Mike Myers’ Advice: ‘Don’t Want To Be Famous; Want To Be Legendary’

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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As someone constantly trying to spur creativity, I’m fascinated by the stories and techniques of smart and creative people. Whether it’s an actor, politician, comedian, architect — you name it! — I want to know their secrets of success and wisdom they have accrued.

During a recent conversation with Marc Maron, for example, comedian Mike Myers (of Wayne’s World and Austin Powers fame) had this advice for young performers:

I’ve never thought that I was going to be discovered. I just didn’t think that. I just thought I’d be somebody who was a hard worker. And, for me, things started happening once I completely gave up the concept of being discovered — and I, in essence, discovered what I wanted to do.

And that would be my advice to young performers — is: ‘Don’t want to be famous; Want to be legendary.’

But, in many ways, fame is the industrial disease of creativity. It’s a sludgy byproduct of making things. And it feels great…for a while. But it didn’t bring my dad back from the dead…

This, of course, would also apply to aspiring pols and journalists who, similarly, aspire to fame.

You can find these comments at around the 38 minute mark of the podcast interview — which illustrates another point. The thing I love about long-form interviews is that the most interesting stuff usually doesn’t come immediately. Myers would have never gotten around to talking about this relatively inside baseball aspect of the business if he were doing an interview on, say, Entertainment Tonight.

Matt K. Lewis