Who Is the Character You Are Portraying in Your Life? 3 Lessons Learned from Actor Jim Carrey


We all try to portray our own character online through the videos we publish for our audience to see. Even if you aren’t an Actor or TV Host, having your own social media profile gives you the ability to portray your own character that you want others to see.

During different phases in our lives, our character may change, and the Act we put on for others may change. Maybe we pursue new endeavors that lead us down a different path in our life, we may take a new job that leads us to create a new character for ourselves, or we do something out of the ordinary like selling everything we own and travel the country searching for a bigger purpose in life.

In Carrey’s new book “Memoirs and Misinformation” that he wrote with Dana Vachon, he relives characters he has played in his life and characters that we have yet to see in the movies. It’s almost as if the book is him creating his own film or films I should say, that have yet to be on the big screen. It almost feels as if during his journey in this book, he is back in “The Truman Show”, and he sometimes isn’t sure if he is in the show or in real life.

This book was so well written, it almost seems like we are the people watching The Truman Show, but this time the show is twisted with experiences that you may say to yourself time to time “Did he just say that?” Or “What’s Happening?”.  As I listened to this book on Audible, I grew to love his perspective that comes from a combination of reality and storytelling that was created in his own mind, whether that was a dream or his own script he has rehearsed in his head over the years, but it has yet to be seen in a movie.

Everyone will have their own takeaways after reading this book, but I wanted to share mine because I feel that they can help you better form your own character in life.

3 Lessons Learned from Jim Carrey

1.) Be the Character You want to be. 

In Carrey’s book, he shares a story of a film he wanted to feature in, which gives his audience a sour taste in their mouth about his character. His agents tell him over a phone call that in order to get rid of the fans’ negative views on him, he needs to star in a movie with animals. If he doesn’t, they say he will put himself at risk of being a forgotten actor that will have to spend the rest of his life doing shows in Vegas, which Carrey hated the thought of. His agents said by doing this new film with animals involved, the fans will feel better about him and have a warm feeling of his brand, because everyone loves animals.

Carrey argued with his agents, saying he didn’t want to do another film like “Ace Ventura” because he had already done that before.

His agents kept saying to him “The Star feeds the System, the System feeds the Star”, referring that Carrey must do what the system expects of him if he wants to keep making it as a star actor.

In life, we all come across situations where we may be persuaded or forced by others to feed the system we live in, in order to get the system to feed us. Examples could be us taking on jobs we don’t like just for the money or becoming the person others want us to be, just so we can fit in with what “society” thinks is acceptable, or maybe our family or friends feel is the best for us.

Carrey reaffirmed to me that we must be who we want to be, not what others want us to be.  We must live the character that we want to live, not what society wants us to live.

2.) We are Living our Own Movie in Real-Time.

For most of Carrey’s life, he had been starring in many different movies which all have their own script and storyline that plays out with different endings. Each Character he plays, it gives him a new perspective on life and who he is as a person.

Based on my view of his book, it seems that Carrey is always living his own character every single day, whether that is in a movie or in everyday life. His perception seems to be that we all are living in our own movie every single day, and the ending is determined by the decisions we make in our own life.

We are all living in a Long Movie that has its ups and downs. It’s never-ending until the day we die. We determine the scenes and adventures it will have along the way. We are the ones writing the script, doing the casting, and shooting the film. We choose what happens, who it happens with, and how others are going to interpret it.

Carrey chooses his own characters in the adventures he takes in his book. One Adventure consists of him, Sean Penn, and Nicholas Cage fighting off aliens with weapons called “Plasma Blasters”. Each individual played their own part and had their own heroic persona, as they fought off the aliens. In the end, even Nicholas Cage is killed by “Raspberry Death Ray’s”, which is fired from the aliens. This story that Carrey tells shows you who he would have with him in his battle to the death, for at least this scenario.

Who would you choose to be with you in your battle to the death?

In real-life terms, who do you choose to spend your time with? Who are the characters you choose to work with? Who are the people that you want to be with on this journey?

The answers to these questions will determine how your movie will play out, whether that is a good or bad ending.

Live the Movie You want to Live, not the Movie others want to Cast you For. Be the person casting for your own Movie! 

3.) Creating a Legacy for Yourself 

What will your Legacy be?

How will you be remembered?

Throughout Carrey’s book, I get the sense that during his journey he kept asking himself “Will I Be Remembered?”. I think all actors have the nightmare thought in the back of their mind of being a one-hit-wonder or eventually being the once known actor that everyone forgets about.

I’ve found over the years that ambitious people strive to achieve accomplishments that they can be recognized for, which ultimately lead to them chasing after their next accomplishment to be remembered by. For some, it’s a never-ending cycle. For Actors, it could be jumping to the next Movie you star in with hopes to make it a box office success or Golden Globe Winner.

But once you win one Golden Globe, does the second one have a bigger impact? Will it just lead you to dream about your third Golden Globe?

This is the question Carrey asks himself in his speech at the 2016 Golden Globe Awards.

In the end, do these accolades or trophies really matter when it comes to our Legacy? Will they even be remembered after we are dead and gone?

I think it’s important for us all to ask ourselves what really matters to us and if the thing we are chasing after is going to be the thing that ultimately fulfills our life. 

Carrey’s book has challenged me to think once again “What do I want my Legacy to be?”.

My question for you is “Are you currently living up to your own Legacy?”.

If you were to die today, would you be happy with how the movie of your life played out? If not, I suggest you rethink the character you have become.

It’s funny how the thought of the End gives us a unique perspective or motivation that changes how we look at life and how we go about it. 

The cover of “Memoirs and Misinformation” was actually a screenshot of Jim Carrey accidentally taken from his assistant on a phone call with Jim where she said, “The Missiles are Coming”.

Book Cover for “Memoirs and Misinformation” by Jim Carrey and Dana Vachon.

So the cover of Jim’s book is his actual face after being told he had 10 minutes to live.

While in Maui in 2018, there was an early morning emergency alarm by mistake that sounded off and had others thinking they were about to get killed by missiles. This short moment of thinking the end was near, gave Carrey clarity about who he was as a person and what he was grateful for.

After reading Carrey’s book I took away many lessons but it also pushed me to look at what I was grateful for in my life and what Character I want others to view me as moving forward.

You can get more inspiration and motivational content from Jim Carrey by following him on Instagram.

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