Tish and Snooky are the Bronx-bred sisters who have been making the world more colorful with Manic Panic cosmetics for nearly twenty-five years. Although they started out with just a few hundred dollars and a single shop in New York City, today the sisters are at the helm of a thriving worldwide wholesale business.
Tish and Snooky are the Bronx-bred sisters who have been making the world more colorful with Manic Panic cosmetics for nearly twenty-five years. Although they started out with just a few hundred dollars and a single shop in New York City, today the sisters are at the helm of a thriving worldwide wholesale business. While they can be hailed as shining examples of female entrepreneurs, Tish and Snooky are hardly stuffy businesswomen. They have performed with bands like Blondie and Sic F*cks, appeared in movies, and still wear what they sell. In other words, they embody the independent spirit of Manic Panic.
Charlotte Robinson: How did Manic Panic get its start?
Tish: We started Manic Panic in 1977. We were the first punk boutique in the United States. We hardly had anything in the store. It was pretty empty in the beginning, but we got lots of publicity because we were the first. We sold T-shirts, accessories, stuff out of our closets, vintage stuff we had dug up out of thrift shops. We brought the hair dye in from England at the time. In the beginning, there wasn't very much in our shop. I was making leather pants, Son of Sam T-shirts, the same shirts I used to make for the Dead Boys and different bands. Our mother thought of the name, because she was in the mental health field. She was one of the first art therapists in the United States and she thought of the name "Manic Panic."
The reason we opened was because everybody used to copy the way we looked. Right before we opened, we were in Blondie. We were their backup singers before they got signed and we were in other bands and stuff. People used to look at us and see what we were wearing, and then start wearing it themselves, so we decided we would capitalize on it a bit, just open this little shop. We did it with our friend Gina, who left and opened her own shop because Snooky and I are sisters and we'd always agree on everything so we'd always kind of outvote her. She's still a friend of ours and we see her once in awhile, at trade shows and stuff.
The same reason we got into cosmetics is the same reason we got into a boutique and clothes, because we had a certain look with our cosmetics, too, that people would copy, especially when we were in the Sic F*cks, which was our punk band. We had very extreme make-up, and people would always copy it. It was very hard to find the stuff that we liked. A lot of it was theatrical make-up, very extreme stuff.
Before my mother was an art therapist, she was a greeting card and book illustrator. When were kids, we would play with the glitter that she would bring back to test out on greeting cards. We were always full of glitter and we would use it as make-up. So that was part of it, too. We started getting into all sorts of extreme cosmetics. We started selling them because there was a need for it. There was nobody in the East Village and the entire downtown area that sold an extensive line of theatrical and weird cosmetics. The hair dye was the same. No one had it except for us.
CR: Did you or your friends try any weird concoctions to get interesting colors before you sold the dyes?
Tish: People did try other concoctions, such as Debbie Harry. She was telling us that when she was in high school or something, she used to put food dye in her hair. That was a trend when she was in high school. They would do these pastel colors in the front of their hair when they did these big bouffants or French twists. I remember dipping my hair in ink to see what it would do.
Snooky: This friend of ours, Cherry Vanilla, used to do her hair this great pink color, but I don't know what she used. It was probably some kind of semi-permanent. Now she buys her hair dye from us. I think she was the first one. When we'd go to Max's, we'd see Todd Rundgren with green hair. I think maybe he used food coloring, but I'm not sure.
CR: Did you develop the products yourselves?
Tish: Most of the stuff was already in existence. Glitter is glitter as long as you're using something that is safe glitter, because glitter can be made out of glass. A lot of people aren't aware of that. You do have to get cosmetic-quality glitter, but it's existed for quite a long time. You just have to know where you're going with that. Basic gel bases are pretty easy to come across.
In any field, you have to have an interest and then you research it and find out what you're doing and if it's right, which we've done. Our whole business has been trial and error. We never had any kind of training in business or anything related to business. When we opened our shop in 1977, I was going to fashion design school and Snooky was going to NYU and we had different backgrounds completely. She was studying language; I was studying fashion design and art. That has not much to do with business or chemistry, but I've always been interested in chemistry. I cook, I bake � that's chemistry. I've always mixed things up and I love that stuff! I don't really know enough about it. I'd like to know more � and I will eventually � but I have a feeling for it, and I understand it a bit.
