Neil Gaiman gave the 2012 commencement speech at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. It’s all over the internet, but I think it’s very appropriate for you, for your students, and for anyone who is thinking about going into an arts career.
When you start out on a career in the arts, you have no idea what you’re doing. This is great. People who know what they’re doing know the rules and they know what is possible and what is impossible. You do not. And you should not. The rules on what is possible and the impossible in the arts were made by people who have not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them. And you can. If you don’t know it’s impossible, it’s easier to do.
For those of you who are 15 and thinking about an arts career – have you made your list yet of what you want to do? Are you putting impossible things on that list? Why not?