• De Niro to NYU Art School Grads: ‘You’re F**ked,’ Be Ready For ‘A Lifetime Of Rejection’

    Robert De Niro gave the graduates of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts a reality check during his commencement address on Friday.

    “You’re an artist – yeah, you’re f***ed,” De Niro told the film, art, and media graduates at Madison Square Garden Theater.

    “The good news is that’s not a bad place to start,” the Oscar-winning actor continued.

    “The school of medicine graduates, each will get a job, so will the law school grads, and if they don’t who cares, they’re lawyers. Teachers, they’ll be working, sh*t jobs and lousy pay, but they will be working,” he said.

    He warned the graduates about facing a “lifetime of rejection,” but said “you don’t want to block the pain too much.”

    “A new door is opening for you — a door to a lifetime of rejection. It’s inevitable—how do you cope? I hear that Valium and Vicodin work.” he joked. “You don’t want to block the pain too much. Without the pain, what would we talk about?”

    De Niro, who won an Academy Award for both 1975’s The Godfather: Part II and 1981’s Raging Bull, also offered up some tips on how to make it in Hollywood:

    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. 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 71-year-old actor also told graduates to use the word “Next” to move from project to project.

    “You didn’t get that part? Next! You’ll get the next one or the next one after that,” he said. “I know you’re going to make it. Break a leg. Next!”

    All kidding aside, De Niro tried to put the aspiring actors at ease. Despite believing they will never “get straight A’s again,” he encouraged all to keep in touch with their peers.

    “Treasure the associations and friendships and working relationships with the people in your classes and your easily work. You never know what might come from it.” He mused: “I’m here to hand out my pictures and resumes to the directing and producing graduates!”


    Alicia Powe

    Staff Writer

    Alicia Powe is a staff writer for Daily Surge. She worked in the War Room of the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee and served as a White House Intern during the George W. Bush administration. Alicia has written for numerous outlets, including Human Events, Media Research Center and Townhall.com.

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