As far as cosmetics go, I don't think you need to go to school for cosmetology or anything like that if you're an artist, because you already know it. If you have knowledge in art, if you're a good artist, you can be a good make-up artist because you understand light and dark and all those things. There are just a few little things you might need to learn about photography, so that you would understand what happens with black and white photography. I understand that, too, so I do have a feeling for cosmetics and how they'll look if they're being filmed or shot.
It wasn't something I had to learn. Even when I went to art school, I'd hardly show up because I basically knew it all naturally. I'm not trying to be pompous, but I was just bored. [laughs] Most cosmetic companies hire people to do the colors, the styling of containers, all that stuff. They hire someone to do that because it doesn't come natural to them. They know business and they do that a lot better than I do, but as far as natural skill for the products and color and all that � that's the way we've succeeded, because we have a handle on that. The other people know the business end; we know the basic feeling for what's going on. We've always been in music. We've always been out there. We've always had friends who are way out there [laughs] and so we know what our customer would like.
CR: How did you become involved in the NYC punk scene?
Snooky: We were singers and we were going to Max's and CBGB. We were in this show across from CBGB on the Bowery. It was like this wacky kind of vaudeville show, all different acts. It was called "Pomp Casino Revue." We were doing little bits in that and that's when Debbie Harry saw us and asked us to join Blondie. We were just on the scene. We were just around and about all the time. All our friends were musicians, so we got into Blondie and we were in a bunch of other bands.
CR: You grew up in New York?
Tish: Yeah. We lived in the Bronx and we'd take the subway into Manhattan. We'd practically get dressed on the train, put on all our make-up, because it took us about an hour to get in. We had these flat shoes we'd wear to the subway, and when we got a few blocks away from Max's or CBGB, we'd hide our shoes in the bushes and walk in in our spike heels or platforms or whatever.
We were in the glam scene before the punk scene. We just loved all of that. I still love all of that � the hippie look, any look that was the extreme look of its day. I love the '50s poodle skirts and wacky hairdos, the beatnik look, the hippie look, the glam look, the punk look � all of it. Whatever look that is the most extreme is the look I like best.
CR: When did you develop your personal style?
Snooky: I think it really started to develop when we were in high school and we went to thrift shops. We'd buy all these great old vintage dresses from the '20s and '30s and '40s. Because we were poor, we could never get new clothes, so we started thrift shopping and we had original stuff that nobody else had. We grew up in this kind of rich neighborhood even though we were poor, and all the rich kids were like, "Where'd you get that?" and just loved our clothes.
Tish would make her own clothes. She was good at sewing, and she would paint on clothes. I didn't do any of that stuff. I just bought vintage stuff.
Tish: I would have to take hand-me-down clothes, cut them up, and make them current. I used to chop things up and sew them back together and make them into whatever was in style.
CR: You closed the shop around 1989 to do wholesaling?
Tish: Well, we closed the shop because we were forced to close. Our rent got quadrupled because there's no rent protection for commercial businesses in New York. Some places have it, but New York doesn't, so they can raise your rent from $2,000 to $10,000 and there's nothing you can do about it. Once your lease is up, they can do whatever they want. We were basically forced out of the East Village, an area we had made popular. When we moved in, in '77, it was a ghost town. It was absolutely dead. We made it into this wonderful shopping area and we were forced out. We were devastated, but it was probably the best thing that ever happened because then we concentrated on the wholesale. We were doing both � the retail and the wholesale � but we started concentrating exclusively on the wholesale, and that started to boom.
CR: Do you ever miss the one-on-one contact with customers the shop provided? How do you stay in touch with customer needs?
Snooky: We still talk to them on the phone. They e-mail us. We e-mail them. Also at trade shows we meet them. They have these big beauty shows in the Javits Center. They have one day called Student Day when all the hairdressing students come.
