My focus is to forget the pain of life. Forget the pain, mock the pain, reduce it. And laugh.
The audience has lauded James Eugene Carrey, popularly known as Jim Carrey for his humor, he however did not have as amusing a start for his career. Jim Carrey’s life struggles are a far cry from the slapstick performance he’s best known for.
I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which, was that you can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love
Born on January 17, 1962 in Ontario, Canada, the actor earned his first recognition at the age of 28, after many years of struggles. Carrey was born to Kathleen, a homemaker of French, Scottish and Irish descent and Percy, a musician and accountant of French-Canadian ancestry. Carrey had three older siblings.
When Carrey was still young, his father lost his job and the entire family had to face its repercussions. During those years of hardships, the family has known to have lived in a minivan parked in a relative’s law. Some stories also tell that the family was forced to park the van in many different places throughout Canada.
Since an early age, Carrey had aptitude for impressions. At the tender age of 10, Carrey had written a letter to Carol Burnett of the Carol Burnett Show letting her know that he was a master of impressions and should be considered for a role on the show.
It is better to risk starving to death than surrender. If you give up on your dreams, what's left?
With his family grappling financially, they found it difficult to support Carrey’s dreams. His father had however tried to help him to put together a stage act by driving him to Toronto. That was Carrey’s debut at the comedy club Yuk Yuk’s. The act had however failed, when Carrey’s impersonations were not appreciated by the audience and the young comedian had then started to doubt his capabilities as an entertainer.
Carrey’s family however secured financial stability gradually, and Carrey returned to the stage with more polished skills and acts. Within a short period of time, Carrey went from open-mic nights to regular shows which started paying his bills. This was the time when he also started building a professional reputation.
I’m making a conscious choice to see challenges as beneficial so that I can deal with them in the most productive way.
During this period Rodney Dangerfield signed the young entertainer as an opener for his tour performances. It was Dangerfield who eventually brought Carrey to Las Vegas. A reviewer in the Toronto Star lauded Carrey’s skills as “a genuine star coming to life.”
Carrey’s journey into Hollywood started with his performance at the Comedy Store. In 1982, he also appeared on the television stand-up show An Evening at the Improv. The following year, Carrey also debuted for his act on The Tonight Show.
Faith in the Universe
So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach so we never dare to ask the universe for it. I’m the proof that you can ask the universe for it.
In most of his interviews, Jim Carrey has spoken about his belief in the laws of attraction. He often insists that his life is a proof that the universe does listen to our wishes.
During his struggling years in Canada with no money in his bank account, Carrey would visualize directors and actors telling him how they liked his work.
One of his famous stories include, a check which Carrey wrote to himself at the age of 28. He had given himself five years to cash it. “For acting services rendered,” he had written in his memo. The check was kept in his wallet until July 1995. This was only a few weeks ahead of his self-imposed deadline. Immediately later he found out he would be making 10 million dollars for his role in Dumb and Dumber.
As far as I can tell, it’s just about letting the universe know what you want and then working toward it while letting go of how it comes to pass.
While speaking about his faith in the laws of attraction, Carrey also reminds us, that one still requires to work hard to achieve the goals. In his very classic, humorous ways, Carrey says, “You can’t just visualize it and then go eat a sandwich.”
Film and Television Success
Life opens up opportunities to you, and you either take them or you stay afraid of taking them.
Despite having gained substantial popularity as a stand-up comic, Jim Carrey had turned his attention to the film and television industry. From 1990 to 1994, Carrey was regular cast member of the comedy television series In Living Color.
The year 1994 worked very much in favour of Carrey, lead roles in the Mask, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Dumb and Dumber rose him to instant fame.
Dumb and Dumber earned $270 million worldwide. Carrey also received his first Golden Globe Award nomination for his acting skills in The Mask.
Carrey played the Batman villain The Riddler in Joel Schumacher’s film Batman Forever in 1995. Although the movie had mixed reviews, it made big bucks at the box office.
In 1995, the movie Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls gained huge box office success and earned $212 million worldwide. It also broke the record with $40 million on the opening weekend.
I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.
The Cable Guy in 1996 earned Carrey $20 million. The movie allowed Carrey a great platform to showcase his acting capabilities. Directed by Ben Stiller, the movie portrayed Carrey in a different light, far cry from the “hapless, hyper and overconfident” characters he was usually known for. The Cable Guy estimated $102 million worldwide, although Carrey’s role did not fare well with critics.
The movie Liar Liar in 1997, earned Carrey the second nomination for Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. Critics raved about his performance. One of the notable praises came from Janet Maslin of the New York Times who said; “Well into his tumultuous career, Mr. Carrey finally turns up in a straightforward comic vehicle, and the results are much wilder and funnier than this mundane material should have allowed.”
If you aren’t in the moment, you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret.
Good scripts came Carrey’s way which help him to play several facets of his acting abilities. The serious role of Truman Burbank in The Truman Show brought Carrey close to international acclaim. The Truman Show earned $264 million globally against a budget of $60 million.
His roles in Garry Shandling’s The Larry Sanders Show and his lead in Man on the Moon gained Carrey much deserved critical accolades. During this time, the then 37-year old actor received his second Golden Globe in a row. Furthermore, he also received his first Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Best Actor.
Desperation is a necessary ingredient to learning anything, or creating anything. Period. If you ain’t desperate at some point, you ain’t interesting.
In 2000, Me, Myself & Irene also gained box office success, but received mixed reviews from the critics. In the same year, his role in How the Grinch Stole Christmas got him both praise as well as criticism along with a Golden Globe nomination.
The film Bruce Almighty in 2003 received tremendous financial success, earning $484 million worldwide. The movie starring Carrey alongside Morgan Freeman and Jennifer Aniston also became the seventeenth highest-grossing live action comedy of all time.
In 2004, Carrey made it to the Canadian Walk of Fame and his black comedy Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events which was positively received by critics.
Either you’re the one erasing or you’re the one being erased.
In May 2014, Carrey received an honorary doctorate for his achievements as a comedian, author, artists and philanthropist. He delivered an address at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.
Carrey was honored by the Canada Post in August 2014 by releasing a limited-edition postage stamp with his portrait on it.
He was also the subject of two documentaries in 2017. The first was titled I Needed Color which focused on his lifelong passion for art. Another documentary was released later that year entitled Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond — Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton. The film was premiered at the Venice Film Festival and later taken up by Netflix.
I wake up some mornings and sit and have my coffee and look out at my beautiful garden, and I go, ’Remember how good this is. Because you can lose it.
It is always the success that is often remembered by the audience, and rightfully so. But one often forgets the hardships endured to reach up the ladder to glory. American writer E.B. White had once rightfully said, “Luck is not something you can mention in the presence of self-made men.” This quote holds true for most of the successful personalities. Such people often believe that it is not luck that will bring them success but their belief that they alone are the drivers of their fate.
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