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6 Takeaways From Martin Scorsese’s NYU Tisch Commencement Speech

6 Takeaways From Martin Scorsese's NYU Tisch Commencement Speech

Here are six takeaways and quotes to live by given by Martin Scorsese in his speech to NYU’s Tisch Class of 2014. 

On the transcendence of film, and its ability to be accessible to anyone:

“There were no books in the house. My parents were not educated really and they were not in the habit of reading and they were really no books in the apartments of my any of my friends, really. But there were always movies.” 

On preserving one’s creative ideas and aims:

“Please yourself to shape your own vision.”

“It’s a very strong thing, that desire, that initial impulse — like an obsession. But it’s deliciate too and it needs to be nutured and protected against the incursions of the world which can be merciless.” 

On seeing the bright side of a letdown: 

“There’s a way that the force of disappointment can be alchemized into something that will paradoxically renew you.” 

On persevering when faced with difficulty: 

“It’s the work of the old masters–whoever your masters are–really that remind you that you have to be singular, inflexible, unyielding in your own work so that even the struggle, that very struggle to achieve becomes its own reward.” 

On why Scorsese dislikes the phrase “following your dreams”:

“If you’re dreaming, you’re sleeping. And it’s important and imperative to always be awake to your feelings, your possibilities, your ambitions. And don’t get hung up on the consequences because they can be good — like awards, success and even celebrity — and they can be bad — no awards, no success, no celebrity.” 

On how educational instruction in the arts never ends: 

“Every step is a first step, every brush stroke is a test, every scene is a lesson, every shot is a school. So let the learning continue.” 

Watch Scorsese give his full address below: 

READ MORE: Martin Scorsese Rallies To Keep Film Stock Alive: ‘Film is an art form’ 

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