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#230 Lucille Ball (TV's biggest star)
February 7th, 2022 | E230

What I learned from reading Love, Lucy by Lucille Ball. 


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[3:19] Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger (Founders #141) 

[3:28] Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder by Arnold Schwarzenegger (Founders #193) 

[4:37] Lucille Ball gave me advice about Hollywood. “Just remember, when they say, ‘No,’ you hear ‘Yes,’ and act accordingly. Someone says to you, ‘We can’t do this movie,’ you hug him and say, ‘Thank you for believing in me.

[6:21] I like reading about people that do things that they're not supposed to do.

[9:45] Create a comprehensive family history.

[14:43] People with happy childhoods never overdo; they don't strive or exert themselves. They're moderate, pleasant, well liked, and good citizens. Society needs them. But the tremendous drive and dedication necessary to succeed in any field-not only show business-often seems to be rooted in a disturbed childhood.

[19:27] This is a school that teaches acting, telling what is going to wind up being one of the most successful actresses that ever lives, that she can't do it.

[20:29] I soon learned that to survive you have to be very strong, very healthy, and damned resilient. Rarely does anyone give you an encouraging word.

[20:52] I'd show up early for rehearsals and stay until they had to sweep me off the stage. . .I didn't give up. I wore out my soles trudging to casting offices.

[21:08] I can't say that I was discouraged. For some incomprehensible reason, knew that someday I'd make it.

[21:15] Remember that there are practically no “overnight" successes. Before that brilliant hit performance came ten, fifteen, sometimes twenty years in the salt mines, sweating it out.

[25:08] I was determined to stay in Hollywood. I would do what I could to make sure I'd survive the long haul.

[27:34] What would you give to be a star in two years?’’ Lela asked me when I first was getting to know her.

“What d’ya mean?’’

"Would you give me every breath you draw for two years? Will you work seven days a week? Will you sacrifice all your social life?"

“I certainly will," I promised.

"Okay," she said, "let's start.

Lela was the first person to see me as a clown with glamour.

[28:43] Lela taught us never to see anyone as bigger or more important than ourselves.

[30:07] Buster Keaton used to tell me about dozens of Hollywood people who ran into trouble. This was comforting, like reading an autobiography and thinking, “Well, that happened to them, too. I'm not the only one.”

[35:51] He soon learned that in striking out on your own, you have to throw out your chest and sell yourself.

[42:03] I learned the bitter lesson that directors and producers can make or break an actress.

I was a star, but I felt that I couldn't afford to turn down parts for fear of infuriating these bigwigs

If I did turn down a script I would be put on suspension, without salary.

I couldn't accept an offer from any other studio, no matter how good, yet I could be fired at any time without the bosses showing cause.

All the glittering “stars" were at the mercy of the whims of the top people.

[45:12] I had a driving, consuming ambition to succeed in show business.

[47:23] Founder mentality. Desi and I decided that since nobody else seemed to have faith in us as a team, we’d form our own corporation to promote ourselves. Desilu Productions, Inc., was launched.

[48:54] At that time, television was regarded as the enemy by Hollywood. So terrified was Hollywood of this medium, movie people were afraid to make even guest appearances. (As bill gates and Walt Disney learned — go with the phenomenon— not against it)

[50:50] Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire by James Wallace and Jim Erickson (Founders #140) 

Overdrive: Bill Gates and the Race to Control Cyberspace by James Wallace (Founders #178) 

[52:57] To my delight, I discovered that the I Love Lucy show drew from everything I'd learned in the movies, radio, the theater, and vaudeville.


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