Neil Patrick Harris Tells The Story Of His Success In His Acting Career At VeeCon

Neil Patrick Harris poses at the opening night of Peter Pan Goes Wrong on Broadway at The Ethel Barrymore Theatre on April 19, 2023 in New York City. BRUCE GLIKAS/BENZINGA


By Adam Eckert

Best known as an actor, Neil Patrick Harris is a man of many talents. He talked about the fire burning inside of him that drove him to try new things throughout his career Friday at VeeCon 2023, a NFT-ticketed business, tech and pop culture super conference.

Harris was cast into the acting scene at a young age, starring in several productions. Then he felt the urge to try new things. He is best known for the hit sitcom, Doogie Howser, M.D., where he was notable child actor.

Neil Patrick Harris poses at The Vineyard Theatre 40th Anniversary 2023 Gala honoring Billy Crudup at The Edison Ballroom on February 13, 2023 in New York City. BRUCE GLIKAS/BENZINGA

“I’m turned on by new skill sets,” Harris said

The actor said he didn’t want to stay where he felt comfortable and wanted to push his career to new heights, even if that meant failing at new things. 

“Failure is so important — we shouldn’t try to fail, but we have to fail,” he told the audience. 

Harris added that he wanted to try anything where he felt authenticity and creativity lined up. 

The actor has acted in movies and several TV shows, most famously in the hit series “How I Met Your Mother.” He’s also worked on Broadway, hosted award shows and even created his own board game, “Box One.” 

“We only have a limited amount of time, so you should do things you are passionate about and excited by,” Harris told the packed VeeCon crowd.

The multifaceted entertainer recalled his time spent working on “How I Met Your Mother,” noting that the cast didn’t even know if the show would be canceled for the first four years. It wasn’t like it was a blow-away hit right away, he said, but it did just happen to come out at the right time. 

Harris played the character of Barney Stinson, who was known for always wearing a suit. The actor said that dressing for success represents getting back what one gives, or a sense of karma, which, Harris said, he believes is real.

For the 100th episode of “How I Met Your Mother,” the cast did a musical performance called “Nothing Suits Me Like A Suit.”

That brought together multiple things that Harris was passionate about, given his musical and Broadway experience, which he said was “really fun” for him. 

Harris said he’s a big believer that things happen for a reason and that, if one puts positivity out into the world, it will come back around. 

“We have the opportunity to make good or bad decisions all the time,” the actor said. “If we choose to make those without agenda, then I just believe that it comes back, in either direction.”

Harris added that he feels serial entrepreneur and the man behind VeeCon, Gary Vaynerchuk, goes about life the same way. 

Harris told the crowd that he met Vaynerchuk through a random message. The actor said Gary Vee had sent him a direct message on social media and asked if he would like to meet up for lunch. When Harris asked why, Vaynerchuk told him that it was simply because he thought Harris was a nice person and that he thought that they could be good friends. 

“He’s that genuine to everyone and I really believe that,” Harris said. “That’s just good people doing good things and then good things happen.”

Produced in association with Benzinga

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