I don't really miss the one-on-one because I did it for so long, and it was enough. [laughs] It wasn't always fun. We were always getting ripped off. We had a reputation for being the easiest store to rip off, because what could we do? We're two women. We'd chase people down the street and try to get our stuff back, but it was hard. So we were known for being the place to go to steal stuff. [laughs] We're thinking of someday maybe having a flagship Manic Panic store again, but I don't want to work in it!
Tish: Not that we don't get bounced checks all the time and people going bankrupt on us, but you run into different problems with wholesale. I do miss designing the clothing, and that's something we'll probably get back into again.
CR: Did you stop selling clothing altogether once you went to a wholesale business?
Tish: Yeah, we did. We're not business people so it's very hard for us to focus on everything at the same time because the business part doesn't come natural to us. Now we've hired some people who hopefully will get us on our feet. They're helping us to do the business end so we can do the creative end. If we can do the creative end, we can do a line of clothing and some other things we've wanted to do for years. One of the reasons we opened the shop is that I was designing clothes. I still love it and I still do it for myself, but I don't do it for our line yet.
CR: Where is Manic Panic headed in the next century?
Tish: We're headed in lots of new directions. We want to get into fashion more. We have lots of products that we're developing, but we can't really mention them until they're out. Even once we get them out, they get knocked off so fast, it's terrible! I could tell you horror stories about the beauty business, and it's not very beautiful. The corporate cosmetics companies should definitely be paying us for the inspiration and direction we give them because they follow us so closely. Even in their copy, it's so obvious that they've read ours. We had something like, "Manic Panic declares war on corporate cosmetics" and a little bit later so-and-so is officially declaring a "red alert" for Holiday 2000. It's just so obvious most of the time that these people are watching us so carefully, including some of the big guys who did our exact packaging and all sorts of stuff. It's so cutthroat. We can never mention what we are about to do, because then it'll be done!
Snooky: We've got lots of new products coming out. Our company has been growing more than we ever imagined. It grew so fast � considering where we came from, it's incredible. We started out with $250 each and now we have this incredible business. It's going to keep growing and we have so many big ideas, half of them we'll probably never get around to executing. There's only so many hours in the day. We've got lot of new products, big doings, big stuff for the new millennium.
CR: Do you find the mainstream more accepting of the punk look now?
Snooky: Definitely. It's just amazing how it's all over the place. You never woulda thunk it. [laughs]
Tish: Oh, yeah. It's unbelievable. When we started back in '77, we were looked upon as the freaks of the world, the scum of the earth, sometimes. People didn't understand. They would look at us and think we were hookers. They really didn't understand the look at all. Now, people go to school or work with a more extreme look and it's more accepted. I know people who are a lot older who have their hair dyed very strange colors. It's definitely more accepted. People used to scream when they'd see us. I actually had an experience where I was punched in the face. It was the opening party for the Mudd Club and some punk bashers came along and started a fight with us. One of them tapped me on the shoulder and when I turned around, he sucker punched me in the face. I was knocked out cold for about five minutes, had to go to the hospital. It was not an accepted look back then.
CR: Has your customer base has changed?
Tish: Yeah, it definitely has. It's gone into so many different categories. We've got older people who love using our hair color, and we've got club people, not necessarily punks. We still have our punk and Goth crowd, but we also have techno people wearing our hair dye because a lot of the colors glow under blacklight, so at that type of club you're glowing. We have such a variety of customers, it's amazing.
Snooky: It went from just a small group of hardcore punk rockers to kids all over America and all over the world. Kids out in the middle of nowhere wear our stuff, and it's great.
CR: Who are some of your most famous customers?
Snooky: Cyndi Lauper. Steven Tyler. Norma Kamali. Madeline Kahn was a customer, God rest her soul. I think Lita Ford ordered our stuff a few years ago, and the guys from Mötley Crüe. Wynonna Judd and Marilyn Manson. Quentin Crisp. Patti Rothberg, she's a diehard Manic-er. Squirrel Nut Zippers.
Tish: Cyndi Lauper needs to get an award from us. She used to play on the same bill with us, when she was a blond. I remember her saying at the beginning, "Oh, I don't think I could do that to my hair." Then she got famous for that look because it was so different at the time and suited her so well.
