When I stop talking, you’ll know I’m dead — Jerry Weintraub

Ci-dessous, retrouvez les citations et passages (en Anglais) que j’ai trouvé le plus intéressant de l’autobiographie du célèbre agent d’artiste et producteur Américain Jerry Weintraub.

Cette autobiographie est vraiment l’une de mes préférés. Connu pour sa grande force de persuasion, Jerry Weintraub s’est construit un empire en partant de presque rien. Millionaire à 26 ans, il fut l’agent d’Elvis Presley, John Denver, Frank Sinatra ou encore Bob Dylan. Il fut également le producteurs de films tels que Nashville, The Karate Kid, Ocean Eleven, Twelve et Thirtheen. Ami des stars et des politiciens, pour chaque histoire et passage de sa vie il y tire des leçons et des principes vraiment incroyables et inspirants !

Bonne lecture !

  • Every minute doing one thing is a minute not doing something else, every choice is another choice not made, another path grown over and lost.
  • Relationships are the only thing that really matters, in business and in life. That’s what I learned.
  • Over time, the neighborhood took on a different aspect for me. I saw it with new eyes. It was no longer just streets and stores: It was needs and opportunities, money to be made. Once you see the world this way, things are never the same.
  • People will pay you to make their lives easier; always take the time to make the pitch; personal service is the name o the game; never get paid once for doing something twice. 
  • I had a good old boy, son of bitch sergeant named Harley. He used to mangle my name at mail call, really Jew it up: WHINE-traub! WHINE-traub! WHINE-traub! I got lots of letters from my highschool sweetheart—she became my first wife. She used to send cookies and candy. Harley would rip onper the packages and throw the cookies all over the floor, yelling, WHINE-traub! WHINE-traub! So one day, we’re in chow line, just him and me, and I go up and whisper, so he has to lean close to hear me, “I am going to kill you.” 

He shouts, “What did you say?” 

I speak ever softer the second time: “You heard me, Harley. One day, I am going to find you in town, when you’re alone, and I am going to kill you.” 

He goes nuts. “Who the hell do you think you are, Jew boy? You can’t talk to me like that.” He hits me across the mouth. I wipe away the blood and look up smiling. “Now I’ve got you you son of a bitch. You’re screwed.” I went to the colonel and files a complaint. Harley was gone. There are all kinds of ways to deal with an adversary: fists, words, taunts, compromise, submission, complaint, and courts-martial.

  • As soon as you feel comfortable, that’s when it’s time to start over.
  • Do not get attached to the world as it is, because the world is changing, something new is coming, every ten years a big hand comes down and sweeps the dishes off the table.
  • An idea is only crazy, after all, until someone pulls it off.
  • I learned a lot on this trip: about context, home field advantage, the cost of letting the other side establish its authority. I learned something else, too—about obsession, control.
  • The man (Walt Disney) was intense, but in an admirable way. He believed he had to control his product, utterly, as the product was really just him in another way.
  • I’m describing how I built my network, which is a key to my success. A lot depends on who you know, who you can get to. If you have people who will open the door for you, literally and figuratively, you can make a pitch.
  • Nothing is more important than a relationship. It trumps politics, party, club. People are what matter.
  • Persist, push, hang on, keep going, never give up. When the man says no, pretend you can’t hear him. Look confused, stammer, say, “Huh?” Persistence—it’s a cliché, but it happens to work. The person who makes it is the person who keeps on going after everyone else has quit. Be dogged! Keep hitting that door until you bust it down! I have accomplished almost nothing on the first or second or even the third try—the breakthrough usually comes late, when everyone else has left the field.
  • Let the other guy save face with his people, but keep score.
  • We were not interested in niche marketing, or in targeting a selected demographic: We wanted them all.
  • “I did that for a reason. I wanted to show you something. You’re going to make a lot of money. Do it yourself. Don’t ever go public. Be in charge of your own destiny.” Arthur Wirtz
  • “Well I think I’m behind about a million and a half dollars.”

“Hold on, not bad. You’re only off a little. I actually owe you two million.”

