As you may know, Trop is having a commencement address writing contest. And as you may be able to infer, we’d like you to enter it. But we here at Trop would be the first to acknowledge that writing a commencement address worthy of winning our contest is extremely difficult given the extremely high standards under which we operate. We acknowledge that you, possible entrant, might feel daunted. But we want to say: Don’t feel daunted. Respect our extremely high standards, but don’t feel daunted. Because feeling daunted is counterproductive, and we here at Trop don’t like that. We want you to succeed. We want you to take our money. We want you to grace our online pages. We want you to win the affection of Celebrity Judge Amelia Gray. So, we’re going to give you a guide.
JR Nutt is an actor known for his work with DiGiorno and Arby’s, and he was kind enough to agree to show us how it’s done. (Also: Thanks to Jake de Grazia for the pep talk, the microphone, and the overall audio know-how.)
Tom Dibblee is Trop’s editor. His fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train and his nonfiction has appeared in Pacific Standard, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Point. He lives in Los Angeles.