Not Throwing Away My Shot:
5 Entertainers On Breaking Into The Game
To make it as a world-famous entertainer undoubtedly requires some combination of luck and talent. Many of the musical performers, actors, directors, and athletes you admire on television or follow on Instagram are among the best at what they do. But they also caught a break somewhere, took a risk that paid off or got noticed by the right person.
None of that happens, though, if you aren’t dedicated to your craft. All the Entertainers on today’s list excelled at the things they could control, whether that meant countless hours of practice and grunt work, finding the right collaborators, or literally throwing themselves down a flight of stairs.
Read on as five Entertainers reveal the sweat behind their success stories.
Will.i.am’s creative life is all about dedication. Becoming a platinum recording artist, a technology developer and a cultural icon requires it. That dedication was not only to his craft — in high school, his passion for music — but also to surrounding himself with those on the same track.
The Black Eyed Peas co-leader and technological innovator believes who your collaborators are forecasts where you’re headed. If they are unfocused, the path is difficult. But if everyone is committed, it can lead to success. This mindset has helped lead him found i.am.angel, an organization fostering the next generation of talented young individuals in music and STEM.
Will.i.am dispenses more advice in our video interview.
When Monique Coleman was in high school, pursuing her love of acting, her mother pushed her to dive in head first. “You have your whole life to work,” the High School Musical star’s mother told her. One fateful acting class and secret audition led to a commercial gig that cemented her passion and sparked her career.
Finding that passion also led Coleman to find her purpose. Having benefited from the right combination of hard work and fortune, she gives back today as a global youth advocate. As an actress, speaker, host, and writer, she encourages young people to pursue their dreams and see their place in the world and its future.
Watch our video interview with Coleman for more on passion and purpose.
Like many in the entertainment industry, Chay Carter’s career emerged from a risk. A Boston College grad in communications, she was working a PR desk job at Disney when she realized she wanted to get into producing. She then made the leap, joining up with a young Ben Affleck.
That risk would pay dividends. The experience Carter gained as an assistant, doing dues-paying work of coffee and dry-cleaning runs, has led her to Academy Awards producing the likes of Argo, Gone Baby Gone and The Town. It all started with her “willingness to do everything.”
Carter talks about her origin story and love of teamwork in the video below.
Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo
Five years ago, the number of people playing video games for a living was negligible at best. But Benjamin Lupo saw the esports wave coming and bagged a career as full-time Twitch streamer DrLupo. While the boom seemingly happened overnight, Lupo put in an incredible grind to get to this point, working 40-hour weeks while streaming at an equal rate in his spare time.
Lupo says it was more work than he thought possible, which is a lesson in itself. To reach his level, you’re pushing past boundaries you never anticipated. He’s crazy good at the games themselves, but he also has a knack for meeting fans and visibly having fun doing it.
DrLupo looks back at his meteoric rise through the gaming world in our interview.
While others in this list took career leaps of faith, William Spencer made a physical one. In 2009, Spencer’s first skateboarding video part featured a front flip down a 10-stair set near Denver’s Civic Center Park. Sponsorship ensued, but he wasn’t sure skateboarding was his career endgame.
Spencer pursued stunt work, landing jobs on commercials and Disney Channel original series. One day, he got a call from The Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield, who found him online. Now, Spencer risks his neck daily as a stuntman, skateboarder and thrill-seeker. His advice: there are so many people out there vying for the same things you are, so meet as many people as you can.
Hear Spencer tell more wild tales from the set in our video interview.