Charlie Kaufman's first speech ever

Really enjoyed this talk: Charlie Kaufman: Screenwriters Lecture.

Say who you are, really say it in your life and in your work. Tell someone out there who is lost, someone not yet born, someone who won’t be born for 500 years. Your writing will be a record of your time. It can’t help but be that. But more importantly, if you’re honest about who you are, you’ll help that person be less lonely in their world because that person will recognise him or herself in you and that will give them hope. It’s done so for me and I have to keep rediscovering it. It has profound importance in my life. Give that to the world, rather than selling something to the world. Don’t allow yourself to be tricked into thinking that the way things are is the way the world must work and that in the end selling is what everyone must do. Try not to.

This is from E. E. Cummings: ‘To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best night and day to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.’ The world needs you. It doesn’t need you at a party having read a book about how to appear smart at parties – these books exist, and they’re tempting – but resist falling into that trap. The world needs you at the party starting real conversations, saying, ‘I don’t know,’ and being kind...

I do believe you have a wound too. I do believe it is both specific to you and common to everyone. I do believe it is the thing about you that must be hidden and protected, it is the thing that must be tap danced over five shows a day, it is the thing that won’t be interesting to other people if revealed. It is the thing that makes you weak and pathetic. It is the thing that truly, truly, truly makes loving you impossible. It is your secret, even from yourself. But it is the thing that wants to live.


If you're a fan of Kaufman's, def check out the whole thing.

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1 Comment(s)

OpenID michaeljagdeo said...

'But more importantly, if you’re honest about who you are, you’ll help that person be less lonely in their world because that person will recognise him or herself in you and that will give them hope.'

About a year ago, I was on anti-depressants and thinking that I was a failure. I was smart and hard-working, but kept losing interest in one career after the next.

I had just taking up listening to Joe Rogan's podcast. I heard Al Madrigal talk about how he decided to pursue comedy instead of taking up the reins of a multi-million dollar family business...at the age of 28. I thought to myself, 'Damn...I'm 28.'

Ten months later, I'm now a stand-up comedian with a few TV opportunities on the go and close to getting my first cheque as a writer.

Now, I don't think Al Madrigal intended to inspire anyone with his story; he was simply responding to Joe Rogan's question as honestly as he could. But it inspired me.

Michael Jagdeo

8/30/12, 12:14 PM  


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