Gladwell’s novel “Outliers” is about how practice and talent play a role in success, but opportunities and social standing is what makes a true outlier. An example of an outlier would be Jim Carrey, Carrey is an exceptional Canadian-American actor, impressionist, comedian, producer, and screenwriter. As many say, Jim Carrey is the Man of a Million Faces. The reason why Carrey seems to stand out is due to the fact that his personality embodies how most teenagers feel and act. It is said that Jim Carrey can turn any monotonous moment into something exciting and hilarious just by being himself. Jim Carrey became successful due to his individual talent that was inherent.
Carrey is different, unlike other successful celebrities that came from rich families, Carrey achieved his fame by working hard and having dedication. Since he was only a child, his dream was to become a comedian and he was committed to that goal. Carrey had it rough growing up, despite all the struggles he had gone through, he never gave up. He grew up poor and worked his way up to the top. Jim Carrey’s Net Worth today is currently $150 million United States Dollars.
The novel Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell gave us many examples of how people became successful. Out of the seven examples, Jim Carrey best fits with the 10,000 hours of practice to become proficient. Carrey was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age. This learning disorder made him struggle to learn in school and make friends. Once he would finish his work, he would begin to distract his classmates leading to him getting in trouble. His dad was supportive, on the other hand, his mother was concerned “Although his dad tended to encourage his craziness, his mom was alarmed and often sent him to his room. No problem – just more time to practice in front of the mirror” (Bass) . In a 1984 December issue of Interview magazine, when asked about his childhood Carrey said ‘Well, I spent most of my time in my room staring at a mirror. I never knew I was supposed to socialize.” He then went on to say that he would spend hours making funny faces at himself to simply “have a good time.” Jim Carrey eventually reached the 10,000 hours of practice and mastered his acting/comedic skills, just like how Bill Gates was mentioned in Gladwell’s novel on how he also became successful due to all the hours he put in practice.
Eventually, Carrey dropped out of school. He would try to juggle around an 8-hour shift at a factory while still having to go to school during the day. Earning money for Jim Carrey’s family was an obstacle, they lived in terrible neighborhoods and low rent houses, they were living in poverty. At the age of 16, Carrey decided to call it quits and drop out of school. He had no friends and he feared that if he were to get close to people, they would figure out he was living in poverty and make fun of him.
Another great phenomenon Jim Carrey experienced that Gladwell mentioned was hard work. Soon after dropping out of school Carrey and his family became homeless and had to live in a van for eight months. They decided to move to Canada and lived off of parking in campgrounds. Jim Carrey claims that being homeless was “a traumatic kick in the guts”. Although Carrey was homeless, it never stopped him from chasing his goal of being a comedian. A biographer wrote, “His greatest bursts of creativity were born out of desperation; so was his remarkable willingness to take risks.” Carrey went on to chase his dreams by performing for the first time in a club called Yuk-Yuk Comedy Club. When he wasn’t on the stage, he would sit back and observe the other comedians taking notes quietly. The club’s publicist saw Carrey’s potency and said: “You could see him watching and listening – observing closely, paying attention to everything that was going on.”.
Carrey went on to Hollywood and started to star in television programs. These performances made him land a role in a program called Living Color which was a major hit back in the day. Jim was discovered and admired by many audiences in 1994 when he starred in comedy Ace Ventura. Soon after, many more projects came such as The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, Batman Forever, The Cable Guy and Liar Liar. This event was the time where Jim Carrey’s career skyrocketed and he became famous. Jim Carrey was passionate about his dream career and due to his hard work, he became the comedian he wanted to be since he was a child.
Opportunities, another phenomenon Gladwell discussed on. Opportunities are a set of circumstances that make it possible to do something, in this case in point Jim Carrey’s opportunities made it possible for him to become successful. If it weren’t for the fact that poverty drove Carrey to drop out of school, he most likely wouldn’t have been the comedian we know him as today. Having the opportunity to perform in the Yuk-Yuk Comedy Club gave his career a head start. If it weren’t for that, he wouldn’t have starred in multiple television programs that lead him to star in major movie roles that made him stand out and become successful.
Although being homeless played a part in Jim Carrey’s success, it has become an issue. We need institutional reform, housing prices need to be lowered. There are multiple families every day being kicked out of their own homes struggling to survive and trying to find somewhere to go and stay safe. Lowering housing prices will get rid of these problems and help struggling families stay say and survive. Furthermore, hard work, dedication, opportunities, practice, and never giving up made Jim Carrey the man he desired to be.