The Silver Linings of Humble Beginnings

Three and a half years ago, Tinseltown was all aglitter as its stars descended upon Hollywood Boulevard for the 85th Annual Academy Awards.

Dressed to the nines, these stars waltzed along the red carpet, seemingly as though their lives have always been this way. Yet, in truth, many of them were once-starving artists with their own dreams of ‘making it.’

Take, for instance, some of the key players involved in the Oscar-nominated film, Silver Linings Playbook:

Director David O Russell with actors Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence on the set of Silver Linings Playbook
Director David O. Russell with actors Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence on the set of Silver Linings Playbook.

Matthew Quick


Eight years before, he made the tough decision to quit his demanding job as a tenured English teacher, sell his house, and move in with his in-laws so he could focus on writing.

After three years and three failed novels, Quick finally struck gold when he dusted off an old essay and expanded it into a novel titled, The Silver Linings Playbook.

David O. Russell

Best Director Nominee

In the early ’80s, he wrote screenplays at night while working a string of odd jobs from teaching English in Nicaragua, working as a labor organizer in Maine, and as a production assistant on the TV series, Smithsonian World.

Jennifer Lawrence

Best Actress Winner

Six years before, she was ecstatic when she got a bit part on the TV show, “Monk,” but was slightly disappointed to discover she’d been cast as the basketball mascot and would have to wear a cougar costume.

Still, Lawrence gave her all to the part; truly putting the pep in pep rally…

None the wiser that just a few years later, she would be giving an Oscar-winning acceptance speech at the age of 22.

Bradley Cooper

Best Actor Nominee

Thirteen years before, while a student at The Actor’s Studio, he sat in the audience, in awe, as James Lipton interviewed Robert De Niro.

During the Q&A, Cooper asked De Niro about the research he had conducted for his role as a mental patient in the film, The Awakening.

Little did Cooper know that he would go on to work with the venerable DeNiro on a film in which he himself would portray a mental patient.

Through hard work and perseverance, these once-starving artists are now living their dreams.

What’s to say the same formula won’t pay off for you, as well?

Be Inspired!

Download A Passion and a Dream, my motivational eBook for artists & creatives on the road to their Big Break.


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