The first time Lou met Eugenia, she performed a funky one-woman show on open mike night at Venice’s Cow’s End. People politely applauded. Following her, an Andrew Dice Clay-would-be cut her up for being unfunny, unattractive and — um — unskinny.
Lou felt so bad for Eugenia that he approached her over coffee. “Hey, everybody has a bad night,” he said. But after being publicly humiliated, Eugenia wasn’t crying. “I’m doing this for me,” she responded.
From then on, Lou would wave at Eugenia, whenever he bumped into her around L.A. Then she performed her act at a major theater. Impressive, but Lou didn’t think much would come of it. After all, Eugenia and her husband had financed the whole thing.
But something did come of it. By chance, Rita Wilson, Tom Hank’s wife, came to the theater one night. She liked it so much she decided to back a movie. It became the sleeper hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding, one of highest-grossing independently produced films ever. Eugenia stage-named Nia Vardalous.
That night when Eugenia bombed at the Cow’s End, Lou remembers predicting success for another stand-up comedian, a cute redhead who brought the house down. The redhead was never seen again.
Never underestimate the power of persistently pursuing your dream. Believe in your dream; believe in God. Ignore the Andrew Dice Clay detractors around you.