tormenting yourself, the work you do is very good. Try to do some BAD work – the worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell – you are not responsible for the world – you are only responsible for your work – so DO IT. And don’t think that your work has to conform to any preconceived form, idea or flavor. It can be anything you want it to be. But if life would be easier for you if you stopped working – then stop. Don’t punish yourself. However, I think that it is so deeply engrained in you that it would be easier to DO!

It seems I do understand your attitude somewhat, anyway, because I go through a similar process every so often. I have an “Agonizing Reappraisal” of my work and change everything as much as possible and hate everything I’ve done, and try to do something entirely different and better. Maybe that kind of process is necessary to me, pushing me on and on. The feeling that I can do better than that shit I just did. Maybe you need your agony to accomplish what you do. And maybe it goads you on to do better. But it is very painful I know. It would be better if you had the confidence just to do the stuff and not even think about it. Can’t you leave the “world” and “ART” alone and also quit fondling your ego. I know that you or anyone can only work so much and the rest of the time you are left with your thoughts. But when you work or before your work you have to empty you mind and concentrate on what you are doing. After you do something it is done and that’s that. After a while you can see some are better than others but also you can see what direction you are going. I’m sure you know all that. You also must know that you don’t have to justify your work – not even to yourself. Well, you know I admire your work greatly and can’t understand why you are so bothered by it. But you can see the next ones and I can’t. You also must believe in your ability. I think you do. So try the most outrageous things you can – shock yourself. You have at your power the ability to do anything.

I would like to see your work and will have to be content to wait until Aug or Sept. I have seen photos of some of Tom’s new things at Lucy’s. They are impressive – especially the ones with the more rigorous form: the simpler ones. I guess he’ll send some more later on. Let me know how the shows are going and that kind of stuff.

My work had changed since you left and it is much better. I will be having a show May 4 – 29 at the Daniels Gallery 17 E 64th St (where Emmerich was), I wish you could be there. Much love to you both.

Sol

Don’t Wait – Peter Dinklage Motivational Speech

Motivational commencement speech by Peter Dinklage for Bennington College’s Class of 2012

Transcript:
When I was 29, I told myself: the next acting job I get, no matter what it pays, I will, from now on, for better or worse, be a working actor.

At 29, walking away from data processing, I was terrified.

10 years in a place without heat, 6 years at a job I felt stuck in. Maybe I was afraid of change.

I got a low-paying theatre job in a play called Imperfect Love. Which led to other roles, which led to other roles. And I’ve worked as an actor ever since.

Raise the rest of your life to meet you. Don’t search for defining moments because they will never come. The moments that define you have already happened. And they will already happen again.

You just get a bit derailed. But soon something starts to happen, trust me. A rhythm sets in. Just try not to wait until, like me, you’re 29 before you find it. And if you are, that’s fine too. Some of us never find it. But you will, I promise you.

Don’t wait until they tell you you are ready.

The world might say you are not allowed to yet. I waited a long time out in the world before I gave myself permission to fail. Please, don’t even bother asking, don’t bother telling the world you are ready. Show it. Do it.

What did Beckett say? Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter… Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

The world is yours. Treat everyone kindly and light up the night.

Thank you so much for having me here.

View the full commencement address here

No man is an island – Sylvester Stallone

Video Transcript:

I had like $106 in the bank. Like I said, I had to sell my dog. Things were not looking very, very good. My $40 car had just blown up, so I was taking a bus to work.

I had no film history, no real film knowledge. I was just working from, I guess, instinct. I knew this was like the moment of truth. They said, “Sylvester, are you ready?” I said, “No, but Rocky is.”

So often, I had gone to fight films or sporting films. Yes, we’re going to go out there, we’re going to knock them out. You’re going to win. I said, “No, I’m not going to win. I’m going to get destroyed. But if I can just be lucid, if I can still be standing on my feet, you know what? Then Life isn’t so bad.”

