"Continue to share your heart with people even if it's been broken. Don't treat your heart like an action figure, wrapped in plastic and never used.-- Amy Poehler at Harvard College Class Day 2011
It definitely caught my attention. Before I knew it, I was crying and laughing my heart out watching a 15-minute video of Amy Poehler giving a speech at a recent commencement exercise at Harvard University.
What an odd choice for a speaker at a Harvard graduation. Amy Poehler is am actress and comedian. She is also a good friend of the Tina Fey. She is even known as the blond Tina Fey. If only there were more of them in the industry - those who actually use their brain.
Sharing with you excerpts of her speech.
By the way, her speech was funny and hilarious but it hits you and makes you think real hard. I can't stop thinking about it so I'm here writing.
And if I wanted to give you advice as an actor, I would tell you this: don't do it. Don't be one. There are too many. I have a lot of talented friends who aren't working. Sorry, no more room at the inn. I bet you are great, but just work with the human genome instead.
All I can tell you today is what I have learned. What I have discovered as a person in this world. And that is this: you can't do it alone. As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people's ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. No one is here today because they did it on their own. Okay, maybe Josh, but he's just a straight up weirdo. You're all here today because someone gave you strength. Helped you. Held you in the palm of their hand. GOD, Allah, Buddha, Gaga. Whomever you pray to.
They have helped you get here, and that should make you feel less alone. And less scared. Because it has been a scary ten years. You were young children when you watched planes hit the World Trade Center. You quickly understood what it was like to feel out of control. Your formative teenage years were filled with orange alerts and rogue waves and unaccomplished missions. For my generation, it was AIDS. We all grow up afraid of something. Taking off your shoes at the airport. My generation had to get used to awkward PSAs from boys to men telling us to use protection. But during those tough times, we realized how wonderful it felt to be part of a group.
Listen, say yes, live in the moment, make sure you play with people who have your back. make big choices early and often.
If you are scared, look into your partner's eyes. You will feel better.
I cannot stress enough that the answer to a lot of your life's questions is often in someone else's face. Try putting your iPhones down every once in a while and look at people's faces. People's faces will tell you amazing things. Like if they are angry or nauseous, or asleep.
You never know what is around the corner unless you peek. Hold someone's hand while you do it. You will feel less scared. You can't do this alone. Besides it is much more fun to succeed and fail with other people. You can blame them when things go wrong. Take your risks now. As you grow older, you become more fearful and less flexible. And I mean that literally. I hurt my knee on the treadmill this week and it wasn't even on.
Try to keep your mind open to possibilities and your mouth closed on matters that you don't know about. Limit your always and your nevers.
Continue to share your heart with people even if its been broken. Don't treat your heart like an action figure wrapped in plastic and never used.
Even though, as a class, you are smart, you are still allowed to say, "I don't know." Just because you are in high demand, you are still allowed to say, "Let me get back to you."
Which leads me to my final thought: would it kill you to be nicer to your parents? They have sacrificed so much for you, and all they want you to do is smile and take a picture with your weird cousins. Do that for them. And with less eye-rolling, please.
This is what I want to say. When you feel scared, hold someone's hand and look into their eyes. And when you feel brave, do the same thing. You are all here because you are smart. And you are brave. And if you add KINDNESS and the ability to change a tire, you almost make up the perfect person.
Inspiring thoughts for this evening.
Borrowing Amy's closing, I wish you love and light, joy, and much laughter.
(PS/ Thank you Ney for sending me the rough transcript of the speech.)