Sunday, June 30, 2013

Chaplin Inspires Dick Van Dyke Show Opening

video
Everyone who has seen the Dick Van Dyke show knows the opening sequence where he comes into his house and trips over the ottoman, but did you know where he got the idea?

Charlie Chaplin had performed the exact gag in the movie Modern Times in 1931.


New Web Page

Bold, Brash & Brilliant

Click the link above to take you to my new webpage.

Please come back often to my new web page.  There will be a variety of content about Chaplin, Kelly and Jobs as well as updates on the progress of my book.

Please post any comments and/or questions here.  I will answer all questions and would love to hear your ideas about my book and these three men.

The Basic Premise of Bold, Brash & Brilliant

To expand on the main reason I chose Chaplin, Kelly and Jobs for my research, is that they fit the profile of intense, driven, control freak professionals who did not ask anything more of their team than they asked of themselves.  They pushed everyone around them to the breaking point to get that slight improvement of the end product, whether it be a comedy sketch or feeling in a scene, a dance number that seamlessly blended with the story and was executed with precision and style or a product that just felt right and was perfect for the task.

In Chaplin's case, he would make his team do 200 to 300 takes of a scene to get that perfect look and feel.  For this reason, he kept the same stable of loyal actors and crew who knew his style.  He never had guest stars.  His crew was in awe of his stamina.

Gene Kelly would rehearse himself and his fellow dancers until, as Debbie Reynolds put it, "My feet bled."  He would always say, "Lets just do it one more time."  He would also shoot up to 70 takes on one scene if he didn't feel it was right.

Steve Jobs was not a performer in the traditional sense, but he did put on a show with his keynote addresses to the cheering throngs at the World Wide Developer Conferences.  He would redo the slides for his address over and over again and rehearse until it was perfect.  If there was another CEO about to present, Jobs would yank them from the schedule at the last minute if the presentation was not to his standard.

Jobs product development was in keeping with the same devotion to style and feel.  His team would build prototype after prototype for Steve to review and even change it at the last minute prior to production if he found a flaw or realized something, anything wasn't right.

All three used what I call, Creative Tension, to keep themselves and their team on track and on their toes.  Creative Tension puts a feeling in the air of bubbling creativity, never being satisfied, looking over your shoulder for the other guy and being willing to push boundaries.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Writing Bold, Brash & Brilliant

Writing this book is a labor of love.  The three men I decided to profile were true geniuses, artists and fascinating to research.  Watching Charlie and Gene display their craft in movies has been a learning experience and true entertainment. Watching Steve Jobs in interviews and keynote addresses has been equally thrilling and educational.

By the time this book is finished at the end of this year, I will have read nearly 50 books, reviewed 150 movies and videos and studied nearly 500 articles on these three men.

Deciding how to write the book has been a challenge.  Should I write the book with a constant compare/contrast between Charlie, Gene and Steve, moving from one to the other with an outline of topics or should I work on one at a time moving from Charlie to Gene and then to Steve in time sequence?

I decided to do one at a time for the most part and then to mix it up in the forward and at the end.

How did I choose these three men?  Well, I actually started out with two other people, Howard Hughes and Bruce Lee.  They fit my profile, but in the case of Howard Hughes, after researching him for months, I decided he was simply throwing money at projects and was a fairly unlikable character.  He was a genius and visionary in many fields, but I moved on to Chaplin for that early film era.  As for Bruce Lee, who also fit the profile of a perfectionist and genius, I determined that there was simply not the breadth and depth of information on him to include.  He was also fascinating, likable and a visionary.

Follow along with me as I both write the book and chronicle my journey.




