He pretended he was an agent and landed a job at William Morris agency in the TV talent department. After everyone left at night, he would analyze his mentor's deals and figure out how to do them.
By the 1970s, Meyer had built a lot of relationships in the business. His clients included Sally Struthers and Rob Reiner. Clearly, Meyer was becoming a leader in his industry.
He stayed at William Morris for over five years and would happily have stayed longer, but fate intervened when his mentor was fired. That presented an opportunity to start his own operation, Creative Artists Agency. Founded in 1975 with four colleagues from William Morris, CAA became a huge success, representing
Hollywood legends like Barbra Streisand, Cher, Madonna, Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise. In the beginning, though, the staff of five struggled—18-hour days, seven days a week. They didn't draw any money out of the company for the first two years.
But Meyer had an advantage: Few people knew the business as well as he did, and few were as good with people. He built CAA client by client. He was always networking, attending anything he could get invited to—parties, dinners, screenings, tapings.
His first major clients included Charlie's Angels Farrah Fawcett and Kate Jackson. But his big break came when he signed Sylvester Stallone during his Rocky and Rambo years. "Everyone wanted Syl," says Meyer. "It was a big deal to be his agent. That became my entree18) to representing people like Michael Douglas, Goldie Hawn and Jessica Lange."
Twenty years later, Meyer was tapped19) to run Universal Studios, a position far beyond his youthful dream. But once he saw success was possible, he was driven to achieve it. It was important to him, though, that he was trusted and well-thought-of. In looking back, Meyer allows that he's never forgotten his humble beginnings.
Today, colleagues regularly attribute20) his success—and theirs—to his humility and perseverance21). It's a level of success that takes a certain tenacity22), a certain personality, a certain kind of intelligence, whether it comes from a college education or from the street.
It takes guts to make a choice—and gumption to stick with it.
1. measles [5mi:zlz] n. [用作单或复]【医】麻疹;麻疹斑
2. gumption [5^QmpFEn] n. 事业心,进取心
3. gut [^Qt] n. [~s] <口>勇气,胆量;毅力;意志
4. tattoo [tE5tu:, tA5tu:] n. 文身;刺花
5. COO: 即Chief Operating Officer,首席运营官。
[Ik7strAvE5^AnzE] n. 铺张华丽的演出(或比赛项目等)
7. disposable [dIs5pEuzEbl] adj. 可(任意)处理(或处置)的;可自由支配的
8. tough [tQf] n. <美>粗暴的人;暴徒,流氓
9. draft [drB:ft] vt. <美>征募,征召……入伍,使服役
10. Marine Corps: <美国>海军陆战队
11. quarantine [5kwCrEnti:n] vt. (为防止传染病的流行而)将(人、畜、船等)隔离
12. talent agency: (把业余文娱演出人才推荐到专业演出团体去的)演出人才介绍所
13. glamorous [5^lAmErEs] adj. 富于刺激的,充满冒险性的;有吸引力的,令人向往的
14. kick in: <口> 开始生效,起作用
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