CR: Who do you think needs a Manic Panic makeover?
Snooky: Hillary Clinton! Then she'll look like me! Everybody tells me I look like her. [laughs] It's horrible. Well, it's not horrible � I mean, she's not hideous or anything. I'd rather look like someone more glamorous. If she had a Manic makeover, she'd be more glamorous. I wouldn't mind looking like her so much.
Tish: Anybody in politics. I think it would help their career. I've never seen a politician with pink hair. Anybody who needs to lighten up their lives. So many people want to do it but don't.
CR: Tish, what do your two sons think of Manic Panic?
Tish: They have their ideas about things. Orion, the older one, when I did my nails red, got really upset and wanted my fingernails to be blue. They would get upset if I changed my hair color from fuchsia to blue or something � "I want you to have blue hair again!" They're young, so they don't have the same reactions older kids would have. Knock on wood, I don't think they're embarrassed of me yet. [laughs] One of them was a little upset because one of his classmates � this is Petie, the little one � was saying "You're mother has blue hair!" Then when I came in the next few times, all the little girls were huddled around me, going crazy over my hair, my outfits, then he saw that the girls were really interested in me, so then it was OK.
They've both asked me if they could have either blue or green hair, but I haven't done it to them yet. I want to wait until they're a little older. If they really begged me to do it, I would do it, but they haven't really begged me, so I'm going to wait until they're older.
Snooky: Her older son, who's six, was watching a video of us when we did this act called "Rocco Primavera and His New Jersey Nightingales" and he really loved it. We were dressed up in these big blond wigs, and it was a really funny act, really goofy, like a cheesy lounge act. He loved it. He was having trouble telling which was Tish and which was me, because we really look alike when we wear wigs and the same outfit.
CR: Do you still perform on-stage?
Tish: As a matter of fact, we're doing something at the Bottom Line on January 26. It's a show called "The Beat Goes On" and it's full of New York people. Everybody comes out and does one song. This particular one is based on the Brill Building where a lot of the girl group songs were written. We always do it with a lot of New York performers. Some are unknown and some are known. Lenny Kaye's been in a lot of them. I think this time we might have Ronnie Spector and Joey Ramone. I think Phoebe Snow did one. It's a really wide variety of people � New York street musicians to major celebrities � and Tish and Snooky. [laughs]
CR: How does performing tie into what you do at Manic Panic?
Tish: I don�t think you could do what we do without having the background we have. There are other people that try real hard to occasionally go to a club, who have companies or something, but I don't think they know what it's all about behind the scenes. There are a few make-up artists who've created lines out of necessity. They know more than someone who does a make-up company out of nowhere. I think Snooky and I have this feel for music, stage, film, all that, which gives us a different background than your corpies, who would not know that aspect, or have to hire somebody who knows it � that's what they do. It's actually just cheaper for them to watch us and know what to do, which is what they usually do.
Snooky: We have this extreme style. It's more theatrical than your average cosmetic line, because that's where we come from � theatrical, glittery, extreme make-up. We created this line for people like us. We did what we liked and now all these other people like it, too. We basically did it for us and people like us, other performers and punk rockers.
CR: Did you meet resistance as two young women running a business?
Snooky: Oh, yeah. We'd never get taken seriously. I remember when we first opened our store, I was there by myself and this guy came in, some business guy, and said, "Can I speak to the owner of the store?" I said, "I'm the owner." He said, "No, I mean the boss." I said, "I'm the boss." He said, "No, I mean the real owner � the man." [laughs] I said, "I'm the real owner." He wouldn't believe me, and he walked out.
When we'd go to order stuff from companies, we'd never get taken seriously. Not only were we two young women, but we were kind of different looking, extreme looking, so that was another thing against us. People really didn't take us seriously with our colored hair and the way we dressed. They thought we were trying to scam or something, making believe we had a business.
Tish: My mother loved to help us out as much as she could. She was supportive. She always encouraged us. She didn't really have any money to give us, but she helped us as much as she could.