Friday, June 28, 2013

Five Lessons from Steve Jobs

1.  Customers don’t know what they want.Throughout his career, Steve Jobs famously eschewed market research and relied on his intuition.  In a 1985 interview with Playboy, he said: “We built [the Mac] for ourselves. We were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not. We weren’t going to go out and do market research.”  Twelve years later, he told Business Week:  “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”  I actually think Jobs was right but only in the very narrow category to which he aspired: where his products, such as the Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad, either redefined or created product categories. That’s not the domain in which most businesses play. Remember also that Jobs backed up his unique insights with an enormously expensive creative process populated by world-class designers.  Without Jobs’ talents and the unparalleled creative team and processes that he built around himself, you won’t get away with doing no market research and not listening to your customers.
2.  Maintain obsessive secrecy. In 2008, a writer in Wired observed that “Apple operates with a level of secrecy that makes Thomas Pynchon look like Paris Hilton.”  This didn’t just apply to the ultra secrecy around Apple’s products, the details of which were famously guarded until unveiled in Jobs’ mind-bending keynotes (down to his famous “there’s one more thing”).  Super secrecy also applied to the eight-year-long, closed-lipped strategy that Apple employed with investors and the media about Jobs’ health problems (the concealment of which “disgusted” one board member, the late Jerome York).  Yet Apple was able to withstand the pressure for more transparency because its products consistently delighted customers and its results wowed investors.  This, along with Jobs’ particular talents, allowed Jobs to carve out an exception for himself.  Imagine if such secrecy culminated in a fiasco, such as a large share price drop if Jobs had died without warning.
3.  Project a reality-distortion field. In describing his technology-related arguments with Jobs, Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman ofGooglerecently wrote:  “He had this extraordinary depth. I have a PhD in this area, and he was so charismatic he could convince me of things I didn’t actually believe.”  Steve Jobs’ “reality distortion field” is legendary, and refers to his ability to exert his knowledge, charisma, personal and persistence to convince anyone of anything.  Few others attempting the same technique could pull it off, and would most likely be laughed out of the room.  It’s better to work with reality and make the best of it.
4.  Micromanage every detail. Fortune described Steve Jobs as “a corporate dictator who makes every critical decision — and oodles of seemingly noncritical calls, too.”  Not only did he control every aspect of product design, he also weighed in on the glass stairs in Apple stores (for which he held a patent), the design of the Apple shuttle buses, and the food in the cafeteria, to cite just a few examples.  He even tried to mandate a company uniform.  Micromanaging certainly worked for Steve Jobs, and for Apple.  But, think about every other micromanager that you’ve ever worked with. Did it work for them, or those who worked for them?
5.  Beat people up. Machiavelli provided the philosophical justification for the “ends justify the means” in politics and war; one could argue that Steve Jobs was the personification of that approach in business.  In a Rolling Stone article, Jeff Goodell, an early Apple employee, describes Jobs as having an “abrasive personality” and “unapologetic brutality.”  Numerous former colleagues, including Steve Jurvetson, describe the “hero-shithead rollercoaster” to which Jobs subjected them.  Yet, people tolerated this aspect of “Steve being Steve” because of the other qualities that he brought, not because of any intrinsic goodness (or necessity) of beating people up.
Steve Jobs’ business and technology accomplishments should serve as a great inspiration. As Bill Gates wrote, “The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.” But don’t allow Steve Jobs’ success to lure you into adopting (or accepting) his management style. That’s the route to alienating coworkers and stoking workplace discontent, without delivering any of Steve Jobs’ magical results.  He was Steve Jobs, and you are not. Nor am I, unfortunately.

The Gene Kelly Work Ethic


What can be said about one of the world's most cherished and talented showman out there. I have been a huge fan of Gene Kelly's since I can't remember. Gene Kelly is one of the people you think of that embodied every talent out there. He had dancing feet like nobody else out there. He was the kind of guy that everyone could relate to. The women loved him and the men wanted to hang around him. He was sensitive, yet he also had the man's man quality about him.
Gene Kelly had a voice that just melted into song. Every other word he spoke he could have sung and he did like an angel. His acting was a force to be reckoned with too. He held his own. In movies away from the song and dance genre his acting skills where impeccable. Dance wise there was very few who could match him, whether man or woman.
Now of course there was a debate on who was the better, Gene or Fred Astaire. My money was and has always been on gene Kelly. Fred was good, but there was something about Gene that just drew you to him and not just because of his charm and good looks
Gene started out as an athlete, but during college he started choreographing shows and thus took him off down the road towards dance. He learned tap dancing through his brother and with his mother and brother started a dance school in the 1920's. I think it was around that time. Soon after wards he headed off to New York to become a choreographer. Once on Broadway he caught the eyes of a movie executive and got a role.
Being an athlete Gene always danced with his upper body. Even Donald O'Conner who he worked with in "Singing in the Rain" commented on how their styles where different. Donald being a hoofer danced from the waist down and he tried to apply Gene's style to his own and tried emulate him in some ways. Donald once said he was one of the few that could keep up with Gene and be just as good as him. He understood Gene's work ethic.
Gene had a really strong work ethic. If he wasn't dancing on screen or on stage he was working out a number in his head or using his feet or he was working on some project either in process or something new in the works.
Gene once said this about dancing, "You can clock in and if you want you can clock out, but always keep the dancing shoes on."
Gene was and still is a legend in every way. There was and still is no one like Gene Kelly and there will never be. When you see one of his movies you fall in love no matter what attracts you to the project. Gene was and is truly an icon in history he should forever stay that way.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What Do You Want to Know?

