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Kevin Hart Speech: Be Persistent

Watch this famous Kevin Hart Speech. Kevin began working as a stand-up comedian shortly after graduating from high school, eventually migrating to bigger clubs in New York and Los Angeles. He has gone on to big-time Hollywood success, appearing in comedies like Think Like a Man, About Last Night, Get Hard, Central Intelligence and two Jumanji features. Enjoy our Speeches with subtitles and keep your English learning journey.

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Kevin Hart Quote:

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“The best feeling in the world is seeing the benefits and rewards of hard work.” Kevin Hart

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Kevin Hart full TRANSCRIPT:

“Daniel: You’re one of the most successful comedians in the world. You have built your career on comedy. I am curious, what made you want to do a more serious role?

Kevin: You know, just to show growth. I think with anything in life, you always want to progress. Having the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone of comedy and making a segue into what can be considered the world of dramatic acting, but done in a way that where my following can be a part of the journey of me eventually going over there.

This was a baby step, you know? This is a more dramatic role, but there is still some comedy undertone to it. Very personable, grounded and authentic but just someone who had the chops to do it.

So the movie after this one will then be one I can be another level past this one. It can be a little more serious. But my fan base would have seen this one and said, “Okay, wow. We know that he can do it. We believe that he’s going over here. Oh, I’m curious to see how he is in this one, too”.

Daniel: So do you set 10-year goals? Five-year goals?

Kevin: 100%

Daniel: Really?

Kevin: 100%. I think you have to, with anything that you’re doing, because that’s your reward. Seeing that you can say things and watch those things become your reality is what puts you in a position to just keep going. Once you see, “Oh, wow. I said I was going to do this and I did it” — And now that I am here, I’m not done. I’m going to set five new goals!

And I can’t wait to achieve these and have the same conversation with myself in years to come. It’s just always — It’s playing a game with your own mental, I think, and that’s why I love writing things down. That’s why I love the vision board. That’s why I love team meetings and conversation. There’s just nothing bad that can come out of them. It’s only an upside, no pun intended with the movie.

You know, I’ve been doing comedy and acting for years, but when I stepped on the set and I was with Bryan Cranston and Nicole Kidman, regardless of my level of success or my star, I was a sponge. I was willing to soak up as much information as possible.

I was listening, I was watching and pretty much taking away whatever I could from the moment of working with these two unbelievable people, you know? This is an amazing actress and an amazing actor. These are both — They are at the top of their games. They are of the elite

So the fact that I’m in that company, I want to make sure that I put myself in the best position to be in the conversations that they are in, in years to come

Daniel: The path of your career is a really interesting one because you actually hit in big pretty early. You were in a Judd Apatow TV show, which I think people aspire to, and then Hollywood just kind of stopped working for you and you went on the road and started doing comedy and working your way back up and becoming big. And then when you came back to Hollywood, totally different Kevin Hart at that point.

Kevin: 100%. I did the shows, I worked with Judd and while working with Judd I found that — You know, it’s so amazing to create, but I was like “This is not enough”. Like, I’m not going to be able to take care of myself. I’m not going to be able to feed myself.

So I made a decision to go and focus on stand-up comedy. I said, “I know that this is here, but I can’t just wait by the phone”. I needed to go put myself in a position where I can create and where I can be active. So I went and did stand-up comedy. I said, “I want to focus on my stand-up comedy”.

Over the course of three and a half, four year, I built my fan base up. My fan base was now selling out all shows. So now I don’t have to do comedy clubs because now I can do little theaters. Now, I’ve built all of this up, by just being persistent and saying “Idle time is an idle mind”.

Daniel: So, this whole time you’re making these tours, is Hollywood calling you also or are you starting to, and did you turn down work that would have brought you back?

Kevin: Well, it wasn’t like I was turning down a crazy amount of work because it wasn’t coming in.

Daniel: All right… but you were able to stay focused.

Kevin: I was not only focused, I was just determined to make you realize what I am, because I know what I am. Nobody else knows what you are but you. You are your own competition, and when I’ve realized what I was, I was like, there’s no shot at me losing focus. There’s no shot at me not finishing the job at hand. By the time I’m done, Hollywood is going to go, “Woah, that guy’s out there moving tickets. Who is this new star?” Keep in mind… I’ve been around for years.

They don’t know me and they don’t have any real reason to, but now I’m going to force your hand. I’m going to make you aware. That’s the beauty of stand-comedy.

Daniel: I’ve read something you said before where you talk about not wanting to be work for hire, that during this process you realized that you were the product and you wanted to own the product.

How did you come to that realization and what has that meant in terms of how you guide your career?

Kevin: You know…. If you need me, you need me. If you don’t, you don’t. That’s not good, you know? How am I going to really support those around me? How do I position myself to be so much more than that? How do I learn? Where am I supposed to figure it out?

I went out and I used some examples. Will Packer was doing a bunch of movies and he was producing them. He approached me to produce a movie that he wanted to do and he was like, “Kevin, this is something that’s dear to my heart. I want to do it, I would love for you to be in it. You can star in it. I think it’ll be great for you.”

