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Baz Luhrman

Everybodyís Free (to Wear Sunscreen)

from the ďSomething for EverybodyĒ CD

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Class of 97: Wear sunscreen! If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own, meandering experience. I will dispense this advice... now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. But never mind, you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until theyíve faded. But trust me, in twenty years, youíll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you canít grasp now, how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Donít worry about the future, or worry, but know that worrying is just as affective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindsides you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Donít be reckless with other peoplesí hearts. Donít put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Donít waste your time on jealously. Sometimes youíre ahead, sometimes youíre behind. The race is long, and in the end, itís only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters; throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Donít feel guilty if you donít know what to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didnít know at twenty-two what they wanted to do with their lives; some of the most interesting forty-year olds I know still donít.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, youíll miss them when theyíre gone.

Maybe youíll marry, maybe you wonít. Maybe youíll have children, maybe you wonít. Maybe youíll divorce at forty, maybe youíll dance the ĎFunky Chickení on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, donít congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody elseís.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Donít be afraid of it or what other people think of it. Itís the greatest instrument youíll ever own.

Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room. Read the directions even if you donít follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Brother and sister together will make it through. Someday a spirit will take you and guide you there. I know youíve been hurting but Iíve been waiting to be there for you, and Iíll be there just helping you out, whenever I can.

Get to know your parents. You never know when theyíll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. Theyíre your best link to your past and the most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go. But with a precious few, you should hold on.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, for as the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do, youíll fantasise that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders. Respect your elders.

Donít expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe youíll have a wealthy spouse, but you never know when either one might run out.

Donít mess too much with your hair, or by the time youíre forty, it will look eighty-five.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of wishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than itís worth. But trust me on the sunscreen.

Brother and sister together will make it through. Someday a spirit will take you and guide you there. I know youíve been hurting but Iíve been waiting to be there for you, and Iíll be there just helping you out, whenever I can.

While best known as a filmmaker, Baz Luhrmann also reached the pop charts in 1999 with the spoken-word novelty hit ďEverybodyís Free (To Wear Sunscreen).Ē A native of Australia, Luhrmann attended the prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney, making his film debut in front of the camera in 1982ís The Winter of Our Dreams; a role in The Dark Room followed two years later. In 1986, he wrote and directed the stage play Strictly Ballroom, which his independent theatrical troupe the Six Years Old Company revived internationally on numerous occasions in the years to follow; additional Luhrmann stage productions of the period included an update of La Boheme and the musical Crocodile Creek. In 1992, Luhrmann wrote and directed the film version of Strictly Ballroom, an international smash which earned eight Australian Film Institute Awards, three British Academy Awards and the Cannes Film Festivalís Prix de Jeuness.