“I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which, was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
This was one of many profoundly wise things Jim Carrey told the graduating class of 2014 at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa on Saturday. He was referencing his father’s choice in life, who could have been a great comedian, but chose instead to play it safe and become an accountant, thinking it would be a secure profession. But after several years he lost his job and the family had to do what they could to survive. In Jim’s case that meant leaving school to work at something he didn’t like to help support the family. But he also realized his father’s humor and love made people laugh, feel happy and forget about their cares. He soon realized he wanted to do that too and decided to become a comedian to make people forget their concerns. And he certainly succeeded beyond his wildest dreams!
Gazette writer, Diana Nollen, attended the MUM Graduation and heard Jim Carrey deliver his amazingly funny and deeply insightful Commencement speech. Earlier, during his introductory remarks, President Bevan Morris mentioned Judd Apatow’s story of opening for Jim Carrey in his early days, and after seeing Jim perform, decided to quit standup comedy. He said Jim is the number one funniest person on the planet.
So when Donna Marie Jones, the class valedictorian, was walking up to the podium we all wondered how she could follow such an act! Diana opens her piece quoting Donna’s opening remark, and then comments:
“Wow! What an honor to have Jim Carrey as my opening act!”
It was the best opening line to a valedictory speech, following the best commencement address ever.
Both were delivered Saturday at Maharishi University of Management, where about 1,000 people filled every chair and space in the Golden Dome to see 285 students from 54 countries receive bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees — and to hear what the veteran Hollywood funnyman would have to say.
Everyone, including Carrey, laughed at valedictorian Donna Marie Jones’ opening line. The mathematics major had the unenviable task of following Carrey at the microphone.
Read more: Jim Carrey wise beyond his wiseguy ways: Hollywood funnyman gives commencement address in Fairfield.
Sunday’s Hawk Eye cover story on Jim Carrey delivering the commencement address at Maharishi University in Fairfield was written by Bob Saar. He captured the joyful mood of Carrey’s wit and wisdom as he delivered a funny yet deeply powerful message of insight and encouragement to the graduates. Dr. Carrey (he received a doctorate in Fine Arts) touched the hearts and minds of the over 1000 people there in the dome with his understanding, humility and humor. Brilliant! To read this article, just click on it once, and then again after it opens larger. Other articles are available below as well. Other Iowa media that reported on the MUM 2014 Graduation with Jim Carrey are: The Des Moines Register, Jim Carrey mixes laughs with advice at Iowa college graduation; The Gazette/KCRG, Jim Carrey wise beyond his wise guy ways, which is another excellent article, but with a slideshow and voice-over; The Fairfield Ledger: Carrey infuses graduation speech with humor; The Iowa Source article with photos and quotes: Jim Carrey Gives Heartfelt, Laugh-Filled Commencement Speech; and The Fairfield Weekly Reader for a personal glimpse from Michael Sternfeld of what it was like to see Jim Carrey work with the MUM and DLF crew to get his presentation in place: The True-man Show: Behind the Scenes with Jim Carrey.
Michael Sternfeld later had a longer version of this article published as a cover story in Australia’s largest holistic magazine, Living Now, on pages 12+13, with a mention by the editor in the middle of page 3: http://bit.ly/1rmUTXE.
National news coverage was by The Hollywood Reporter: Jim Carrey Delivers Commencement Speech, Receives Honorary Doctorate, NY Daily News: Jim Carrey gives emotional commencement speech at Maharishi University of Management, CNN: Jim Carrey’s inspiring commencement speech, USA TODAY: Hear what advice Jim Carrey has for college graduates; The Wrap: Jim Carrey’s Commencement Speech Warns Students of His Own Father’s Failure (Video); Time: Jim Carrey’s Commencement Speech Warns Against Playing It Safe; and many TV news shows like Today: Jim Carrey delivers life lessons in commencement speech, Good Morning America: Jim Carrey Reveals His Father’s Failure Inspired His Comedic Dreams; PEOPLE Magazine, June 9, 2014, page 8, under StarTracks; and many major publications running the story. WPTV 5 included a comprehensive review of highlights from various media in the Newsy report: Jim Carrey Maharishi University of Management graduation speech; Tells graduates don’t fail at what you don’t want. The international press ran the news all over the place. The Hindu later came out with, Choose between fear and love, including many highlights from Jim’s inspiring talk.
Also visit the TM Blog for some more good quotes: Jim Carrey in Iowa? University Featuring Transcendental Meditation Scores Big with Commencement Speaker. KTVO posted two reports: Jim Carrey Gives Memorable Speech at MUM Graduation and Inaugural David Lynch MA in Film class graduates. Visit http://filmschool.mum.edu to submit your work for a chance at a scholarship.
Here is a sample of the highlights on a b-roll sent to the media. It is included in the Washington Post article: Jim Carrey gives commencement speech at Maharishi University of Management, which seems to be one of the best articles so far. And CNN just posted a second news report: Carrey Gets Serious at Graduation, Says His Dad Paved The Way For Him. The news anchor was surprised at how serious he was and what he shared with the MUM graduates: “That’s Jim Carrey. Wow! Jim Carrey told the crowed that he got into comedy to free people from concern.” More to come. This just in: Paresh David of The LA Times just published Could these be the best commencement speeches of 2014? and Jim’s address is 7th in the top 10! This is followed by TakePart, which listed quotes from Jim Carrey’s commencement address 2nd out of the top 6 commencement speech quotes of 2014: Six Commencement Speech Quotes That Got It Perfectly Right. Jim’s was listed after Colin Powell’s!
MUM has now posted a report with this video and photos at https://www.mum.edu/whats-happening/graduation-2014. From there you can also access Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address, his honorary degree award, as well as the Valedictorian and Salutatorian Addresses here. See MUM Valedictorian Shines Alongside Jim Carrey. See some Videos of MUM 2014 Graduation with Jim Carrey. Six months later, Jim Carrey appeared on Ellen. She asked him about his giving a commencement speech, and to date, over 60 million people worldwide have seen Jim’s inspiring talk.
Tags: artist, author, Bob Saar, comedian, commencement speeches, commencements, entertainment, fear and love, Jim Carrey, Maharishi University of Management, Media, MUM, news, news coverage, press, spiritual seeker, the Self, TM, Transcendental Meditation, world press