Theses three men were the poster boys for the perfectionist in all of us. What would you like to know about how they developed their fierce desire for control and quality?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Charlie was a Control Freak

CHARLIE CHAPLIN, behind the camera.  He was not only an actor, he was also a writer, director, producer and composer. 
Yes I’m going to say it…Charlie Chaplin was a control freak when it came to his films and he left it to no one, on top of the above jobs listed -he was studio owner, he was editor, chose the costumes, even down to deciding and sometimes getting right in there the hairstyles of his leading ladies, yes Edna did not always have the most flattering styles. It has been said he was the first and to date the last Artist in Hollywood to control every aspect of the making of his films.

Chaplin was the ultimate control freak.
Perhaps no one will ever be able to wield the sort of creative control over a series of major (fiction) film works, over such a long haul, as did Charlie Chaplin. From about 1918 (Mutual Pictures, then United Artists 1919-1939), to the end of his career, Chaplin maintained full creative control of his films, which is an amazing record of independence. Without giving it any sort of extensive research, I would guess that Chaplin was the first film artist to hold creative control over almost every aspect of the film making stage: writing, directing, acting, producing, composing, etc. The impact this obsession with control had over his film output is alarmingly evident, with the ratio of films made to shooting schedule decreasing dramatically (Chaplin made 81 films, 70 of them shorts).


Was Steve Jobs Hard to Work For?




SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — When Steve Jobs adopted "think different" as Apple's mantra in the late 1990s, the company's ads featured Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Amelia Earhart and a constellation of other starry-eyed oddballs who reshaped society.
Nolan Bushnell never appeared in those tributes, even though Apple was riffing on an iconoclastic philosophy he embraced while running video game pioneer Atari in the early 1970s. Atari's refusal to be corralled by the status quo was one of the reasons Jobs went to work there in 1974 as an unkempt, contemptuous 19-year-old. Bushnell says Jobs offended some Atari employees so much that Bushnell eventually told Jobs to work nights when one else was around.
Bushnell, though, says he always saw something special in Jobs, who evidently came to appreciate his eccentric boss, too. The two remained in touch until shortly before Jobs died in October 2011 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
That bond inspired Bushnell to write a book about the unorthodox thinking that fosters the kinds of breakthroughs that became Jobs' hallmark as the co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc. Apple built its first personal computers with some of the parts from Atari's early video game machines. After Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple in 1976, Apple also adopted parts of an Atari culture that strived to make work seem like play. That included pizza-and-beer parties and company retreats to the beach.

Click Here for the rest of the article.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

An Interview with Sydney Chaplin in 2003

Chaplin's son, Sydney, who worked with his famous dad in several films was interviewed about his dad's personality on the set and at home:

