In 1930 Pat O’Brien (and American actor with more than one hundred screen credits in his life) had a scene in a play called The Up and Up in which he had to contend with two angry people at once – a person on the phone and one at his desk.
To him, playing that scene was “like fighting through Notre Dame’s football line while singing “Danny Boy.”
The play received mixed reviews, and its outlook seemed dim. O’Brien thought, Why knock myself out on something with no future?
But then a Bible verse echoed in his memory: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10 NIV) And so, at every performance, he put his all into the scene, sometimes exiting the stage wringing wet.
After the show closed, O’Brien went on to perform in a few obscure parts. Then one day he received a phone call from a man who said, “Mr. Hughes is filming the play The Front Page and wants you in it.”
O’Brien jumped at the opportunity. The film’s director, Lewis Milestone, later told him why he was chosen.
Milestone had gone to New York with friends, planning to see a hit show.
But they were one seat short, so Lewis went to see The Up and Up.
He said, “One scene really impressed me – the one at the desk.”
O’Brien’s outstanding film career was launched because he gave his all to a part that had seemed worthless.
What a great story – it came from a old calendar book with no credit give to the author and it’s a great reminder to never slide just because you think no one will see, or that no one cares –
This is a particularly great message for me this first day of July – when I am wondering who, if anyone, reads this blog – if the time I spend matters – if any of it makes a difference –
I’m going to do my best anyway and if you’re reading this my hope is that it has helped or inspired you.
My goal is that you feel Up and Up!
Remember – you create your day by the way you think! Make it magnificent!