Tim Minchin arrived at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University some 22 years ago to study music. Minchin returned last week to receive an honorary degree, and with it, deliver this speech.

A trusty nugget from his three pieces of advice:

You have to be authentic. Actors, you might authentically look like a Hemsworth and authentically love going to the gym. But I promise, as someone who has been involved in casting on both sides of the couch: all anyone wants to see is you. We want to see how you play the character, how you bring you into a character.

My career began in my late twenties when I finally stopped trying to be what I thought other people wanted from me. I was trying to get acting agents, getting headshots and cutting my hair, changing my name to Timothy, as if that crap ever changed anything. I was trying to get the silliness out of my songs in the hope that I could get a record deal. I was separating all the things I am, because I had identified what I thought was the marketplace available to me, and was trying to be various products that might be consumable. The minute, the minute, I stuck everything I am on the stage… the moment I wore what I wanted, said what I wanted, put together a show that had me doing weird poems and monologues and playing jazz and pop and rock, the moment I got authentic, my life changed.

You can read the full transcript on Minchin’s site.