I just saw a great movie on Netflix starring Eddie Murphy called Dolemite Is My Name. I found a few lessons that are very applicable for all creatives. I even consider myself a creative because I create podcasts, courses, facebook ads, etc. Sometimes we feel stuck and like no one understands us.
In Dolemite Is My Name, Eddie Murphy plays Rudy Ray Moore, a failed singer turned underground stand up comic. He eventually moved on to star in his own movies he made.You should watch this movie so I’m not going to spoil it, but I am going to share some of the lessons I learned.
Lesson: 1 Never Give Up
The movie starts with Rudy trying to get the DJ (played by Snoop Dog) at the record store that Rudy works at to play one of his past songs. He is basically told by the DJ that his music wasn’t current and could not compete. Even though they had a relationship, the music wasn’t right and the DJ wasn’t willing to jeopardize the sound of his radio station.
So what did Rudy do?
Lesson 2: If Something Isn’t Working, CHANGE or QUIT
One day, after coming to the realization that he probably would never achieve his dreams of stardom, a homeless man named Rico walks in to the record store and everything changes… Rico was telling jokes in a rhyming pattern that was so unique and was using language that his audience could relate to. He wasn’t trying to be everything for everyone, he was targeting a specific audience.
Lesson 3: Seek Out Mentorship From People Who Are Experts
When Rudy wanted to understand more about the style and the stories, he looked on the streets for Rico and the other homeless guys and paid them for their time to share their stories.He didn’t expect anything for free. He saw value in someone else’s experience. He recorded them so he could practice them over and over again.
He then decided he wanted to do his own movie, so he went out and hired someone familiar with movies who understood the ins and outs on how to make them.
Lesson 4: Don’t Be Afraid To Invest in Yourself, Don’t Wait For Others, it is Your Business…
Three times, Rudy needed money. First time was to record his comedy record, where he asked his aunt for an investment to buy the equipment. Next, was for the making of the movie. He tried to get movie production companies to invest and, when they passed, he took the money he made from his comedy album and invested it. The last time, he rented out a movie theater (out of his own pocket) just so he could show his movie. After the success of that, a real movie company reached out and invested in him.
Lesson: 5 The Audience Never Lies
As a singer, his records never sold, or had success at radio. In the 70’s that was all you had as proof. As a comedian, the audience wasn’t paying attention or laughing. So he got better and started working on his craft. The reviews for his movie were terrible, but he said he couldn’t care less because the reviewers were not his audience. That movie which cost him $100,000 to make went on to do over $10,000,000…
Go check out Dolemite Is My Name on Netflix. DM me on Instagram @RickBarkerMusic and let me know what you think!