Ever Tried. Ever Failed.

I had so many dreams of where I wanted to go, who I wanted to be, and what I wanted to do.

You have your own story to tell.

Theater companies I wanted to start with classmates, movies I wanted to be in, directors I wanted to work with, stories I needed to tell.

I packed the life that I knew with socks and a toothbrush into my backpack and I slept on couch, after couch, after couch, after couch at friends apartments in New York until I wore out their rent paying roommates’ welcome.

I didn’t want a “day job” – I was an actor, I was a writer – I had to get a day job. I dusted pianos at a piano store on Ludlow Street for five months. I worked on the property of a Shakespeare Scholar for a year pulling weeds and removing bees nests. I went on unemployment once but not for long, I couldn’t handle the guilt.

Eventually I was able to pay rent for a spot on the floor on the lower East side, but my roommate had a breakdown and disappeared. I helped hang paintings at galleries; paintings that inspire you to think, “I could do that.”

And then, finally, after two years of job and couch surfing, I got a “job”. In application processing. As a data enter-er, at a place called Professional Examination Services. And I stayed for six years – six years.

From the age of twenty-three to twenty-nine; well they loved me there. I was funny. I smoked in the loading docks with the guys from the mail room and we shared how hung over we were. I called in sick almost every Friday because I was out late the night before. I hated that job. And I clung to that job.

Because of that job, I could afford my own place. My dream of running a theater company with my friend and fellow Bennington graduate Ian Bell had died. I had only the one window – I myself could not look out the window, it was quite high. No “acting agent.”

When I was twenty-nine 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.”

But something good happened; I got a low paying theater job in a play called “Imperfect Love,” which led to a film called “Thirteen Moons” with the same writer. Which led to other roles, which led to other roles, and I’ve worked as an actor ever since.

I didn’t know that would happen. At twenty-nine, walking away from data processing, I was terrified. Ten years in a place without heat, six years at a job I was stuck in, maybe I was afraid of change.

Are you?

But this made me very hungry. Literally. I couldn’t be lazy, I couldn’t be. And so at twenty-nine, and at very long last, I was in the company of the actors and writers and directors I had sought at that first year, that first day, after school. I was, I am, by their sides.

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. And it passes so quickly – so please, bring eachother along with you.

You, 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 twenty-nine before you find it. And if you are thats fine too. Some of us never find it. But you will, I promise you, you are already here. You will find your rhythm or continue the one you have already found.

Don’t wait until they tell you, you are ready. Get in there. Sing.

The world might say you aren’t 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.

We burn very brightly, please don’t ever stop. The world is yours. Treat everyone kindly, and light up the night.

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— Transcript made from a video (Are You Scared of Change) made by Mulligan Brothers

 

 

 

Why I Hate School But Love Education by Suli Breaks

So you want to get a degree. Why? Let me tell you what society will tell you: It increases your chances of getting a job, provides you with an opportunity to be successful, your life will be a lot less stressful. Education is the key.

Now let me tell you what your parents will tell you: Make me proud. It increases your chances of getting a job, provides you with an opportunity to be successful, your life will be a lot less stressful. Education is the key.

Now let’s look at that statics. Steve Jobs – net worth, 7 billion. RIP. Richard Branson – net worth, 4.2 billion. Oprah Winfrey – net worth, 2.7 billion. Mark Zuckerberg, Henry Ford, Steven Spielberg, Bill Gates, now here comes the coup de grâce. Looking at these individuals, what’s your conclusion? Neither of them, in being successful, ever graduated from a higher learning institution.

Now some of you will protest, like, you know only money is the medium by which one measures worldly success. And some of you will even have the nerve to say, “I don’t do it for the money.” So what are you studying for? To work for a charity? Need more clarity? Let’s look at the statics.

Jesus. Muhammad. Socrates. Malcolm X. Mother Teresa. Spielberg. Shakespeare. Beethoven. Jesse Owens. Muhammad Ali. Sean Carter. Michael Jeffrey Jordan. Michael Joseph Jackson. Were either of these people unsuccessful? Or… uneducated?

All I’m saying is that if there was a family tree, hard work and education would be related; but school would probably be a distant cousin. ‘Cause if education is the key then school is the lock. Because it rarely ever develops your mind to the point where it can perceive red as green and continue to go when someone else says stop.

Because as long as you follow the rules and pass the exams, you’re cool. But are you aware that examiners have a checklist, and if your answer is something outside of the box the automatic response is a cross. And then they claim that school expands your horizons and your visions. Well tell that to Malcolm X who dropped out of school and is world renowned for what he learned in a prison.

Proverbs 17:16. It does a fool no good to spend money on an education. Why? Because he has no common sense. George Bush. Need I say more? Education is about inspiring one’s mind not just filling their head.

And take this from me because I’m an “educated man” myself who only came to this realization after countless nights in the library with a can of red bull keeping me awake ’til dawn and another can in the morn’. Falling asleep in between piles of books which probably equated to the same amount I had spent on my rent.

Memorize equations, facts and dates right down to the letter. Half of which I would never remember, and half of which I would forget straight after the exam and before the start of the next semester. Asking anyone if they had notes for the last lecture.

I often found myself running to class just so I could find a spot on which I could rest my head and fall asleep without making a scene. Ironic, because that’s the only time I ever spent in university chasing my dreams. And then after nights with a dead mind I then find myself in a queue of half-awake student zombies waiting to hand in an assignment. Maybe that’s why they called it a dead-line.

And then after three years of mental suppression and frustration, my “proud mother” didn’t even turn up to my graduation.

Now I’m not saying that school is evil and there’s nothing to gain, all I’m saying is, understand your motives and reassess your aims because if you want a job working for someone else then help yourself. But then that would be a contradiction because you wouldn’t really be helping yourself, you’d be helping somebody else. There’s a saying which says, “If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help build theirs.”

Redefine how you view education, understand its true meaning. Education is not just about regurgitating facts from a book on someone else’s opinion on a subject to pass an exam. Look at it. Picasso was educated in creating art. Shakespeare was educated in the art of all that was written. Colonel Harland Sanders was educated in the art of creating Kentucky fried chicken.

I once saw David Beckham take a free kick. I watched as the side of his Adidas sponsored boot hit the painted leather of the ball at an angle which caused it to travel towards the skies as though it was destined for the heavens. And then as it reached the peak of its momentum, as though it changed its mind, it switched directions.

I watched as the goal keeper froze, as though reciting to himself the law of physics and as though his brain was negotiating with his eyes that it was indeed witnessing the spectacle of the leather swan that was swooping towards it, and then reacting. But only a fraction of a millisecond too late. And before the net of the goal embraced the FIFA sponsored ball that was the prodigal son returning home, and the country that I live in erupted into cheers, I looked at the play and thought… Damn.

Looking at David Beckham, there’s more than one way to be an educated man.

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