Monday, March 26, 2018

What Might Not Have Been

It's hard to believe, but Omar Little (The Wire) may not have been played by Michael K. Williams. There was a real possibility that the role of Leonard (Hap and Leonard) could have gone to someone else.

Yes, Michael K. Williams had struck out with acting and was working in his mom's daycare when he decided to give it one last shot.

It's easy for those of us who love his performances and (like Obama) agree that his character on The Wire is a memorable stand-out.

Omar's so popular he's got several supercuts of clips on Youtube that keep popping up, years after Omar and The Wire took their last bow.

Michael K. Williams isn't shy about crediting the role with altering the course of his life.

Imagine if he hadn't decided to give acting a final try.

Imagine if his mom hadn't given him a loan so that he could make that attempt.

The truth is, many artistic types suffer from self-doubt and rejection along the way. It's easy to get discouraged. No matter how nice and supportive a lot of people in your industry are on the surface there are always going to be those people who will try to bring you down. I just had a chance to chat with Dana King about his latest book and he talks about some of the issues female authors face as just one of a number of gender-related issues that inspired his story.

I got a lesson in perseverance from my 3rd cousin, Deric. Same age. Same home room in high school. Different paths in life. He quit college, packed his bags and moved to Nashville. And when his debut CD came out he wrote about spending 10 long years deciding whether to buy groceries or pay the electric bill while he struggled to get his break.

This would be the same guy who's had his own successful career as a Canadian recording artist and as a popular songwriter. If you've listened to popular country music on the radio then you've heard something that Deric penned.

I'd always wanted to write novels and I felt shamed that the only thing I had to do was invest my time and energy and I could write from the comfort of my own home. I didn't have to move to Nashville. I didn't have to struggle to pay the bills while trying to pursue my art.

Deric talked about seeing people come and go from Nashville. All he could say was to keep chasing your dream. You couldn't give up.

Imagine if he had.

Imagine if Michael K. Williams had.

What will the world miss out on if you quit?

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