“Don’t get hot. I have every penny of it for you right here. You would have had it months ago if you had not been such a bastard and come here and been with me and talked to me and done business with me. You should have been there taking care of your business. You weren’t taking care of your business. This is a good lesson for you.”  Arthur Wirtz

  • If you want to learn, find a person who knows and study him or her.
  • Being looked at like you’re crazy by a crazy man is a singular experience.
  • Robert Altman  asked if I had ever produced films. I told him I had not. “Well you should consider hit,” he said. “You would make a great producer. You have just the right personality.” 

“What kind of personality does it take?”

I was trying to figure out if I was being complimented or put down.

“It’s temperament, smarts and all that, but also the ability to sell an idea, attract talent to that idea, bring out the best in players, while, at the same time keeping everything in line. If you can talk to people, get them to do things because they think it’s their own idea, you will be a great producer.”

  • Know what you’re buying. Was I buying Nashville? No, I was buying Robert Altman. I did not understand the script, but Altman did, and it was Altam who was going to make the movie. This is the dynamic you see when you read in the newspaper that a corporation has overpaid for a tiny upstart. You scratch your head and wonder: why? Well, maybe it’s not the company that they are buying but an executive who works at the company, or a patent, or an idea still in the pipeline. I did not understand the script, but I was totally sold on the director.
  • I’ll tell you my biggest talent. When I believe in something, it’s going to get done. When people say, “No,” I don’t hear it. When people say, “That’s a bad idea,” I don’t believe them. When people say, “It won’t happen,” I pretend they’re joking.
  • Work with the best people. If you have the best writers, the best actors, and the best director and fail, okay, fine, there is even something noble in it; but if you fail with garbage, then you are left with nothing to hang your spirits on.
  • If something is fun, if you like it, well, you would like it again and again.
  • That you know a person doesn’t mean you know a person.
  • You have to be willing to walk away from the most comfortable perch, precisely because it is the most comfortable.
  • Every small man wants to be a big man, every big man wants to be a king.
  • As I hired staff and began planning projects, I realized he had given me the title but not the job. A title without the job is the worst of all worlds: it means taking all the blame while getting none of the credit and having none of the fun. I began to plan my exit soon after I arrived.
  • You need to spend money to make money.
  • There was art on the walls, shag on the doors, Perrier in the refrigerators, no expense spared. People judge on first sight, so make those surfaces shine. If you want to be seen as a major, look like a major. As a great man said, perception is reality. As another great man said, You grow into the suit. As a philosophy this means operating on confidence, in the belief that something will happen, that the trick will work, that the backup will arrive with the heavy guns.
  • Success had caused me to cease doing what made me successful. More important, it had caused me to stop doing what I loved. I recall this period reluctantly. people say you learn more from failure than success; it’s true. From this period, which runs like a ridgeline between my middle years and my true adulthood, I learned the great lesson of business: if you find something you love, keep doing it.
  • I especially remember a conversation I had with Steve Ross, who was the CEO of Warner Communications. “What are you worrying about? he said. “You are a talented guy. That talent did not go away. The company went away? So what! Companies always go away. They’re a dime a dozen. It’s talent that counts!”
  • Life is strange. I used to be a kid, sitting at the feet of giants, hanging out with the last of the old-times. Now, all of a sudden, I am the old-times, the alter cocker who’s been around forever, I see key moments. Because I did not want to go into the jewelry business. Because I would not wear tights. Because I did not want to return the messages on the call sheet. I see patterns, too. Whenever I felt the urge to obfuscate, as when lew Wasserman asked, “Were you on the WATS line last night?” I told the truth instead. I asked if I did not know. I listened when someone else was talking. I sold with joy, so my products were fun to buy. most important, I was never afraid to fail, which meant I was never threatened by a new idea. I see the road ahead, too, a stretch that bends into the underground. I do not know what will happen there, but i do know, whatever it is, I will rush to meet it with joy. This is after all, a Jerry Weintraub Production.

Si vous souhaitez l’acheter pour le lire en entier, cliquez sur le lien ci-dessous (il vous redirigera vers Amazon et me permettra de gagner un pourcentage de votre achat si vous passez par mon lien) : When I stop talking, you’ll know I’m dead — Jerry Weintraub

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