Overnight Success

Overnight Success

When I’m not writing, I like to watch movies.  Heaps and heaps of movies. They comfort, entertain and inspire me.


Anyway…sometimes I’ll be watching a film and I’ll be so impressed by an actor’s performance that I’ll go to Wikipedia or the Internet Movie Database and look them up cause I want to know what else they’ve been in so I can watch them be awesome in other movies.


And you know what blows my mind almost every time I look one of em up? 


Nearly every single one of them has been performing for years before they catch their breakthrough and become to get recognized.  Call it the 10 years to ‘overnight success’


Here are some great examples:

Jeremy Renner, you know him as Hawkeye in The Avengers, has been acting since the mid-90’s and had his break out and overnight success with The Hurt Locker.  Now he’s one of Hollywood’s most in demand actors.


Jessica Chastain is another one of these overnight successes.  She’s been acting since the mid-2000’s and had her break out in 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty. Now she is finally getting roles worthy of her talent.


Benedict Cumberbatch has been performing since college and working in film and TV since the late 90’s. He had his break out performance and became a household name in 2009 with Sherlock.


Comedian Ken Jeong from The Hangover spent nearly 20 years trying to break into films and tv doing stand-up while also practicing medicine as a physician. Yes, you read that right, 20 years.


Jane Lynch, 53, had been in Hollywood for decades taking small roles on TV and in films like The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Role Models, but it wasn’t until she joined the cast of Glee she became a household name.


Alan Rickman studied acting for years but didn’t have his big break through until Die Hard at age 42.  Now we all know him as Snape (and we love him).

And there are many many more overnight success stories like these.


So what can we learn from these ‘overnight successes’?


Number one thing is you’ve gotta follow your passion and do what you love.  I bet if you asked any of the aforementioned actors, they would tell you that they love what they do and cannot imagine not acting, even when they are passed over and rejected for roles.  Even when they have to take a day job to pay the bills.   I imagine they’d also say that it doesn’t feel like work because they love acting so much. .


Another thing that we can learn from these actors is that they refused to give up.  They just kept going even when it was rough. When you follow your passion and heart and really love doing something, giving up isn’t an option.   You simply do not give it up.  Ever. You keep going.  You do not quit.  You keep going.


There is no thing as an overnight success.  Yes, it may look like they were overnight successes,  but were they really?  After working or struggling for 10 years or more, is that really an overnight success?  Um…not really. So getting there may take longer than a year or two.  So what?  If you’re doing something you love, you aren’t going to notice and like I mentioned before, you aren’t going to give up.


You gotta believe in yourself, your talent and have confidence even when no one else does. No matter what anyone says to you or does to you, whether you face criticism or praise, you have to believe in yourself.  Without fail.  Believe in yourself cause you’re fabulous.


You are.  Just like those actors that we all love.  You are fabulous!


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