Many of you know the actor Bryan Cranston from his unforgettable portrayal of Walter White on Breaking Bad.
I came across an interview he did and was struck by one particular passage. I’ve transcribed it for you. Please enjoy.
In order to have a successful career in the this business…whether you’re writing, acting, directing, or producing, or whatever the case may be…
There are components that are necessary for that to come about. One is talent. You really do [need it]. You have to work hard and get educated and learn your craft and learn your business. Aside from that is personal development, patience, and perseverance, but there’s also a component that is necessary that’s the wild card…And that’s luck.
You have to have a healthy dose of luck to become successful. That’s just the way it is. You can’t prepare for it, but you can be ready for it if does come to you.
Speaking of luck, Breaking Bad was one of the greatest beneficiaries of said luck. The show had a cult following through four seasons, teetered on the brink of cancellation, yet was a masterpiece before it got barrels of attention. Here’s how Breaking Bad got lucky:
Between Seasons 4 and Season 5 it went on Netflix at the beginning of the Binge Watching Boom. This show was hyper-serialized to begin with so it leant itself to the Binge. This allowed the show to simmer and then instantly boil.
The writers delivered on what was one of the most satisfying final seasons in the history of television, this in an era that puts far too much weight and pressure on finales. RIP Lost.
In any case, my point comes down to luck. Vince Gilligan, the executive producer and creator of Breaking Bad, never could have predicted this BWB. He and his team did great work and then luck ushered them into notoriety.
All of this also means that talented people can toil in obscurity forever because they never had Luck hold their hand.
Ultimately what Cranston gets at is this: Do good work and let that be its own reward.