Her story brings to mind a question for you:
How much risk are you willing to take to achieve your dreams?
What went down:
As a young girl, it was apparent that Gertrude Lawrence was naturally talented, so she was awarded a scholarship to study with Italia Conti. Noel Coward was also a student.
Gertrude's mother, however, was vehemently against the idea of her becoming a full-time performer. It was no surprise that eventually, after Gertrude's persistent passion, her mother revealed that Gertrude's estranged father was a performer who just happened to have a show in town. Gertrude saw her chance. She only had minimal experience in the theater except for training and a few local plays. But at thirteen-years-old she knew what her dream was: to be an actress.
So, Getrude packed her few belongings, placed her mother and stepfather a farewell note on the kitchen table, grabbed her newly printed cards -- "Little Gertie Lawrence: Child Actress and Danseuse" -- and marched over to the theater that housed her father's show. She told the stage doorman to relay the message that Gertie was there to see Mr. Lawrence. Her father had never met her and was confused by who she was. She simply handed him the card, and told him she was there to stay.
And it worked! He decided on the spot to take her touring with him. This began her theatrical career that spanned decades and included award-winning performances. No surprise that her pluck continued to serve her throughout and became one of her most profitable assets.
Passionate Class Lesson #12:
Big risks lead to big rewards.
Gertrude could have written her father a letter, asked her mother for permission -- she could have done many things that would have encompassed less risk. However, Gertrude took quick, effective action. She knew who the ultimate decision maker was (her father) and what she wanted (to go on tour). By directly going to that level and making it plain what she was after she was rewarded. She saw the most direct way to force decision: showing up in person ready to leave.
How about you?
Have you ever stuck your neck out for your dreams? If so, what were you results?