Burt Lancaster played a trapeze artist in the film Trapeze in 1956. Most of the stunts, he performed himself.
Burt, had trained as an acrobat since the age of 9. Burt and his friend Nicholas Cuccia formed an acrobatic duo and went on to join Kay’s Circus in the 30’s.
When Burt auditioned for this particular job in the circus, he had to prove his worth, not relying on being only an acrobat, but by becoming part of the team who performed each night in the show.
The boss of the Circus asked a young Burt, to try out the parallel bars, and on his first attempt, Burt enthusiastically jumped up and fell flat on his face.
Embarrassed he picked himself up and again jumped on to the bars, spun, flipped and fell off again.
After his third attempt, Burt was bleeding and bruised, clothes torn, and just about to try again, when the Circus boss called on Burt to stop. Instead of dismissing Burt from the audition, the Circus boss shook Burt’s hand and offered him the job right there and then!
Not for all the times that Burt fell flat on his face, but for the sheer tenacity and willingness to pick himself up and keep trying.
This was a young man who didn’t know the word defeat, and after serving his country, the USA, in World War 2, Burt Lancaster appeared in over 80 movies, over a career lasting 56 years.
Impressive reading and a legend in the movie industry.