Jeffrey Tambor offers ‘uncaged wisdom’ to students

Actor and lecturer Jeffrey Tambor spoke to WSU students in the Union Ballroom on Tuesday afternoon.

Tambor is best known for his roles as Hank Kingsley on “The Larry Sanders Show,” as well as George Bluth Sr. and Oscar Bluth on “Arrested Development.” He came to WSU to speak to students about his years of performing and life lessons learned along the way.

He spoke candidly about his family and career and used them to relate to students.

“I think that’s a question we all have,” Tambor said. “Are we safe? If we follow our dreams, are we safe? If you have a dream, you have to get out of the begging position.”

The theme of the lecture was encouraging students to follow their dreams, discover their passions and go after them.

“I found my purpose,” Tambor said as he recalled his first experience on a theatrical stage, “and I believe you have a purpose. I believe you have a calling. I believe you get a call, and it comes about two or three times in a life, and you’ve got to pick up the phone. You can’t be scared. When it comes, it’s going to come hard. It’ll rock you, and that’s the one.”

Tambor has traveled all over the U.S., lecturing and using those experiences to relate as well.

“When I go to a new town, I get in the car and I go and I drive,” Tambor said. “I try to get lost because in getting lost, you’re going to get found.”

Tambor then called two WSU students up on stage to read from the overhead projector. He encouraged them to read it with more and more enthusiasm until they were yelling and gesturing emphatically.

He used this to teach students that it’s okay to push past their own barriers.

“Did you see that little wavering of ‘I’m not going to go there?’” Tambor asked. “It’s actually easier once you go there. The hard stuff in life is not doing it. Doing it is easy.”

The Union Ballroom was full of students and faculty alike who responded to Tambor with with whistles, laughter and loud applause.

“It’s so cool to see someone like him here at Weber,” said WSU sophomore Kaytlin Durrant. “I recognized him from ‘Arrested Development’ but I had no idea how motivational his lecture would be. I’m really glad I came today.”

Tambor closed his lecture by standing center stage, reversing the roles and applauding the students.

“I want to thank you,” Tambor said as he clapped. “Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your heart. Thank you for your testimony. Thank you because we need you.”

“You’re going to be fine,” he said in closing, adding, “There is always money in the banana stand.”