Come across the name Jim Carrey and you are instantly reminded of a comic face with amazingly flexible facial muscles, a loud cheerful voice that can jerk a clinically depressed person to laughter and unique body language that would tickle silent movie audiences. Jim Carrey ranks among the most popular actors known to English language film consumers, and for good reason.
The zestful attitude of Jim effectively masks troubled childhood experiences and the numerous times he faced rejection and ridicule after launching his career as an entertainer. Jim Carrey stands as a good example of the necessity of being persistent in life and of not giving up hope. Success is never handed out on a silver platter, it is dished out to those who have the courage to get back onto their feet every time they are thrown off their horses.
Carrey’s life shows that the phrase “be practical” is merely an excuse of cowards to not rise up against the challenges of life, and garner the courage to battle back after taking a new hit. Life is similar to a trial and error experiment, and unless you take chances and continue to experiment, life will cease to amaze you. Jim Carrey, the humorous face that personifies “comedy” for many is a man whose life seems to convey these messages to those who observe and learn.
Jim Eugene Carrey was born on 17 January 1962 in Ontario, Canada, to Percy and Kathleen Carrey (their fourth child). Percy was working as an accountant and was an aspiring jazz saxophonist. Jim was aware of and exercised his innate sense of humor from a very young age, and he later revealed that he wrote to “The Carroll Burnett Show” when he was 10, extending his candidature to be a part of the comedy television show. Ever the showman, Jim worked out a deal with his school wherein he would be allowed to perform for his mates for a few minutes towards the end of school hours every day if he maintained discipline for the rest of the day. Thereon began his conscious nurture of his talent.
When Jim was 15, his father lost his accounting job and they were forced to move from one city to another. The family also had to live in a Volkswagen bus for a few months. The family then went to live in a farmhouse by a factory where Percy signed on as a security guard and the children cleaned the factory at night.
It is during this phase that Jim truly evolved both as a person and a comedian. Kathleen fell ill and was bed-ridden, and her days were numbered. Bowing down to external factors, Him dropped out of school and stayed by his mother, performing for her to keep her happy. It was during this phase that his entertainment potential increased – an emotional response that tells you that it is your perception that dictates the effect even a painful experience has on you. His mother soon left the mortal world, but Jim’s improved comedy only got better.
Jim’s biography tells readers that he was no stranger to rejection. Carrey’s official debut was at Yuk Yuk, a small comedy club in Canada, at the age of 14. He was shooed off the stage but returned a few years later to evoke resounding applause from his audiences. Here, he took a chance and went to Los Angeles to try his luck. On landing, he wrote himself a 10-million cheque and promised himself that he would be able to withdraw that amount one day – which he did, more than 6 years later.
He performed at Comedy Store in Sunset Blvd. for months at no pay, and this investment of time and energy to polish his act paid off grandly when veteran comedian Rodney Dangerfield caught one of his acts. So impressed was Rodney with Jim’s performance that he signed the newbie on to open his every show that season. Hollywood sat and took notice of this potential asset and before long Jim had TV shows and films among possible avenues open to him.
Jim was more than just another funny guy – he was smart and understood the ways of the commercial world. Even as he enjoyed the limelight as a stage comedian, he realized that he would soon become stale and jumped into making films. His first attempt with a sitcom named The Duck Factory was a dud but that did not discourage him from trying. A couple of small roles later, he gave the world Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, followed by The Mask and Dumb & Dumber. The filmography of the actor only gets better after this, and his exaggerated comical expressions become his trademark.
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, the movie that is considered to be the vehicle that transported him to fame came only in 1994, when the actor was 32. Had he given up hope early believing that one had to make his mark in Tinseltown when young, he would not have gone on to bag 9 MTV movie awards (the greatest number won by any performer), win 2 Golden Globes and receive many other accolades.
To script a success story, you must always believe in yourself and keep faith in the universe. A confident and positive outlook on life is a stepping stone for success, and you must always remember that success embraces only those who are dedicated to their work and are not afraid of failure.
You will often receive “practical” advice from those around you, telling you to give up allegedly idealistic notions and shift tracks to safer options. Know that you are the only person who can make such decisions and true talent and sincerity is always rewarded well. Set high goal for yourself and strive to achieve them and self-actualization is not far away. Had Jim Carrey buckled with self-doubt and accepted being a popular stage comedian to be his best act, he would not have scaled such great heights.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating the next generation of leaders to their true potential.