Sylvester Stallone, actor, screenwriter and film director, we all know him from Rocky series, Rambo, The Expendables, Taxi 3 as a passenger to the airport and many more. But there was a time when he even couldn’t turn on the heat in his apartment.
Young Sylvester Stallone
I first heard this story from Anik Singal, one of the leading internet marketing gurus, who also teaches the Law of Attraction and who’s on his way to the top of the personal development business. He has studied under Bob Proctor himself.
At a young age, Sylvester Stallone knew that he wanted to be in the movie business. To him creating movies didn’t just give people a chance to escape, it also gave them a chance to inspired.
But he had a lot of obstacles; he was weird looking, because of complications his mother suffered during labor forced her obstetricians to use two pairs of forceps during his birth. Misuse of these accidentally severed a nerve and caused paralysis in parts of Sly’s face – including parts of his lip, tongue and chin.
Sylvester Stallone went to audition after audition, and each time he was rejected. They said he was dopey looking, his voice was weird, and that he should get into a different career, etc. But in his mind, changing careers was not an option. Even after he got thrown out of 100’s of agent offices. This continued for years. There’re very few people with persistence streak like his. Even his wife told him to get a normal job every day, and even he couldn’t turn on the heat in his apartment, he pursued his dream.
One day he went to the New York Public Library, not to read anything, but because it was warm. While he was there, someone left a book of Edgar Allen Poe. That was the book that made him decide to write his own screenplay.
He tried a lot of screenplays, but nothing worked. He was broke, he sold his wife’s jewelry. Not long later they got divorce. He couldn’t feed his dog, so he went to the liquor store and sold his dog for $25 after a guy bargained from $50.
The Rocky story
Two weeks later, Sylvester Stallone is watching a boxing game with Muhammed Ali and Chuck Wepner. He got an idea to a screenplay about boxing. He took his typewriter and spent about 20 hours, without sleeping, writing the screenplay that would one day become Rocky. He went out trying to sell it. Again Stallone got rejected again and again. Finally, he got an offer for $125.000 for his script. That money would change his life, but he had one request, he wanted to star in it. Once again he got rejected. They laughed at him and said they wouldn’t risk their money on a no-name actor. So Sylvester Stallone got up and left. Even though he had no money, he was willing to leave $125.000 on the table. Few weeks later, the studio called back offering him $250.000 for his script, not to star in the movie, he rejected it. The studio came back and offered $325.000; they wanted this thing. He said, not without me in it. They finally compromised, and they gave him $35.000 and Sylvester Stallone star in the movie.
Sylvester Stallone’s faith and persistence paid. The movie got ten nominations at the Academy Awards; they won three of them, best picture, best director and best film editing. Stallone got nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Writing.
After the movie Sylvester Stallone went back to the liquor store, hoping to see the man he sold his dog to. In the third day, he finally saw that man with his dog and Sly offered the man $15.000 for the dog and a role in Rocky. The got also a role in the movie, Butkus.
With his inspirational story, it’s no wonder Stallone likes to make very inspiring movies.
-I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat – Sylvester Stallone