IGN FILMFORCE: What was the family's involvement with putting the Chaplin Collection on DVD?
SYDNEY CHAPLIN: That I don't know, because my sister mainly did that, and she's in Europe.
IGNFF: Is it true that a lot of the early films have passed into public domain?
CHAPLIN: I don't think a lot of them have passed into public domain. The family owns most of the full-length pictures.
IGNFF: Which sister handled the DVD collection?
CHAPLIN: Josephine.
IGNFF: Am I correct in remembering that you worked with your father inLimelight?
CHAPLIN: Yeah.
IGNFF: What was it like working with him, in comparison to how he was at home?
CHAPLIN: It was all right. It was just an added pressure... you wanted to do well.
IGNFF: Was he a taskmaster on set?
CHAPLIN: Well, he was tougher with me than with most people.
IGNFF: How would you describe that toughness?
CHAPLIN: It wasn't really toughness as much as he wanted me to do better. I was always on time and I always knew my lines, but he expected me to do well... as he would any kid, I guess.
IGNFF: How, in your mind, did you separate "this is family time with my father" and "this is work time with my boss"?
CHAPLIN: Well, you can't. There's nothing to separate. It's just one guy telling you, "Now this is what you do," so you do this. If he liked it, he'd say, "That's good... all right, give me a little bit more." He was very easy to work with, really.
IGNFF: How would you compare what you observed of him in his later filmmaking years to what you recall of his earlier years?
CHAPLIN: Well, the later years are when I knew him, really. The early years I didn't know.
IGNFF: Did you see a softening as the years went by, when it came to work schedules or other aspects of filmmaking?
CHAPLIN: I think it depended. The only time he got a little bit tough was when it wasn't his money – which is a little strange. When it was Universal money, he got a little bit tougher.
IGNFF: As far as being more intent to keep to budget?
CHAPLIN: He cared about keeping the budget, but they were on his back always, the people with the dough.
IGNFF: Was he ever frustrated with that? Because here was a man who once ran his own studio with no one to answer to...
CHAPLIN: No, because I'll tell you – the other pictures he did was with his own money. He used to bring that up sometimes... "This isn't Warner Bros., you know!" He used to scream that at everybody. "Come on now!" It was his own dough, and if he didn't like two day's work, he'd reshoot the whole thing. When that's coming out of your own pocket, that's a hell of a decision to make.
IGNFF: Was there ever a tension on the set?
CHAPLIN: No.
IGNFF: You've starred in other features – how would you compare your father's working style with other directors you've worked with?
CHAPLIN: Most of the other people were easy. Everybody wanted the same thing – they wanted a good product. They wanted you to do well. And so did he.
IGNFF: So the added pressure...
CHAPLIN: It came from knowing that, as my father, he wants me to do well.
IGNFF: Did he ever push you into performing, or was the choice to go into show business your own?
CHAPLIN: Oh no, it was my own. Absolutely my own. I started a little theater group in Los Angeles right after the Second World War. We started this little theater group with a bunch of college kids from UCLA, and we did about 40 plays in a few years, and that's when I got interested in the work. Otherwise I don't think I would have been interested in being an actor, or anything else.
IGNFF: Did your father ever try to discourage you, once you'd made that decision?
CHAPLIN: No. He came down and he saw a couple of plays we did, and he was very pleased.
IGNFF: When he was suffering during the anticommunist fervor during the 1950s, did that have any repercussions on your career?
CHAPLIN: No. All of Hollywood took such a shot from all of that nonsense at the time, but that didn't bother him a hell of a lot – first because he was enormously wealthy, and second because he could tell everyone to go to hell. It's a great position to be in!
IGNFF: Were you disappointed when, for all intents and purposes, the witch-hunts ran him out of the country?
CHAPLIN: Oh yeah. I think they were absolutely terrible. As a matter of fact, I know when he was in England, I got a call from President Kennedy's office saying that Kennedy wanted to invite him back to America. But they didn't want to invite him unless he would accept. So I said, "I don't think he's going to accept." And they said, "Why?" And I said, "What is he going to come back for? To face a bunch of newspaper people? He's very happy, he's got a beautiful house in Switzerland, a marvelous big property, and people leave him alone."
IGNFF: Do you think his career would have been different if the witch-hunts hadn't driven him off? Would we have seen more output in the '50s and '60s?

CHAPLIN: No, because he wrote his own stuff, and he did his own work, so it's not like he had 40 scripts to pick one out – he wrote his own things, so it took him a long time between pictures. Most of his career was that... I'm not talking about the real early days when it was two-reelers or quick little things. He would take two or three years to do a picture. There was always a care... he cared enormously. He took a lot of time – it took him a year and something just to write a story. And then to make the picture, and edit it – so it was two or three years between pictures for most of his main works.

One of the Finest Tap Dance Routines Ever Filmed

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Gene Kelly and Donald O'connor practiced for weeks on this and there has never been anything like it.  Watch how relaxed Gene is and how Donald watches Gene during the number.  Gene's eyes stay straight ahead the whole time.  He is perfection on two feet.

