“Biff Tannen” Gives Advice From His Artistic Past to the Artists of the Future

Tom Wilson, actor most notably known for playing Biff Tannen in the Back to the Future Trilogy, and Paul Rugg, voice actor and puppeteer known for Ana-maniacs and Freakazoid, visited the students of John Paul The Great Catholic University to share their personal stories of being Catholic artists and working in the industry.

IMG_1270 2
Tom Wilson

While Wilson intermittently referenced his Back To The Future days, he made emphasis on the practical aspects of the industry and how he incorporated his Catholic faith in his everyday day life and acting career. For Wilson, it is simple- don’t take work that questions your morality and stand firm in your beliefs. Sometimes there wasn’t a paycheck to make all the “mac-n-cheese”, but there is always work in Hollywood. “There is a job for everyone with a brain who wants to work hard, and who wants to apply themselves,” say Wilson.

IMG_1364

Even when unemployed, an artist can use the time to grow creatively. Paul Rugg suggested to keep a notebook and “just write when ideas come to you…” He also stated, “Nothing you do should be for money… it’s because that what you do [and love], and if anyone gives you money or not, you do it anyway. ”

Wilson also told students to have your wish and find where your talents lie. “Don’t wish harder than you work”. Hard work will always pay off and so will silence. Both Rugg and Wilson mentioned gave examples of times when they’d be working and a topic in which they shared different views would arise. Each time someone would notice their silence and ask them about it, they’d smile and use that moment to share their beliefs.

IMG_1266.jpgAs for what the content young Catholic artists should create, Wilson says, “Some of you might want to make movies about the Disciples and Jesus…and others about a butterfly that forgets to pack a lunch, which is fine…but if there is one thing you learn about meeting the guy from Hollywood movies is that, ‘The Kingdom of God is Within You and Life is Beautiful.'” Ultimately, the job of the artist is to create what is beautiful.