Tim Needles | October 2015

Find the World that You Need: An Artist’s Advice

Artist’s Advice: John C. Reilly

This month, I’m following up on artist’s advice from Jonah Hill with some wise words from another comedic actor and writer I had the pleasure of interviewing, John C Reilly. Reilly, an Oscar and Grammy nominated actor, singer, and screenwriter,  you probably know from films like: Step Brothers, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Chicago, Gangs of New York, Boogie Nights, Casualties of War, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, and one of my favorites, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.  I interviewed Reilly a number of times, but this piece of artist’s advice is from our conversation about the film Terri in which he plays a high school assistant principal.

Tim Needles: What’s your artist’s advice for students who are being bullied or having a difficult time in high school?

John C. Reilly: If you’re in high school and you’re freaking out about your place in the pecking order and you feel like a monster or an outcast and you feel like, in the deck of cards that is high school there’s the aces and the kings and queens and you’re like the three of clubs, just know that this is true for every single person in the world- the moment you get out of high school that deck of cards is thrown into the air and those who were kings and queens often end up the assistant manager at the grocery store and those who were the three of clubs end up on press junkets for movies starring themselves, it gets better for everybody, and you just have to get through it. Keep growing, keep moving and you’ll find the world that you need.

Editor’s Note: This will be the last post from Tim on EdCloset as he moves on to many new and exciting projects.  We are so thankful for his thoughtful articles and wish him all the best in his next endeavors!

About the Author

Tim Needles is art and media teacher at Smithtown High School East in New York. He has been the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Power of Art Award, was recognized by the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts, and has worked as an Adobe Master Teacher and Education Leader. Tim is also a artist, writer, and performer who continues to exhibit and perform regularly. His work has been featured on NPR as well as in the New York Times and at the Columbus Museum of Art.