Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Why don't you stop wasting people's time and go out and become a dishwasher or something?"*

Pablo Picasso, modern artist, painter, sculptor, co-founder of Cubism, co-inventor of collage. At the age of 16, he attended the Royal Academy of San Fernando (Spain's foremost art school), but he disliked the formal instruction and soon quit attending classes altogether.

Patti Smith, poet, visual artist, songwriter. Dropped out of teacher's college to start life as an artist in New York City.

Many successful filmmakers either did not attend or dropped out of college and/or film school. These include James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Paul Thomas Anderson, David Fincher, Stanley Kubrick, John Huston, Woody Allen, Steven Soderbergh, Dario Argento, and Orson Welles.

Thomas Edison‘s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, "I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps."

Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland. In fact, the proposed park was rejected by the city of Anaheim on the grounds that it would only attract riffraff.

In his first screen test, the testing director of MGM noted that Fred Astaire, 'Can't act. Can't sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.' David O. Selznick, who signed Astaire to RKO and commissioned the test, stated in a memo, 'I am uncertain about the man, but I feel, in spite of his enormous ears and bad chin line, that his charm is so tremendous that it comes through even on this wretched test.'

Dr. Seuss' first book was rejected by 27 different publishers.

Harland David Sanders: Perhaps better known as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, Sanders had a hard time selling his chicken at first. In fact, his famous secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it.

Back in 1954, Elvis Presley was still a nobody, and Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired Elvis Presley after just one performance telling him, "You ain't goin' nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin' a truck."

 * After his first audition, Sidney Poitier was told by the casting director, “Why don’t you stop wasting people’s time and go out and become a dishwasher or something?” It was at that moment, recalls Poitier, that he decided to devote his life to acting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ha! These are great! I've heard the one about Fred Astaire, but most of those are new to me. Very comforting. :-)