Certain individuals truly inspire people, making them to stay focused to achieve their own goals, reinforcing in them the belief that it is possible. Such heroes, the lives they led, their hardships and sacrifices, serve as a major link between people and their ambitions. One such individual who continues to inspire people is comedian Jim Carrey, who is my personal hero.
Jim Carrey was born in Ontario, Canada on the 17th January, 1962 and later shifted to Los Angeles to make a career as a comedian. He first starred in a television movie, Introducing Janet, which was later renamed as Rubberface after Carrey’s success, for the video version. The subsequent television programs like The Duck Factory and Jim Carrey’s Unnatural Act led to a regular role in the super hit comedy, In Living Color. Jim’s expert mimicry skills and facial expressions established himself as a comedy king with his 1994 comedy bang Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. His performances got him the Golden Globe award for the best actor in 1998 and 1999 for The Truman Show and Man on the Moon, respectively.
Although Jim Carrey’s film career and his success is an open book, only a few know of his early days and his struggles. When he makes them laugh, many of them, particularly the new generation does not know how much he had cried in life, which only shaped his ability to make them laugh today. At school Jim was a quiet boy with hardly any close friends. More sad was that he was an undiagnosed dyslexic, struggling to cope up with his studies. He, however, tried to make things better for him by making people laugh, which, unfortunately, had teachers accusing him of disrupting the classes. However, his humor and creativity propelled his career in acting. Wanting to entertain people beyond his circle of friends, he sent his resume to actress and comedienne Carol Burnette, hoping for a breakthrough.
Jim’s family was meanwhile very short on money, having difficulties in making both ends meet. His family lived in a low class neighborhood with lots of low-rent townhouses. Even when Jim was in the tenth grade, he was working night shifts at the factory, and attending school during the day. Sometimes he was so tired at school that he could not understand what his teachers were telling him. He finally quit the school at 16. With no hopes of moving ahead, his parents had decided to move to Canada. For about eight months Jim and his family lived in a Volkswagen camper van, parking at camp grounds (Martin Knelman).
The suffering and hardship that Jim endured, contributed to his resolve to get what he aspired. One of Jim’s biographers wrote of him, “His greatest bursts of creativity were born out of desperation, so was his remarkable willingness to take risks” (Martin Knelman). When he first performed for the public at Toronto’s Yuk-Yuk Comedy Club, the club’s publicist Eleanor Goldhar noticed him when he wasn’t performing and saw a contrast between him and the other comedians. She was later to say ‘You could see him watching and listening – observing closely, paying attention to everything that was going on’ (Martin Knelman).
Jim Carrey only used his hard times and setbacks to only motivate him to try harder. Anyone else in his place would typically have taken to drugs or alcohol to cope up. However he focused all his energy into making something very special for him. Jim, despite all his humor and laughter had a personal philosophy for himself which is reflected in his various quotes. One of his several inspirational quotes is, ‘If you aren’t in the moment, you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret’, (Jim Carey) he would say. There is no doubt that Jim Carrey’s personal success story would inspire several individuals like me from all walks of life. Jim Carrey has shown that lack of resources need not be an obstacle in achieving one’s goals.
Martin Knelman, Jim Carrey: The Joker is Wild, Firefly Books, 2000, pp. 14,15, quoted in
Jim Carrey Endures <http://www.character-education.info/resources/Jim_Carrey.htms>
Jim Carey, Jim Carrey quotes, BookRags Media Network. 2001. Web. 20 February 2014. <http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/jim_carrey.html>