Sheri and I attended many Marshall Sylver seminars years ago, and many of his stories and quotes still stick with us. One of my favorites:
“Luck Is When Preparation Meets Opportunity”
A great example: the story of Nia Vardalos…
The story of Nia Vardalos
Long working to get ahead in the entertainment industry, she studied comedy and performance in college, got a scholarship, and put together a great performance foundation with comedy groups in various parts of the country.
She moved to LA in 1993 to further her career but for quite a few years could still not gain any footing.
But Nia Vardalos life changed in 1997.
- Nia wrote a one-woman show drawing upon her colorful Greek upbrining
- She performed it locally in Los Angeles at the ACME Comedy Club and got some modest buzz
- Rita Wilson (wife of Tom Hanks) has always supported live theater and happened to be perusing ads for shows when the ad for Nia’s show caught her eye, Rita being of half-greek descent. She was intrigued and went to see it
- “Completely floored” by Vardalos comic routine is how Rita Wilson described her reaction to the show.
- In fact, Rita made a point to meet Nia afterwards.
- In their conversation Rita commented to Nia that the show might make a great movie
- Nia grabbed her already finished screenplay right then and there and gave it to Rita
- Rita Wilson passed it on to her husband Tom Hanks. With her urging, Tom took in the show
- Nia wanted to star in the movie as well (shades of “Rocky” and Sylvester Stallone) and Rita was so convinced that Vardalos was the person to be in the movie that she held her stance until a studio took on the film and agreed to have Nia play the lead role
And the rest you may know …
The film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” became Rita Wilson’s first film as a producer, and the film gained a cult following and wide acclaim. Consequently, Nia Vardalos gained some nicer footing and she continues to act and write including co-writer status for the recent Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts movie “Larry Crowne”.
That’s some nice footing to have.
Some might comment, “What luck Nia had”. And I definitely would agree.
Let’s go out and make sure we can all make our own luck!