Alright, dope. I want to do it, but then I watched him. I watched how he put stuff together, and doing that I was like, I can do that. I can do what he’s going. I’ve already got the infrastructure. I’ve already got the company set up. I’ve got the office building. I could easily get the rest of the buildings. I could easily get space — because I’ve got money from stand-up. My money from stand-up can help me leverage and do the things that I want to do.

Once I figured out how to get HartBeat Productions running and off the ground, things started to click so much easier because —

Daniel: Was that the turning point, starting your own company?

Kevin: Yeah! Well, because now I’m producing for me.

Oh, my God. This is huge. It clicked – and when it clicked, it kept clicking – because now I know how to add onto it. Now I know how to get more deals. Now I know how to not only develop, produce — I also know how to engage.

Daniel: What are you like as a manager? Are you a hands-on guy? Do you build this —

Kevin: Hands on.

Daniel: Really?

Kevin: Hands on.

Daniel: Like daily meetings, monthly?

Kevin: Hands on.

Daniel: You’re following? You’re looking at the spreadsheets? You’re seeing what’s going on inside the business?

Kevin: Hands on.

Daniel: You’re hiring? Really?

Kevin: Hands on.

Daniel: Do you like doing all that?

Kevin: I like it because right now it’s my baby.

Daniel: Right.

Kevin: I’m watching it evolve because I’m putting the pieces to the puzzle in place. I’m hiring the right people. I’m having the people that I hire feel comfortable enough to know that they are a part of something that’s much, much bigger. Much, much bigger.

Daniel: You’ve spent a lot of this week talking about the Oscars controversy. You talk about helping out young comedians and guiding the way for them. What lessons should they take out of what you’ve just been through?

Kevin: Take a lesson from what I’ve been through? Just pay attention. Pay attention, man. Just — One man’s misfortune is another man’s fortune, you know? There’s a lesson learned in all of this for everyone and it’s just — It’s very easy for things to go away. It’s hard to achieve them. It’s very hard to get there, but it’s easy for it to go away.

And you’re living in a time where, because it’s so easy, you have to just be careful. Just make sure that you’re always handling yourself correctly, you know? You’re not going to be perfect. Nobody is perfect. Nobody is perfect, but within your imperfections come perfection. So give yourself time to grow and understand the state of the world today. It’s different. It’s different.

But also – be true to you! That’s another thing that I will say, you know? Be true to you. Don’t let other people dictate who you are and what you should be. I think we’re all smart enough to know right from wrong and we’re all smart enough to fix whatever the wrong is to make it right. In doing so, do it while staying true to you.

Daniel: That’s a hard line to walk, right? You have to be true to yourself but also think about —

Kevin: It’s a very thin line, because you can easily get off-balance.

Daniel: Right.

Kevin: But as long as you’re conscious and aware of it, you know, you’ll be okay. That’s what I’ll say. You know, just be aware, man. Be aware. But I will say that it only gets tougher as you get bigger.

Daniel: Right.

Kevin: But there is an approach to still trying to be edgy.

You’re a comedian. If you’re a comedian, you’re supposed to be able to say the things that other people think, but they won’t say. In you doing that, you know have to just make sure you’re doing that, you’re doing it correctly. Make sure that there’s a high level of professionalism.

And if you are a comic that chooses to go down that insensitive road, just understand that there is going to be backlash for it and be prepared for that. If that’s what you want, and that’s who you want to be, then by all means do it. I’m not here to change you. Do it.

I’m not here to change you at all, but just be smart in your approach to it. I would say I think that’s the dopest thing about my change, is that I have done that and that’s why I have decided just to be done with the situation because the change came in the last ten years that acts as proof of somebody that got it, understood and adjusted it and adapted it to the times of today.

Daniel: You must get people that come to you all the time that are like, “Hey, I’m working in a fast food job” or “I’m working this job which I hate and I really want to be a comedian” or “I want to be an actor”. What kind of advice do you tell them?

Kevin: That’s tough, man. That’s tough.

Daniel: Do you say “Don’t do it?”

Kevin: No! You definitely don’t say that. I’m not a dream killer. I just don’t like talkers. So many people love to say what they are going to do. So many people love to voice it, just so they can hear themselves say it.

“Yeah man, you know what I’m thinking about doing today? I’m probably going to go and –” or “Hey, you know what, man? I just started this. Probably tomorrow, I’ll get up in the morning and go down and do some –” Just like to hear yourself say it.

Daniel: Right.

Kevin: It’s so hard for some people to follow through and actually put action behind the words. So my advice is not be a talker because you can. Be the person that actually puts action behind it.

And when you know that you’re that person, then start picking people apart for advice and direction and what to do and what not to do, because you know that you’re going to take it and you’re going to apply it. But when you don’t know if you’re even capable of taking information and going and using it, don’t ask for it.

So my advice is to not be a talker. Be a doer. Be a person that wants to put punctuations on sentences, not just keep running them on. Run-on sentences are the worst. They just don’t stop. It’s like, where’s your period? You didn’t put a period on one sentence. Finish something. You’ve got to finish something.

Daniel: All right. Well Kevin, thank you very much.

Kevin: Thank you so much.”[/read]

Kevin Hart Speech

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