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How to Win

The Man of a Thousand Voices

Years ago, a young (and perhaps hungry) performer paid a visit to a Southern California studio in hopes of meeting a producer.
At the door, the young man ran into an obstacle in the form of a guard who would not let him in.
Most people would have quit after this rejection, but the young performer came back a couple of weeks later, only to run into the same obstacle.
This went on for weeks, months, and more than a year.
Finally, the performer showed up, only to find a new guard.
“Where’s the other guy,” he asked.
“He died,” replied the guard.
“Can I see the producer?”
After a short audition, the performer was offered a job. He became the voice of cartoon characters Porky Pig, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and so many others.
His name was Mel Blanc, and he was a hidden gem, a superstar hidden in plain sight.
That guard who rejected him so many times as not the first person to miss what Blanc had to offer. In fact, when he was in school, his teacher once told him, “You’re just like your name. A blank.” You can read these stories and others in his book “That’s Not All Folks!
We would never know Blanc if he had not shown unusual persistence. He kept coming back no matter how many times he was slapped down. Maybe it was sheer desperation. He married in his mid-20s and had to make a living. You can almost hear his struggle and his toughness in the voice of his characters. Indeed, that’s why so many people were able to relate to them. On the screen they reflected the pain and the striving of millions.
Blanc became known as The Man of a Thousand Voices. His career extended into television. His gravestone at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles carries the words that ended so many cartoons: “That’s all folks!


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