Hello, class of 2015.
I am so honored to be here today.
Dean Khurana, faculty, parents and most especially graduating students.
库拉纳校长 全体教职员 家长们 尤其是各位毕业生
Thank you so much for inviting me.
The Senior Class Committee.
It’s genuinely one of the most exciting things I’ve ever been asked to do.
I have to admit primarily because I can’t deny it.
首先 我必须得承认 主要是因为我没法儿否认它
as it was leaked in the Wikileaks release of the Sony hack.
that when I was invited, I replied and I directly quote my own email,
“Wow, this is so nice. I am gonna need some funny ghost writers, any ideas?”
This initial response, now blessedly public, was from the knowledge that
at my class day we were lucky enough to have Will Ferrel as our class day speaker.
And that many of us, hung-over or even freshly high,
mainly wanted to laugh.
So I have to admit that today even 12 years after graduation.
I am still insecure about my own worthiness.
I have to remind myself today you are here for a reason.
Today I feel much like I did when I came to Harvard Yard as a freshman in 1999,
when you guys were, to my continued shock and horror, still in kindergarten.
I felt like there had been some mistake
that I wasn’t smart enough to be in this company .
and that every time I opened my mouth,
I would have to prove I wasn’t just a dumb actress.
So I start with an apology, this won’t be very funny,
I’m not a comedian and I didn’t get a ghost writer.
But I am here to tell you today.
Harvard is giving you all diplomas tomorrow.
You, are here for a reason.
Sometimes your insecurities and your inexperience may lead you, too,
to embrace other people’s expectations, standards or values.
But you can harness that inexperience to carve out your own path,
one that is free of the burden of knowing how things are supposed to be,
a path that is defined by its own particular set of reasons.
The other day I went to an amusement park with my soon-to-be 4-year old son.
And I watched him play arcade games.
He was incredibly focused, throwing his ball at the target.
Jewish mother that I am, I skipped 20 steps.
I was already imagining him as a major league player
with what his aim and his arm and his concentration.
投球精准 手臂健壮 用心专注
But then I realized what he want.
He was playing to trade in his tickets for the crappy plastic toys.
The prize was much more exciting than the game to get it.
I of course wanted to urge him to take joy and the challenge of the game
the improvement upon practice, the satisfaction of doing something well
and even feeling the accomplishment when achieving the game’s goals.
But all of these aspects were shaded by the little ten cent plastic men
with sticky stretchy blue arms that adhered to the walls.
That, that was the prize.
In a child nature, we see many of our own innate tendencies.
I saw myself in him, and perhaps you do too.
Prizes serve as false idols everywhere.
Prestige, wealth, fame, power.
威望 财富 名声 权势
You will be exposed to many of these, if not all.
Of course part of why I was invited come speak today,
beyond my being a proud alum
is that I have recruited some very coveted toys in my life,
including a not so plastic, not so crappy one: an Oscar.
So we bump up against the common troll I think of the commencement address
people who have achieved a lot telling you
that the fruits of achievement are not always to be trusted.
But I think that contradiction can be reconciled and is in fact instructive.
Achievement is wonderful when you know why you are doing it.
And when you don’t know, it can be a terrible trap.
I went to a public high school on Long Island, Syosset high school.
Wow, hello Syosset!
哇哦 你们好 西奥赛特的校友们！
The girls I went to school with had Prada bags and flat-ironed hair
and they spoke with an accent.
I who had moved there at the age of 9 from Connecticut mimicked to fit in.
Since I am ancient, and the Internet was just starting when I was in high school,
people didn’t really pay that much attention of the fact that I was an actress.
I was known mainly at school for having a backpack bigger than I was
and I always having whiteout on my hands
since I hated seeing anything crossed out on my notebooks.
I was voted for my senior year book, most likely to be a contestant on Jeopardy,
or code for nerdiest.
When I got to Harvard, just after the release of Star Wars, Episode I,
I knew I would be starting over in terms of how people viewed me.
I feared people would have assumed I’d gotten in just for being famous
and they would think I was not worthy of the intellectual rigor here.
And it would have not been far from the truth.
When I came here, I’d never written a ten-page paper before.
I am not even sure I’ve written a five-page paper.
I was alarmed and intimitated by the calm eyes of a fellow student.
who came here from Dalton or Exeter
who thought that compared to high school, the workload here was easy.
