Jay Leno, Billy Crystal, and me

Jay LenoOn Jay Leno’s final show, he and Billy Crystal reminisced about the time before they made it big.    Jay said he’d finally gotten a slot to perform in a nationally broadcast event.  Just as he was introduced, a special bulletin came on about the a hurricane.    No one got to see his set.

Billy Crystal said his first big break came in an appearance on a “That Was young billy CHrystalthe Week that Was.”   His set was about the first commercial after the legalization of marijuana, a complete spoof because this was made many  years ago when support for such a law didn’t exist.   The night the show aired, he was watching at home and that skit never appeared.  The network had decided they didn’t want to be associated with marijuana in any way and cut the piece.

I imagine each of us had a story about how our first break never happened.  When I started writing, I wrote sweet Regencies.   My first, The Mad Herringtons, was a Golden Heart finalist so was a fairly good book.   But every publisher I submitted it to closed their Regency line about a week before I submitted.  With one, I got two letters from one publishing company.   The first offered a contract.  The second withdrew it because the line had just closed.stick to the plan

All three of us kept going and finally made it–although Jay Leno and Billy Crystal at a slightly higher level than I.   But, as Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Do you have a story about how you kept trying or an inspirational story about someone else?  I love to hear them.

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