One of the most hilarious Saturday Night Live skits is the one where Christopher Walken demands from the “Don’t Fear the Reaper” band (Blue Oyster Cult) that he needed more cowbell from Will Ferrell. I was watching this skit the other day with a good friend of mine who is an actor. When we finally got a hold of ourselves and wiped the tears from our eyes after laughing so hard, he explained that this was so funny because Christopher Walken was just so committed to his role. He further explained that this type of commitment is the secret behind why Jim Carrey is so funny. Whatever they do, they do it with their whole hearts and don’t worry about making fools of themselves. When this friend portrayed the Quasimodo in live stage show “Hunchback of Notre Dame”, multiple times a day for a number of years, he kept the show fresh because of his commitment to the part. He always looked for a new ways to bring this story to life.
It’s not just in the acting world that being committed to what you do brings about magnetic results. My friend and fellow consultant Pat Tith shares, “The President of Nike Mark Parker said, ‘We are at our best when we commit. We are not good at dabbling.’ Sounds like an effective business strategy.”
It seems like if you are going to do something, do it with your whole heart. Fear of failure or making a fool of yourself is a surefire way to ensure that you will. Next time you hold back, remind yourself, “I gotta have more cowbell…I got a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell!!” Who knows what the response might be. It could be, “We gotta give him (or her) more cowbell!”
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