Controlling the Whole Widget

Like Charlie Chaplin before him, Steve Jobs held total control of his product: The Whole Widget


“I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.”
—Steve Jobs

The launch of the iPhone in the summer of 2007 looked to many like Jobs was about to repeat the smash hit success of the iPod—except for one thing. Jobs locked software developers out of the iPhone, at least initially. In the weeks following the launch, there was a storm of protest from bloggers and pundits who were furious that the iPhone would be a closed platform. It wouldn’t run software from anyone but Apple. The iPhone was poised to be one of the hottest consumer electronics platforms in recent memory, but it was forbidden fruit to the software industry. Third-party applications were verboten, except Web applications running on the phone’s browser. Many critics said locking out developers this way was typical of Jobs’s controlling tendencies. He didn’t want grubby outside programmers wrecking the perfect Zen of his device.

“Jobs is a strong-willed, elitist artist who doesn’t want to see his creations mutated inauspiciously by unworthy programmers,” wrote Dan Farber, ZDNet’s editor in chief. “It would be as if someone off the street added some brush strokes to a Picasso painting or changed the lyrics to a Bob Dylan song.”[i]
Jobs is a control freak extraordinaire. He controls Apple’s software, hardware, and design. He controls Apple’s marketing and online services. He controls every aspect of the organization’s functioning, from the food the employees eat to how much they can tell their families about their work, which is pretty much nothing.

Jobs’s controlling tendencies go all the way back.

In 1984, Steve Jobs’s baby, the first Macintosh computer, shipped without an internal cooling fan. The sound of a fan drove Jobs nuts, so he insisted the Mac didn’t have one, even though his engineers strenuously objected (and even sneaked fans into later models without his knowledge). To prevent their machines from overheating, customers bought a “Mac chimney”—a cardboard stovepipe designed to be placed on top of the machine and draw heat up and out by convection. The chimney looked preposterous—it looked like a dunce’s cap—but it prevented the machines from melting down.

Jobs is a no-compromise perfectionist, a quality that has led him and the companies he’s founded to pursue the same unusual modus operandi: maintain tight control over hardware, software, and the services they access. From the get-go, Jobs has always closed down his machines. From the first Mac to the latest iPhone, Jobs’s systems have always been sealed shut to prevent consumers from meddling and modifying them. Even his software is difficult to adapt.

This approach is very unusual in an industry dominated by hackers and engineers who like to personalize their technology. In fact, it’s been widely regarded as a crippling liability in the Microsoft-dominated era of cut-price commodity hardware. But now consumers want well-made, easy-to-use devices for digital music, photography, and video. Jobs’s insistence on controlling “the whole widget” is the new mantra in the technology industry. Even Microsoft’s Bill Gates, who pioneered the commodity approach, is switching gears and emulating Jobs’s line of attack. Gates is starting to build hardware as well as software—with Zune and the Xbox at the heart of Microsoft’s own “digital hub.” Controlling the whole widget may have been the wrong model for the last thirty years, but it is the right model for the next thirty—the digital lifestyle age.

In this new era, Hollywood and the music industry are supplementing CDs and DVDs with Internet delivery of music and movies, and consumers want easy-to-use entertainment appliances like the iPod to play them on. It’s Steve Jobs’s model that will deliver them. Apple’s trump card is that it is able to make its own software, from the Mac operating system to applications such as iPhoto and iTunes.

Read more at http://www.cultofmac.com/64422/what-steve-jobs-is-talking-about-when-he-touts-integration-book-chapter/#eUCGwl2C0TzTeKT8.99 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Gene Kelly: Drive and Ambition


Gene Kelly: Drive and Ambition

He drove himself and others with tireless abandon until he got the move, the scene or the idea he wanted.



Chaplin: Examples of his Perfectionism

Tumbr Article

The Guardian

Chaplin as Director
In addition to Chaplin, the comedian, writer, composer, editor, dancer, etc., he also directed all of his movies.

The Greatest Commencement Speech

Steve Jobs Commencement Speech to Stamford University

The above link to a video of Steve giving the commencement speech at Stamford University.  It is one of the greatest speeches ever given to a graduation class if not to any audience.

Chaplin Exercises Total Control: The Circus

Chaplin in Control
Click the link above.

Very shortly after Chaplin began his career in movies, in 1914, he sought and gained total control of every aspect of the creative process.  This was key to his success and our delight.