I think, again, symbolically, at the very end of our lives, if we can still say you know, we were never humbled. We were knocked down but we got up, and I can say I lived life with integrity, and I took all the blows, and I still prevailed. I think that’s a good epitaph for anyone. That’s what I try to capture in this film.

But more importantly, you can’t be alone. To really succeed, no man really is an island. When you find the right components in your life, the right people that gel with you, then you feel as though you’re invincible.

Related post:
Gonna Fly Now – Rocky Balboa
The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows – Rocky Balboa

La La Land – Audition (The Fools Who Dream) | Emma Stone

Video Lyrics

My aunt used to live in Paris.
I remember, she used to come home
and she would tell us…
These stories about being abroad and…
I remember she told us that
she jumped into the river once…
Barefoot.
She smiled…

Leapt, without looking
And tumbled into The Seine
The water was freezing
She spent a month sneezing
But said she would do it again

Here’s to the ones who dream
Foolish as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that ache
Here’s to the mess we make

She captured a feeling
Sky with no ceiling
The sunset inside a frame

She lived in her liquor
And died with a flicker
I’ll always remember the flame

Here’s to the ones who dream
Foolish as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that ache
Here’s to the mess we make

She told me…
A bit of madness is key
To give us new colours to see
Who knows where it will lead us?
And that’s why they need us

So bring on the rebels
The ripples from pebbles
The painters, and poets, and plays
And here’s to the fools who dream
Crazy as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that break
Here’s to the mess we make

I trace it all back to then
Her, and the snow, and The Seine
Smiling through it
She said she’d do it
Again

How Far I Will Go – Moana (Disney Motivation)

Video Lyrics:
I have been staring at the edge of the water
Long as I can remember, never really knowing why
I wish I could be the perfect daughter
But I come back to the water, no matter how hard I try

Every turn I take, every trail I track
Every path I make, every road leads back
To the place I know, where I cannot go
Where I long to be

See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me
And no one knows, how far it goes
If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me
One day I will know, if I go there is just no telling how far I will go

I know, everybody on this island seems so happy on this island
Everything is by design
I know, everybody on this island has a role on this island
So maybe I can roll with mine

I can lead with pride, I can make us strong
I will be satisfied if I play along
But the voice inside sings a different song
What is wrong with me?

See the light as it shines on the sea? It is blinding
But no one knows, how deep it goes
And it seems like it is calling out to me, so come find me
And let me know, what is beyond that line, will I cross that line?

See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me
And no one knows, how far it goes
If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me
One day I will know, how far I will go

Beautiful & Amazing Oscar Speech – Viola Davis

Beautiful & amazing Oscar Acceptance Speech by Viola Davis at the 89th Academy Awards on 26th Feb 2017 | Best Supporting Actress – Fences as Rose Maxson

Transcript:
Thank you to the Academy.

You know, there’s one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. One place. And that’s the graveyard.

People ask me all the time. What kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola? And I say, exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories. The stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition. People who fell in love and lost.

I became an artist, and thank God I did. Because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life. So, here’s to August Wilson, who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people. And to Bron Pictures, Paramount, Macro, Todd Black, Molly Allen, Scott Rudin for being the cheerleaders. For a movie that is about people. And words. And Life and forgiveness and grace.

And to Michael T. Williamson, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Jovan Adepo, Saniyya Sidney for being the most wonderful artists I’ve ever worked with. And oh captain, my captain, Denzel Washington.

Thank you for putting two entities in the driving seat: August and God. And they served you well. And to Dan and May Alice Davis, who were and are the centre of my universe, the people who taught me good or bad, how to fail, how to love, how to hold an award, how to lose.

My parents ― I’m so thankful that God chose you to bring me into this world. To my sisters, my sister Dolores, who was here, who played Jaji and Jaja with me. We were rich white women in the tea party games. Thank you for the imagination. And to my husband and my daughter. My heart, you and Genesis. You teach me every day how to live, how to love, I’m so glad that you are the foundation of my life. Thank you to the Academy. Thank you.

