Have you seen Netflix’s newest comedy, Dolemite Is My Name, starring Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, Tituss Burgess, and Da’Vine Joy Randolph to name a few? The film is knee- slapping funny. Do ya hear meh? Chile, I can’t think of one scene that I wasn’t cacklin’.
Lemme say that I first heard of Dolemite a few months ago, when my friend mentioned him. He proceeded to tell me it was a character played by Rudy Ray Moore and he was basically a character that played the role of a pimp with quick one-liners. So when I kept seeing people mention this film on social media I was ecstatic.
If you haven’t seen it, sucks for you because I’m spilling spoilers. Anyhoo, this film is about a man from a small town in Arkansas that moves to L.A. to pursue his music dream. But, like many, he gets stuck and becomes an assistant manager of a record store.
In search of something more fulfillment, he turned to the neighborhood wino for content and the rest was history. He went on to make a national film, which is great. But for many, like myself, how Rudy did this, his journey, was more intriguing.
As an entrepreneur, these are a few thangs I noticed he did to get what he wanted:
- Tapped into his community for content and resources:
A wino came in and mentioned Dolemite and that was all the inspiration Rudy needed to get started. After searching for his purpose, he finally believed he had some good content. He went into the alley and found the winos and recorded the men telling jokes. Not only did he pay them but he also provided that liquid courage to keep the party going.
The comedian didn’t have to create anything differently. He literally took a character that was mentioned and brought it to life and he also paid the people, while doing so.
- Employed his network and built a team:
Rudy networked with the people who were already in his circle and they were excited about it. He really didn’t go out and employ people that he didn’t have access to. He stuck with his everyday friends, who had a lot to offer, as he put forth effort to conquer his dream. Outside of D’Urville Martin, he stuck to the people he knew. In all honesty, D’Urville wasn’t out of his reach at all.
The genius also went to a play and hired someone hired a screenwriter (Jerry Jones). He didn’t try to do it himself because he knew that wasn’t his area and was more than willing to work with people who could help him reach his ultimate success.
Because Jerry Jones had a background in film, he was able to find some college students from UCLA who were more than willing to help with the film. While he may not have paid them their full rate, he did pay them something and understood they needed money and film.
- He did the grunt work:
Before filming the movie, the comedian traveled from state-to-state doing shows. He basically took himself on tour. Not only did he host his own tour but he recorded the comedic album in his home. Nothing too fancy, just people who liked his act and who were also willing to come and enjoy themselves. He passed out flyers, cleaned up the old theater hall, swept, slept in his investment (building), and countless of other thangs to make it happen. Ego? He didn’t have one.
- He built his audience, before filming a film:
Dolemite wouldn’t have been successful, if he hadn’t built an audience. Sure! People heard him at the local club. But the only way the world knew him is because he went on tour. From state-to-state, he was telling his jokes, making people laugh, and making connections. That’s how he found Queen Bee., while on tour. Knowing she was a star from the beginning, he included the newly single mother into his act and the rest was history.
Doing this made it easier for word-of-mouth marketing to travel. That’s how he was able to land his first deal. He practically put himself on.
- He made good on his auntie’s investment:
Without that $250 for that equipment, no one would’ve heard Rudy’s talent. Imagine if he would’ve did something else with that money or didn’t keep his promise? Who knows what would’ve happened. The money was invested and he didn’t have to ask twice for the same thang. To be able to pay his aunt, as well as, the label back was very good to see is a true testament of what happens, when you keep the main thang, the main thang.
- He Bartered:
He didn’t have money to buy the building. But he was able to barter a deal that was a pretty good lick. His production studio became his home. If you know anything about productions or events, your venue is always the biggest bill.
- He bet on himself:
‘No’ didn’t mean a damn thang to this man. He was positive about what he was doing, and while thangs didn’t work out as plan, initially, he kept it moving. He kept working the plan, until the planned work. He ran out of money, had to ask for more money to complete the movie, was turned down by several production companies, had to do a lot of the leg work, had to work in imperfect conditions, but he made it happen.
This film showed the perfect blueprint of putting ya’self on. I loved it.