“It seems to me that every step forward in my life has been one that brings me to a better understanding of this: that you do your thing every day the best that you can, and you approach any success at it with humility.” -Val Kilmer
“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” -Jim Morrison
Speaking of “How far are you willing to go on spec?”...
I’ve blogged before about the greatness of the documentary VAL Here. If you haven’t seen, please do so immediately. You will love it.
One of my favorite parts is Val making his own audition tapes for directors he admires. You can watch a clip Here.
At the time, Val was coming off TOP GUN and was being offered tons of money for traditional leading man roles. But he still had the heart of a character actor and just wanted to work with his directing heroes…Kubrick, Scorcese, etc…He wasn’t being considered for their films and couldn’t even get an audition. But he didn’t let that stop him. Shelving any movie star ego, he made his own “home movies” with him playing the character in their scripts. At one point he flew six thousand miles miles to hand deliver the tape to Mr. Kubrick himself.
None of the home movie ploys worked. He wasn’t cast. But that didn’t matter. What did matter is he gave it everything he had. He risked. He followed his heart. He was vulnerable. He knew deep down he did everything he possibly could. He could live knowing that.
And it’s probably no coincidence that the universe rewarded him shortly thereafter with the role of a lifetime…Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s THE DOORS.