I was completely overwhelmed
and thought that reading a thousand pages a week was unimaginable.
that writing a fifty-page thesis is just something I could never do.
I had no ideas how to declare, I had no idea how to declare my intentions.
I couldn’t even articulate them to myself.
I have been acting since I was 11
but I thought acting was too frivolous and certainly not meaningful.
I came from a family of academics and was very concerned of being taken seriously.
In contrast to my inability to declare myself,
on my first day of orientation freshman year,
five separate students introduced themselves to me by saying:
‘I am going to be president, remember I told you that.’
Their names for the record were Bernin Sanders, Marco Rubio,
严肃地说 他们的名字分别是 伯尼·桑德斯 马克·卢比奥
Ted Cruz, Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton.
In all seriousness, I believed every one of them
Their bearing and self-confidence alone seemed to prove of their prophecy,
while I couldn’t shake my self-doubt.
I got in only because I was famous.
This was how others saw me. It was how I saw myself.
Driven by these insecurities,
I decided that I was going to find something to do at Harvard
that was serious and meaningful,
that would change the world and make it a better place.
At the age of 18, I had already been acting for 7 years
and assumed I’d find a more serious and profound path in college.
So freshman fall, I decided to take neurobiology
and advanced modern Hebrew literature.
Because I was serious and intellectual.
Needless to say, I should’ve failed both.
I got Bs for your information and to this day,
顺便说下 我两科都拿到了B 而且直到今日
every Sunday I burnt a small effigy the pagan Gods of grade inflation.
But, as I was fighting my way through Aleph Bet Yod Y’shua in Hebrew,
and the different mechanisms of neuro-response,
I saw friends around me writing papers on sailing and pop culture magazines.
and professors teaching classes on fairytales and The Matrix,
I realized that seriousness for seriousness’s sake
was its own kind of trophy and a dubious one,
a pose I thought to counter some half imagined argument about who I was.
There was a reason I was an actor. I love what I do.
And I saw for my peers and my mentors
that that was not only an acceptable reason, it was the best reason.
When I got to my graduation, sitting where you sit today,
after 4 years of trying to get excited about something else,
I admitted to myself that I couldn’t wait to go back and make more films.
I wanted to tell stories,
to imagine the lives of others and help others do the same.
I had found or perhaps reclaimed my reason.
You have a prize now, or at least you will tommorrow.
The prize is the Harvard degree in your hand.
But what is your reason behind it?
My Harvard degree represents for me the curiosity and invention that were encouraged here;
the friendships I’ve sustained;
the way professor Graham told me not to describe the way light hit a flower,
but rather the shadow that the flower cast;
the way professor Scarry talked about theatre is a transformative religious force;
how professor Coslin showed how much of our visual cortex is activated just by imagining.
Now granted these things don’t necessarily help me answer the most common questions I’m asked,
What designer are you wearing? What’s your fitness regime? Any makeup tips?
But I have since been embarrassed, to myself, as
what I might previously have thought was a stupid question.
My Harvard degree and other awards
are emblems of the experiences which led me to them.
The wood paneled lecture halls, the colorful fall leaves,
the hot vanilla Toscaninis,
reading great novels in overstuffed library chairs.
running through dining halls screaming:
“Ooh, Ah, city steps, city steps, city steps, city steps!”
哦 啊 城市脚步 城市脚步 城市脚步
It’s easy now to romanticize my time here.
but I had some very difficult times here, too.
Some combination of being 19,
dealing wth my first heartbreak,
taking birth control pills that have since
been taken off the market for their depressive side effects,
and spending too much time missing daylight during winter months
led me to some pretty dark moments, particularly during sophomore year.
There were several occasions (where) I started crying in meetings with professors,
overwhelmed with what I was supposed to pull off
when I could barely get myself out of bed in the morning.
Moments when I took on the motto for my school work,
‘Done, not good.’
If only I could finish my work,
even if it took eating a jumbo pack of sour Patch Kids,
to get me through a single 10-page paper.
I felt that I had accomplished a great feat.
I’d repeat to myself:’ Done, not good.’
A couple of years ago, I went to Tokyo with my husband
and I ate at the most remarkable sushi restaurant.
I don’t even eat fish. I’m vegan. So that tells you how good it was.
我不吃鱼的 我是素食主义者 所以你们知道该有多好吃了
Even with just vegetables, the sushi was the stuff you’d dream about.
