LIFE LESSON: THE POWER OF PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF FOR CRAIG GLAZER!!!
TKC NOTE: Hip-hop and the human spirit are the topics of Kansas City discourse tonight. This evening our friend Craig Glazer offers valuable life lessons which have powered his multimedia and entertainment career success. Pay attention, you might learn something!!!
Never Give Up, Never Surrender
‘Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?’
Look, the world is always in crisis. We are always in the worst of times. The economy is never good. We as Americans, tend to believe in our own future’s best interest. That means if we work hard enough, get lucky enough and all the cards fall right we might get our one shot at happiness. I say, not true.
Life is about problem solving, that’s all it is. When one group of problems is solved, ten more jump up to bite you in the ass. Happiness exists in those few and rare moments in between boredom, despair and depression. As we have more than learned from the media, even the rich and famous suffer just like you do.
The simple answer is this, never give up; never surrender. We are all going to fall down, probably more than once. The trick is, can you get up and fight again; every single time? Life is truly a riddle. The only way to solve it is keep trying.
We all have war stories. Maybe I have more than most. I am well aware that many people out there think a guy like me had it made, was handed the keys to the kingdom, and it was just so damn easy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like all of you, I have had my wins and losses. What I am trying to do as I have become more experienced at the game of life is try not to blame my losses on everyone else. In the end, YOU are responsible for your mistakes, nobody else.
I had no connections to Hollywood in 1981. I got a ‘How To’ book from the library and wrote a treatment of my past life as an outlaw. After submitting it to hundreds of book companies and agents; and being made fun of by everyone who knew about it, I got a couple of calls from New York and Los Angeles. On my own dime, I flew to Hollywood and signed with one of only two agents who was interested in me, and sent out to ‘pitch meetings’ with every studio and producer in town.
It seemed they all walked me to the elevator with their arm around my shoulder telling me I was the next big thing, I would be the next big star and I would go on to fame and glory. Problem. After these meetings, the phone never rang…at least not for several months. Until CBS called, I was beginning to wonder if I was just a big jerk and that my story wasn’t so special.
I would eventually have deals at six different studios over the next 15 years and I lived the Hollywood lifestyle in Los Angeles; full of parties, celebrities, women, drugs and rock and roll. In fact, rather than work hard in acting school and readings, I traded that in for late nights, bimbos and the party life. I had just got my first shot and blew it.
So, feeling sorry for myself, I teamed back up with my old ‘Sting’ partner and began doing armed robberies against drug dealers again. This led to my partner being gunned down and killed. I then pursued my biggest sting against the Colombian Cartel while being handed another shot as an executive at New World Studios with Roger Corman. The ‘Cartel’ turned out to be the Federal Government in disguise and the million bucks they gave me ended up sending me to prison with a seven year sentence. How do you think I felt sitting in that prison cell, having just a few months earlier had victory at my fingertips? I threw it all away to a massive defeat. The ‘King of Sting’ was beaten, badly beaten. Now here was my chance to blame everyone but myself for being so destructive.
I’ll never forget what another convict told me when he overheard me complaining about being in prison. ‘Hey man,’ he said, ‘you’re lucky that’s all you got. You are going to walk out of here a relatively young man and get another chance.’ Instead of getting involved with the drugs and the gangs in prison, I decided to make my time count. I became involved with Toastmasters and became the prime speaker for the West Coast Federal Prison System which allowed me to get out of prison at times to give speeches to community groups. I finished my college degree at Barstow in 1987. I wrote three scripts in my spare time and would later sell two of them. I befriended a man who was doing a movie about Muhammad Ali called ‘Champions Forever’.
I went on to do the ‘Champions Forever’ series of sports documentaries (five of them) as a producer. My brother Jeff and I took over Stanford & Sons when it almost closed in 1990 and made it a success, we moved on to Overland Park and now the Legends. However, I took on more defeats with my 2001 indictments and my lawsuit with my father, but I battled out of both of those defeats. In 2008 I wrote a book about my life…talk about a tough sell, but it happened. And now we are on the verge of a major motion picture, based on the book.
There were many more ups and downs, most you already know about. In no way am I trying to say I’m a great person, or someone you should emulate. I’ve made as many bad calls as anyone out there. As I said at the top, the trick to life isn’t learning how to handle the victories, but how to keep standing back up after a defeat. You all have that in you. Make sure you don’t miss your big shot, your big opportunity. If you do, stand up and try again. Eventually, you might just win.
‘…You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo
You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo…’