Saturday, October 26, 2013

Outlier: Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres is one of the many famous outliers. She has almost a dozen daytime Emmy Awards and many People Choice Awards. Even though she is very successful now she wasn't always, and had troubles getting to where she is now. To begin with, at age 13 her parents divorced leaving her mother broken. Ellen however used her comedy skills to help her mother recover, and discovered the power of humor. Before she even thought about working in the comedy world, she wanted to be a veterinarian. But Ellen dropped the idea because she wasn't "book smart". Instead she waited tables, sold vacuum cleaners, painted houses and worked as a legal secretary. It's a good thing she didn't become a veterinarian, but gained lots of experience in different categories. It allowed her to be able to connect to many through personal experiences in comedic way. If she became a vet, she wouldn't be able to bring laughter to her millions of viewers. Not have "book smarts" was a good thing for Ellen DeGeneres.

Because Ellen had a brother, it gave her a great advantage. She used her sibling rivalry to get motivated to become famous. Her brother, Vance, was getting all the attention from being actor/comedian, which made her jealous. Vance was also known as the humorous member of the DeGeneres family, but that was about to change. Ellen dropped out of college and turned to comedy. She discovered she was good at it when she had to give a public speech. She was terrified of the crowd, but used humor to get through it. The crowd loved her and she received offers to do stand-up comedy. She started performing to help support her mother and went up from there. Jay Leno actually came to one of her performances, which helped her get into the higher status. Now she hosts the hit talk-show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and is the voice of Dori from Finding Nemo. From her parents divorce to sibling rivalry to performing for the famous, Ellen DeGeneres had many hidden advantages to make her the great outlier she is now.