I needed this movie. For many, the movie was funny, and it was to me too, but the more I watched, I could see it goes deeper than that. I literally cried watching it. I know you’re probably thinking, Cried, how could this movie make you cry? But check this out. At this point in my life I’m in transition. I’m in a place where doubt is setting in and I’m scrambling between pushing forward and giving up. I have this gift, these talents, but I feel staggered. But God, this movie! Even though my faith is wavering and low, God always knows how to show up and speak to me.
As I tuned it, the lesson in the movie became more obvious. Watching door after door close in Rudy’s face is a lot like what life does to you—what life has been doing to me. It tests you, pushes you, dares you to go harder, become fiercer and more passionate, more purposeful about your dreams. Doors closing in your face are simply obstacles that shape you, mold you into the person you need to become in order to walk through those doors you are meant to walk through.
With each new level, each new dream, having door after door slammed in his face seems like a common thing when you are chasing your dreams. Though what hit me was that he didn’t stop. He was a little shaken, but he didn’t stop. He saw every door closing as an opportunity to become more creative, more innovative in his thinking. He made his own way when doors were not automatically opened for him. He took those no’s in stride and pushed past them.
When he wanted to pursue singing, that door was closed. He wanted to pursue stand-up, he was told he wasn’t funny. So he decided to put his comedy on an album. He found a way to reinvent himself. When the record companies told him he couldn’t put his comedy on air—he decided to sell them out of his car and in the store he worked in. Then after he put in the hard work, a company decided to pick him up (divine steps) and put him on tour.
Once he’d hit that level, he had another dream placed in his path... to be in a movie. So he shopped around and tried to get auditions to be in a movie. After being rejected, he decided to make his own movie. Of course with this endeavor, adversity after adversity started to rear its ugly head. Needing money for movie production, actors, actresses wasn’t cheap, but the dream had been revealed to him and he was determined to make it happen. Like every time before, he didn’t let obstacles cripple him.
With doubt staring him in the face, Rudy pulled off the impossible with passion, will, and the help and support from the people around him. And then it happens again, another door slammed in his face. Money for the movie ran out and he had to put it all on the line. His album rights, his royalties and even had to give up where he lived because he believed in this movie. He believed in his dream.
Once he accomplished this dream and after trying to shop his movie to production companies, Rudy was rejected yet again. This time it hit him. Doubt, disappointment and the rejection had sunk a little further into his core. A lot like it does to many of us when chasing our dreams. His faith and belief in himself was shaken. He’d given up on himself a little bit (like we all do sometimes) and lost some of his fight. So he returned back to what he knew, hoping to salvage something and make good on the promise he made to the people who loaned him money.
His dream was not deferred, just delayed. There was a line in the movie when his friend said, “I don’t know why you have an attitude, you have never accepted no. You’re the comeback king.”
Like many of us, Rudy needed to hear this. He needed the encouragement from his friends. For most of the movie, Rudy has been the light, the motivation for the people around him, but this time he was in need of it. And for a lot of us, there’s always someone that comes into our lives at the right time to speak life into us when we need it the most.
Though Rudy wasn’t extremely receptive, he kept pushing. While back on tour in another city promoting his albums, he finds himself doing a radio interview (divine steps). As the DJ is asking him questions about his movie, Rudy is somewhat dismissive and hesitant to talk about the movie. So the DJ takes a break and lays into him. This part showed me how there are many ways God speaks life into you. Sometimes it’s soft and gentle and other times it’s hard, tough and straight to the point.
Trying to understand why he was dismissive, Rudy explained to him why he was feeling how he was feeling. After listening to his explanation, the DJ gave him a name and number to call to help him along the way.
Remember when I said a dream deferred not delayed? But God!
It wasn’t meant for him to get that deal right away. That wasn’t the order in which his dreams were meant to manifest in. It wasn’t the time for them to be manifested. A lot of times we want what we want, when we want it and that’s not how we are intended to get there. Rudy meeting this man at this time, in this place was how he was supposed to share his dream, his hard work with the world.
There are people who God has already decided are going to help us along the way. There are people he has already positioned in our lives to help us get to that next level. Rudy debuting his film in this man’s theater not only help him but it helped the man. Sometimes our dreams are connected to other people’s dreams. Our rise to the top is a way for someone else to be placed on a platform. Debuting his movie in that theater not only shined a lot on him, but it placed money into the pockets of another entrepreneur.
Rudy taking this path also allowed him time to create buzz. It allowed him time for his name, his movie to be whispered from the right mouths, be seen by the people who needed to see it, placed in front of the right people. And that’s exactly what happened. After selling out shows on his own, his movie sales were placed in the paper at the right time in front of the very people who had already rejected him.
His rejection became his reward. It allowed him time to prepare for the very meeting he sought after. His rejection allowed time to work out the kinks so that when he took that meeting, he could walk into it setting his own terms. It set him up to be able to surpass even his own expectations. Rudy went from being told he wasn’t funny to having a motion picture movie.
Oh but wait, another door was almost seemingly slammed in his face again. Just when he was on an incline to success, doubt showed up again. It came in the form of naysayers, reviews and other people’s options. As he was on his way to his premiere, Rudy was blindsided by some bad reviews.
But this was my favorite part!
He listened to all the reviews and just when everyone’s faith and started to dwindled—Rudy’s showed up! He listened and then he made the decision that despite what happened and who showed up, he was going to celebrate this moment because to him it was a win. He’d set out to accomplish a dream and with every door closed in his face, he opened it and walked through it.
For me, there were so many hidden jewels in this movie. There was testament of faith, belief in oneself, ambition, and determination. Yes, Rudy had a moment that his faith was shaken. Yes, Rudy has been told no a million times, but he didn’t let that stop him. He took every no in stride and found a way to turn it into a yes.
I don’t know who needs this (because I know I did), but take those no’s in stride. They are simply tests to see how bad you truly want what you’ve asked for. The universe will only will you what you’re willing to work hard for. Nothing comes easy in life. For every accomplishment, there are ten fails.
Keep pushing. Keep believing in yourself. Your steps are already ordered. The people who are meant to help you get to where you need to go are waiting on you. Take every lesson with ease. Appreciate every level you reach. Learn from your mistakes. Smack doubt with an open palm and go after what you want.... your dreams are waiting on you!