John Waters gave an incredible commencement speech to a design school

'Read, read, read! Watch people on the street. Spy, be nosy, eavesdrop.'

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The Independent Online

Director John Waters gave a brilliantly offbeat commencement speech to students at Rhode Island School of Design.

The man behind films such as Hairspray, Pink Flamingos and Desperate Living gave an inspired speech to outgoing arts students.

Waters told the audience of his own early ambitions, saying: "You're lucky. When I went to school my teachers discouraged every dream I ever had. I wanted to be the filthiest person alive but no school would let me.

"Hopefully, you have been taught never to fear rejection in the workplace. Remember, a 'no' is free. Ask for the world, and pay no mind if you were initially turned down. A career in the arts is like a hitchhiking trip - all you need is one person to say 'get in' and off you go. And then, the confidence begins.

"You must participate in the creative world you want to become a part of. So what if you have talent - then what? You have to figure of how to work your way inside. Keep up with what's causing chaos in your own field.

"Read, read, read! Watch people on the street. Spy, be nosy, eavesdrop."

Waters added that the graduands may be coming to the end of their juvenile phase, but encouraged it to be the start of their "adult disobedience".

"Not being around a**holes should be the goal of every student here today."

Referring to himself as "the prince of puke", Waters joked about the fact he was even allowed to give the speech in the first place.

"I am really qualified to be your commencement speaker," he said. "I was suspended from high school, then kicked out of college in the first marijuana scandal ever on a university campus, I've been arrested several times, I've been known to dress in ludicrous fashions."

Waters signed off with: "Go into the world and f**k it up beautifully. Design clothes so hideous that they can't be worn ironically. Horrify us with new ideas. Outrage outdated critics. Use technology for transgression, not lazy social living. Make me nervous!

"And finally, count your blessings. You got through college - you didn't commit suicide, OD, or have a nervous breakdown, and let's remember the ones who did. It's time to get busy. It's your turn to cause trouble, but this time in the real world, and this time from the inside."

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