Dream big, they say.
Then they say, “who do you think you are”?
That could never happen!
But why not?
Do dream big.
Do push the boundaries.
You will never know unless you try.
Growing up in a troubled home in Hell’s Kitchen, Michael had a difficult childhood. Born with a partially paralysed face, he had a distinctive snarling look and slurred speech that added to the difficulties he faced. He and his brother Frank were placed in foster care, and he struggled with school, getting expelled from multiple institutions. Despite these setbacks, he discovered a passion for art as a teenager and decided to pursue acting at the age of 18. However, his early years as an actor were filled with financial struggles and multiple jobs to make ends meet.
The Power of Positive Thinking
By the end of his 20s, the unknown actor craved something bigger, something significant that would finally help him make his dreams come true. And then one night, he went out to see Muhammad Ali fight Chuck Wepner.
After watching Muhammad Ali fight Chuck Wepner, he was inspired to write a screenplay in just three days. “And what I saw was pretty extraordinary,” he would say later. “I saw a man called ‘The Bayonne Bleeder’ fight the greatest fighter who ever lived.
He pitched the script to producers at a casting call, but they were not interested in casting him as the lead. They offered him $360,000 for the script, but he refused and insisted on nothing less than a lead role.
Many people said he was crazy and that they would never cast an unknown actor as the lead. The producers eventually relented, but only financed the movie with $1 million, a meagre amount even at the time. Despite the financial challenges he faced, he was determined to make his dream a reality and would not be satisfied with anything less than a lead role.
Dream Bigger Dreams
His determination paid off, and like the “Bayonne Bleeder,” he too could be magnificent, and his perseverance would ultimately reward him.
Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone became known as Rocky Balboa in the 1976 film “Rocky,” the highest grossing film of the year, winner of 3 Oscars, and considered to be one of the greatest sports films ever made.
Dream big, stay true to yourself and take action to make it happen.
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