The restaurant has six seats
My husband and I marveled
at how anyone could make rice so superior to all other rice.
We wondered why they didn’t make a bigger restaurant and be the most popular place in town.
Our local friends explained to us
that all the best restaurants in Tokyo are that small.
and do only one type of dish: sushi, or tenpura or teriyaki.
Because they want to do that thing well and beautifully.
And it’s not about quantity.
It’s about taking pleasure in the perfection and beauty of the particular.
I’m still learning now that
it’s about good and maybe never done,
that the joy and work ethic and virtuosity we bring to the particular
can impart a singular type of enjoyment
to those we give to and of course, to ourselves.
In my professional life,
it also took me time to find my own reasons for doing my work.
The first film I was in came out in 1994.
Again, appallingly, the year most of you were born.
I was 13 years old upon the film’s release.
And I can still quote what the New York Times said about me verbatim:
“Miss Portman poses better than she acts.”
The film had a universally tepid critical response
and went on to bomb commercially.
That film was called The Professional, or Leon in Europe.
And today, 20 years and 35 films later,
而到今天 过了20年 拍完了35部电影之后
it is still the film people approach me about the most,
to tell me how much they loved it,
how much it moved them, how it’s their favourite movie.
I feel lucky that my first experience of releasing a movie,
was initially such a disaster by all standard measures.
I learned early that my meaning had to be from
the experience of making the film and the possibility of connecting with individuals
rather than the foremost trophies in my industry —
financial and critical success.
And also that those initial reactions
could be false predictors of your work’s ultimate legacy.
I started choosing only jobs I was passionate about.
and from which I knew I could glean meaningful experiences.
This thoroughly confused everyone around me,
agents, producers and audiences alike.
I made Goya’s Ghosts, a foreign independent film.
and studied art history visiting the produce everyday for 4 months as I read about
Goya and the Spanish Inquisition.
I made V for Vendetta, studio action movie
for which I learned everything I could about freedom fighters
who in other eyes might be called terrorists
from Menachem Begin to Weather Underground
I made Your Highness,
a pothead comedy with Danny McBride,
and laughed for three months straight.
I was able to own my meaning
and not have it be determined by box office receipts or prestige.
By the time I got to making Black Swan,
the experience was entirely my own.
I felt immune to the worst things anyone could say or write about me
and to whether an audience felt, like going to see my movie or not.
It was instructive for me to see that ballet dancers…
for ballet dancers, once your technique gets to a certain level,
the only thing that separates you from others is your quirks, or even flaws.
One ballerina was famous for how she turned slightly off balance.
You can never be the best techniquely.
Someone will always have a higher jump, or a more beautiful line.
The only thing you can be the best at is developing your own self.
Authoring your own experience was very much what Black Swan itself was about.
I walked to Darren Aronofsky, the film’s director,
to change my last line in the movie to
‘It was perfect.’
Because my character Nina is only artistically successful,
when she finds perfection and pleasure for herself,
not when she’s trying to be perfect in the eyes of others.
So when Black Swan was successful financially,
and I began receiving accolades,
I felt honored and grateful to have connected with people.
For the true call of my meaning,
I had already established,
and I needed it to be independent of people’s reactions to me.
People told me that Black Swan was an artistic risk,
a scary challenge to try to
portray a professional ballet dancer.
But it didn’t feel like courage or daring that drew me to it.
I was so oblivious to my own limits
that I did things I was woefully unprepared to do.
And so the very inexperience that in college had made me feel insecure
and made me wanna play by others’ rules
now was making me actually take risks
I didn’ t even realize were risks.
When Darren asked me if I could do ballet,
I told him that I was basically a ballerina,
which, by the way, I whole-heartedly believed.
对于这一点 顺便一提 我是完全相信自己的
When it quickly became clear in preparing for the film,
that I was maybe 15 years away from being a ballerina.
It made me work a million times harder.
And of course the magic of cinema and body doubles helped the final effect.
But the point is if I had known my own limitations,
I never would have taken the risk.
And the risk led to one of my greatest artistic and personal experiences.
And that I not only felt completely free, I also met my husband during the filming.
Similarly, I just directed my first film, A Tale of Love And Darkness,
同样 我刚刚执导了我的处女作 《爱与黑暗的故事》
and was quite blind to the challenges ahead of me.
