News

Actor challenges students to find their purpose

February 26, 2014

Jeffrey Tambor easily moved back into the role of professor Tuesday night as he wrote advice for life on a white board and coached two Chadron State College students on stage in the Memorial Hall Auditorium.

Tambor, an Emmy nominee actor who has appeared in many television shows and movies over the past several decades, told the audience that he had also been a professor at Wayne State University.

“Performing your life” was written on the white board when the show began. Tambor quickly added four words in front of the phrase to transform it into the question, “What’s keeping you from performing your life?”

He said some former students of his who are millionaires and billionaires have given up or checked out of their careers. He emphasized that everyone needs to feel they have a purpose in life.

Tambor said, “You’ve got to make mistakes. Then get back to it. Don’t waste time asking, ‘Do you like me? Am I good?’ Risk disappointing someone. Find your courage.”

As proof that this approach works, he told about his best audition. He performed it later the same day he found out his mother died. Not caring what others thought of him gave him the freedom to fully express himself without holding back.

Tambor referenced the clock on stage and said “tick tock” as a reminder that life is short.

“Give yourself marching orders. I give myself marching orders every day,” he said.

He coached Ashley Daniels, Sheridan, Wyo., to read a piece of prose projected on a screen on stage using various voices and emotions. He then turned his attention on Derek Phelps, Sidney, Neb., and challenged him to follow-up the experience on stage by emailing Tambor to request introductions to connections into the acting world.

He pushed several other students from the audience who asked questions to also email him as soon as the show was over.