 

Top Oscar Acceptance Speeches:
Inspirational Oscar Speech – Matthew McConaughey
Beautiful & Amazing Oscar Speech – Viola Davis

Start by Serving Yourself. End by Serving Others – Motivational Video

Video Transcript:

When you are on an airplane, before take-off, the flight attendant always says… “In the event of an emergency, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. If you are travelling with a child, or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on FIRST, and then assist the OTHER person.”

See, Life is just like this. Before you try to go and help somebody else, you got to first HELP YOURSELF. You got to SECURE YOURSELF. Some people may call it selfish, but if you are panting, and hyperventilating in Life, and you are trying to go and help somebody else – I don’t care how good your intentions. Chances are, you are both not going to make it.

See, there is a REASON they say, “Secure your mask FIRST, BEFORE helping even children.” That is how important it is for you to be stable first. Because once you are stable, THEN you can help the child. You can help the old lady, the old man, the teenager.

What I am trying to say is that in Life, to be the most help to others, you got to take the time to secure your own mask. To secure yourself financially, mentally, physically, and most importantly, spiritually. That means you got to leave friends, family. Turn off the game, the award shows. And just be with yourself.

Because see, in the operating room, ain’t no visitors allowed. No guests, no friends, no family. Why? Because the patient is undergoing a transformation. Well, in that same way, you must get by yourself, if you want to transform into your best version.

But let me finish with this. After you have your mask properly secured, and you are able to breath, it becomes your obligation, your duty, to help others, secure their mask. So ain’t nothing wrong with being selfish in the beginning. But make sure the end game, is to be selfless.

Because to be the only one breathing on a plane, while everybody else is unconscious, will surely put you on a crash course – for loneliness and disaster.

Peace ☮

See Related:

Valuable Lesson for a Happier Life – Jar of Life

Video Transcript:

Professor: Good afternoon everyone.

Students: Good Afternoon

Professor: We all have this one life to live. A fleeting shadow amongst all that exists in this vast universe. We have the ability to accomplish anything, truly anything, if we use our time wisely.

Professor: Is this jar full?

Students: Yes

Professor: Is it full now?

Students: Yes

Professor: And how about now? Is the jar full now?

Students: Yes

Professor: Now I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. Golf balls are the important things: your family, your friends, your health, and your passions. The pebbles are the other important things: your car, your job, your home. The sand is everything else. It is just the small stuff.

Professor: Now if you put the sand in the jar first, you won’t have room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same is true in life. If you spend all your energy and your time on the small stuff, you won’t have time for all the really important things that matter to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Take care of the golf balls first, the really important things. Set your priorities, because everything else is just sand.

Student: Professor, what does the beer represent?

Professor: I’m glad you asked. It goes to show that no matter how full your life may seem to be, there’s always room for a couple of beers with a friend.

Do What Makes You Great – Charlie Day Motivational Video

Video Transcript:

But my lesson is this: I don’t give a shit. Okay?

You cannot let a fear of failure, or a fear of comparison, or a fear of judgement, stop you from doing what’s going to make you great. You cannot succeed without this risk of failure. You cannot have a voice without the risk of criticism, and you cannot love without the risk of loss. You must go out and you must take these risks.

And people will tell you to do what makes you happy, but a lot of this has been hard work, and I’m not always happy. And I don’t think you should do just what makes you happy. I think you should do what makes you great.

Do what’s uncomfortable, and scary, and hard, but pays off in the long run. Be willing to fail. Let yourself fail. Fail in the way and the place where you would want to fail. Fail, pick yourself up and fail again. Because without this struggle, what is your success anyway?

As best we know we have one life. In it, you have to trust your own voice, your own ideas, your honesty, your vulnerability, and through this you will find your way.

You do not have to be fearless, just don’t let fear stop you. Live like this as best you can and I guarantee you will look back on a life well lived.