The film is a period film, completely in Hebrew,
in which I also act with an 8-year-old child as a costar.
All of these are challenges I should’ve been terrified of,
as I was completely unprepared for them.
But my complete ignorances to my own limitations
look like confidence,
and got me into the director’s chair.
Once there I had to figure it all out.
And my belief that I could handle all these things,
contrary to all evidence of my ability to do so, was half the battle.
The other half was very hard work.
This experience was the deepest and the most meaningful one of my career.
Now clearly I’m not urging you to go perform a heart surgery without the knowledge to do so.
Making movies admittedly has less drastic consequences than most professions
and allows for a lot of effects that make up for mistakes.
The thing I’m saying is make use of the effect
that you don’t doubt yourself too much right now.
As we get older, we get more realistic.
and that includes about our own abilities or lack thereof.
And that realism does us no favors.
People always talk about diving into things you’re afraid of.
That never worked for me.
If I’m afraid, I’d run away
and I would probably urge my child to do the same.
Fear protects us in many ways.
What has served me is diving into my obliviousness.
Being more confident than I should be,
which everyone intends to decry American kids
and those of us who have been grade inflated and ego inflated.
Well it can be a good thing if it makes you try things you never might have tried.
You inexperience is an asset
and will allow you to think in original and unconventional ways,
Accept your lack of knowledge and use it as your asset.
I know a famous violinist who told me that he can’t compose.
Because he knows too many pieces,
so when he starts thinking of a note,
an existing piece immediately comes to mind.
Just starting out one of your biggest strengths
is not knowing how things are supposed to be.
You can compose freely because your mind isn’t cluttered with too many pieces.
And you don’t take for granted the way things are.
The only way you know how to do things is your own way.
You here will all go on to achieve great things.
There’s no doubt about that.
Each time you set out to do something new,
you inexperience can either lead you down a path
where you will conform to someone else’s values,
or you can forge your own path
even if you don’t realize that’s what you are doing.
If your reasons are your own,
your path, even if it’s a strange and clumsy path,
will be wholly yours.
And you will control the rewards of what you do by making your internal life fulfilling.
At the risk of sounding like a Miss American contestant,
the most fulfilling things I’ve experienced have truly been
the human interactions:
spending time with women and village banks in Mexico with FINCA, micro-finance organization,
meeting young women who were the first and only in their communities
to attend secondary schools in rural Kenya.
with Free the Children group that built sustainable schools in developing countries,
tracking with gorilla conservationists in Rwanda.
It’s a cliche because it’s true
that helping others ends up helping you more than anyone.
Getting out of your own concerns and caring about someone else’s life for a while
reminds you that you are not the centre of the universe.
And that in the ways we are generous or not
we can change the course of someone’s life.
Even at work, the small feats of kindness,
crew members, directors, fellow actors have shown me,
剧组成员 导演 同行演员给我的小小友善
have had the most lasting impact.
And of course, first and foremost, the centre of my world
当然 首先 我世界的中心
is the love I share with my family and friends.
I wish for you that your friends would be with you through it all
as my friends from Harvard have been together since we graduated.
My friends from school are still very close.
We have nursed each other through heartaches and danced at each other’s weddings.
We’ve held each other at funerals,
and rocked each other’s new babies.
We’ve worked together on projects,
helped each other get jobs,
and thrown parties for when we’ve quit bad ones.
And now our children are creating a second generation of friendship
as we look at them toddling each other,
haggard and disheveled working parents that we are.
Grab the good people around you. Don’t let them go.
The biggest asset this school offers you
is the group of peers that will be both your family and your school for life.
I remember always being pissed at the spring here in Cambrige,
tricking us into remembering a sunny yard full of laughing frisbee throwers
after 8 months of dark, frigid library dwelling.
It was like the school had managed to turn on the good weather
as the last memory we should keep in mind that would make us wanna come back.
But as I get farther away from my years here,
I know that the power of the school is much deeper than weather control.
It changed the very questions I was asking.
To quote one of my favourite thinkers,
Abraham Joshua Heschel,
‘To be or not to be is not the question.
The vital question is how to be and how not to be.’ Thank you. I can’t wait to see how you do all the beautiful things you will do.
最重要的是如何生存和如何毁灭 谢谢 我迫不及待想看到大家将来如何创造美好事物
Hello, class of 2015.