No Longer Hiding Behind A Mask

Jim Carrey has become a famous household name! Most of us know the actor/comedian Jim Carrey as playing outrageously quirky and funny character on our screens. Carrey gained huge success in the entertainment industry, but it hasn’t always been that way for him. Born as James Eugene Carrey, January 17, 1962 in Toronto suburb of Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.  Carrey has always been the loud expressionist kid doing voices and pulling faces. And at the age of just ten he wrote a letter to Carol Burnett of the Carol Burnett Show highlighting that he was already a master of impressions and should be considered for a role on the show. He didn’t get the part but did receive a form rejection letter that did not deter him from continuing to follow his dream.

Although Carrey continued to work on his acts, the family struggled with financial setbacks during his teenage years. When he was fourteen, his father Percy lost his job resulting in the family becoming homeless and living in a van for a period of time. Carrey says this really broke his father, losing his job at the age of fifty one. While Carrey was struggling to find work and make a name for himself at comedy club gigs, unfortunately his impersonations bombed and this gave him doubts about his capabilities as a professional entertainer. Carrey, his father and two siblings would make ends meet by doing janitorial work. 

Eventually, the family’s financial problems were resolved and they moved into a new home. With more domestic stability, Carrey returned to the stage with a more polished act. Carrey’s father was very supportive of his career, driving him around to comedy club gigs as he attempted to make a name for himself. With his strong determination Carrey went from open-mic nights to regular paid shows in a short period of time. He was starting to build a reputation and name for himself.  Toronto Star raved that Carrey was “a genuine star coming to life” and was soon noticed by comedian Rodney Dangerfield, who signed the young comic to open his tour performances. Carrey decided to move to Hollywood, and the rest is history.

Anyone who’s seen Jim Carrey’s movies knows he’s hilarious and anyone who’s seen his interviews knows he isn’t always laughing. Carrey has been open over the years about his struggles with depression. He has spoken out about how his depression is linked with a huge struggle with identity. In 2004, Carrey told CBS News that “it feels like a low level of despair you live in”, but he says it’s now subsided and that he’s “sometimes happy.” During the filming of ‘Man on the Moon’ in 1999, Carrey threw himself into the lead role using method acting adopting the persona of idiosyncratic comedian Andy Kaufman. There was even documentary was made called ‘The Great Beyond – Jim and Andy’ which explored the severity of Carrey’s characterisation and the devastating effects it had on his struggles with depression. Carrey says ‘when the movie was over he couldn’t remember who I was anymore’. 

Since Carrey has gone public revealing his struggles with depression he has continued forward with a spiritual lifestyle using meditation and self reflection. His demeanour has now changed although been seen to have so called strange behaviour during interviews but accredits this to the spiritual change and no longer cares about playing the person everyone wants to see and is happier in his own skin.  Carrey says during an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2003, ‘Jim Carrey was a great character and I was lucky to get the part, but I don’t think of that as me anymore’. He is still the person that wants to make everyone laugh but he has discovered the person he truly wants to be.

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