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Aaron Sorkin

Syracuse University (2012)

Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, a graduate of Syracuse, told a few sweet stories about growing older, then hit the graduates with a comedic reality check — Sorkin-style.

"[M]ake no mistake about it, you are dumb. You're a group of incredibly well-educated dumb people. I was there. We all were there. You're barely functional. There are some screw-ups headed your way. I wish I could tell you that there was a trick to avoiding the screw-ups, but the screw-ups, they're a-coming for ya'."

He also talked about making "A Few Good Men," and about how a young actor, who had been cast in a small role, bailed out because he got a lead role in another movie. That movie was canceled and the actor's replacement was Noah Wyle, who went on to star in "ER." "I don't know what that first actor is doing and I can't remember his name."

His best advice?

"You'll meet a lot of people who, to put it simply, don't know what they're talking about. ... Develop your own compass, and trust it. Take risks, dare to fail, remember the first person through the wall always gets hurt."

Watch the speech
Read the full transcript

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