Steve Jobs: Patron Saint of Perfectionists

Steve Jobs: Perfectionist

"Find something you love."

A quote from Steve:

“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

Gene Kelly: The Taskmaster as told by Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds talks about Gene Kelly

Click the link above for a great BBC interview with Debbie




Gene worked everyone around him to the brink of exhaustion, including himself.  He never asked anything of anyone that he would not do himself.  He was tireless and demanding.  When asked to develop a ballet in France, the troupe was not used to his style, but they learned quickly.
Gene working a "not so thrilled" ballet company in France for his, Pas de deux ballet.


Gene and Debbie in a lighter moment during rehearsal for Singin in the Rain

The Chaplin Feature Films

Chaplin's 8 Masterpieces

Charlie Chaplin might not have invented movies, but he had an almost unparalleled influence on their development and evolution. He practically invented the comedic film and he became a legend for his ability to blend melodrama and pathos into his comedies, resulting in some of the most enduring films of his era and, subsequently, film history in general. His life was almost as interesting as his movies as he experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows.
Seemingly destined for a career as an entertainer, Chaplin made his first appearance on stage at the age of 5 and throughout his early life he gained a variety of skills that would suit him in his future career. He made his debut in 1914, with his Tramp character being introduced later that year, and he quickly became a sensation for a number of short films. By age 26 he was one of the highest paid people in the world and in 1921 he directed, starred in, edited, and composed music for his first feature length film, The Kid, which was an instant success. With the advent of the sound era, starting in 1927 with The Jazz Singer, it seemed as if Chaplin might become obsolete but he bucked the trend and made two more enormously successful silent films with his last one, Modern Times, coming nearly a decade after the rest of Hollywood had completely converted to sound.

Click the link above for the entire article.

Chapter 1

Chapter 1

            The year was 1889 and an event took place that would become a worldwide phenomenon.  Toiling away in a secret lab in West Orange, New Jersey, a lone engineer worked on a contraption that would allow the general public to see a recorded event for the first time.  The contraption was called the kinetiscope and had been designed by Thomas Alva Edison and this lone engineer.  Edison, whose lab was responsible for so many inventions, including the dynamo, the phonograph, the light bulb and so many other miracles of the day, was away in Europe at an exhibition.  Upon his return, he entered his secret photographic lab and was given a demonstration by his engineer of a short movie projected on a small screen.  While he did not immediately see the commercial possibilities, this would soon change.  Once the general public got a taste of his new invention over the next few years, the thirst for anything on film would extend worldwide.
            As if on cue, across the Atlantic, in London, in that same year, a child was born who would later define comedy on film and take Edison’s invention to every corner of the world with his artistry.  Charles Spencer Chaplin was born to stage parents, Charles Senior and Lily Harley (Hannah Chaplin).  It would be 24 years before “Charlie”, as he would come to be known, would see his first film.  Charlie, upon seeing his first movie, would become obsessed with learning everything he could about this new form of entertainment.  It would allow his talents to be seen beyond a live audience.
            Charlie Chaplin was thrust into the world of the performing arts and would learn the trade, mostly from his mother because his father ran off and would eventually die from “the drink”.  This strong maternal influence would define Charlie’s life and become part of his movie themes.  His childhood was marked by wretched poverty, workhouses, the mental illness of his mother and the strong influence of his older half-brother, Sydney.
            As a young boy, Charlie was forced through circumstance to fend for himself for food, shelter and a livelihood.  After his mother’s breakdown on stage when Charlie was five, he made his first stage appearance to a tough, but appreciative crowd.  He realized from that point on that he could make people laugh.  He loved it and would soon be part of a travelling show called the Lancashire Lads.  

How People Remember Steve Jobs

Remembering Steve

Click the link above to see the sentiments by millions of people about Steve Jobs.

Creativity at it's Best

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One of Gene's most creative dances devised during Judy Garland's long illnesses from the movie, Summer Stock.

Gene Kelly Doing His Own Stunts

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Gene Kelly did his own stunt work, much to the dismay of the producers and the MGM execs.


Chaplin is Still Relevant

Chaplin on Pinterest

Just browse the internet to see how Charlie Chaplin is relevant 100 years after his first picture for the Keystone movie company.

He virtually invented film comedy and added pathos to his movies taking them to a new level above the fray of other comedians.