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Denzel Washington - Essay Example

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This is because of how he became so successful, moving past what life threw at him and his indecision to find motivation and follow his calling with a passion. Education was…
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Denzel Washington
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November 2, Denzel Washingtons Success Denzel Washington is one of Hollywoods well-known actors, but he is also an inspiring figure to many. This is because of how he became so successful, moving past what life threw at him and his indecision to find motivation and follow his calling with a passion. Education was also very important to Denzel Washington, as his theater training allowed him to become successful both on the stage and in major movies. His success and intelligence make him a great role model for African-Americans, especially, due to a lack of many good role models. Denzel Washington is an inspiring figure to me as an African-American fan of his movies, because he shows just how much anybody can achieve if they work hard and are passionate about their work.
One of the most inspiring things about Denzel Washingtons career is the story of his early childhood. When he was only 14, his parents got a divorce and he and his sister had to be sent to a boarding school for the rest of their education. Obviously, this must have had a big effect on the young mans life, but he did not let it bother him and he then went on to Fordham University, where he studied Journalism for a while (“Denzel Washington,” 2012). Beyond his parents problems, Denzel Washington also had some of his own, although they were not major. Basically, he could not decide what he wanted to do, and even dropped out of school for a semester because of being on academic probation (Washington, 2006, p16). However, after he worked as a camp counsellor over the summer at a YMCA camp and from a friends comment there “became as passionate about drama and acting as [he] had ever been” about anything else (Washingon, 2006, p18).
Many people might have been satisfied with completing a bachelors degree in drama, but Denzel Washington did not stop there. Instead, he went to the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, even winning a scholarship which allowed him to continue his studies further (“Denzel Washington,” 2012). No doubt this extra education played a big part in his later success, but it also shows that he was already accepted as a skilled actor, or he would not have gotten a scholarship for such an important school. Because of his ability to “disappear into a role and mesmerize audiences” (“Denzel Washington,” 2012 ) which probably comes from this time and education, he has been able to win several Oscars and Golden Globes, and also play in theatrical parts of all sorts.
One of the most important things to take away from this story of Denzel Washingtons success is that it is important to think about your own strengths. As he himself says, before he decided on acting he “didnt plan out my life, I lived it” by “bouncing from one path to the next" aimlessly (Washington 2012, 16). This is probably a stereotype about a lot of African-Americans in particular, that gets a lot of young people down. If they think this is what the world expects from them, they might get depressed and quit, as he himself almost did when he dropped out of school. However, the way Denzel Washington overcame that idea by learning his own strength of acting and then educating himself to become successful is really inspiring.
Learning about Denzel Washingtons success has been a great experience for me as an African-American male who is interested in movies. As stated above, he overcame family problems and despite being sent away from his family at a young age, went on to university and became a skilled actor, using his education to advance himself. He has inspired me to pay more attention to my own interests and try hard to develop something I myself am good at, so I too can later be a very successful person and a good role model to young people who need someone to look up to.
References
Denzel Washington. (2012). The Biography Channel website. Retrieved Dec 02, 2012, from http://www.biography.com/people/denzel-washington-9524687.
Washington, D. (2006). A hand to guide me: Legends and leaders celebrate the people who shaped the lies. Des Moines, IA: Meredith Books. Read More
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