We still come into opposition as far as being women. You have people who don't take you seriously. You have people who won't listen to you. Because you're a woman, they think you don't know what you're talking about. It still goes on to this day. You wouldn't think it would, but it does. It's changing slowly, but it's still happening. I still get it in the business world, but I also get a lot of wonderful treatment from people. It's not everywhere, just some places. Some cultures, too, if you go abroad they treat you completely different. For various countries, because we do a worldwide business, I'll let a man deal with it. I don't want to go there. I don't want to stick my nose in it. I'll let somebody here who's a man handle it because I know they don't want to deal with women.
CR: Has working with your sister helped you deal with the chauvinism? Has it ever been difficult working with someone in your family?
Snooky: Ninety-nine percent of the time we get along great, and I think it did make it easier going through it with somebody else. I'm sure it's really hard to do it alone. At least we could laugh about it afterward and make fun of people together. [laughs] It made it much easier, I think, having my sister there.
Tish: It definitely helps. We support each other. We know we're not crazy, because we both see what's going on. If we both see someone being a chauvinist pig [laughs], we can support each other on that. It's also sometimes difficult. At one point we were working together, living together, and in the same band. I think that's when it was more difficult. When we moved apart it was easier, because then we had some sense of not being together every second, but the majority of the time we get along with each other fine. We're human. We have our fights. We have our disagreements, but it certainly hasn't stopped the business. It's grown every year.
A lot of people can't believe how much we've grown, because we started out with just a few hundred dollars. We're the only company of our kind that I know that did that. Urban Decay is corporate. They started out corporate. They had a lot of money. Hard Candy had rich parents. We were the only ones who started out with a few hundred dollars and built our business every year from that. That's the American way.
There are things I disagree with in this country, but I think it's amazing that in this country you can start with just a few hundred dollars and build some kind of business. I don't think you can do that anywhere in the world as easily as you can do it here. If you have perseverance and talent and a good work ethic and just keep working at something, you can get somewhere. You could work for twenty years in England, and if you don't have the status attached to your background, you might not make it. In Europe and other places, people are very into who you are and where you came from. Here, no one gives a flying rat's ass where you came from. They just see that you're working. I love seeing that. I love seeing people make it from the ground up. It's great. You can't do it anywhere else that I know of.
CR: Can you tell me about your mascot, Daisy?
Snooky: The love of my life! I found her by the Westside Highway. Somebody had abandoned her there. People lots of time abandon animals by the side of the highway so they'll get hit. It's horrible.
I was always rescuing dogs that I'd find on the street. This particular dog, Daisy Mae, I found a home for with these people up in Yonkers. It was when Tish and I didn't have a store. We had closed our store for a year because we were forced out of business by the rent quadrupling or quintupling. We closed the store for a year and did wholesale out of my boyfriend's studio apartment. My mother didn't want a dog, so I had nowhere to keep her.
I found her this home up in Yonkers and said, "If you ever can't keep her, don't take her to the pound. Call me. I'll take her back. I'll find her a home." About a year or two later they called and said they were moving to a small apartment and weren't allowed to have a dog. It was just when we had reopened our store and we got her back! We were so happy. We'd always said "Those people are just taking care of Daisy until we get another store." And it came true.
She's the best dog in the world. She's a pit bull/Dalmatian. She looks like a pit bull squeezed into a Dalmatian suit. She's stocky, but black and white spotted. At first glance you might think she's a Dalmatian, but she's got those locking jaws, big smile, the wider head, and the wide chest. Oh, she's so cute! I take her everywhere. She comes to work every day and everybody loves her.
CR: Tell me a little about Sic F*cks' appearance in the horror film Alone in the Dark.
Tish: I still watch it once in awhile if a friend of mine wants to see it or something, and it's such a good movie. I really liked what they did with it, and the Sic F*cks, of course, are great. [laughs] I love the Sic F*cks.
They have a club scene and we were the band that's playing. The girl in the movie goes to see her sister and brother-in-law or something and she wants to go out to a club with them. As they're walking from the car to the club she says, "Oh, you're going to love this band. They came all the way in from New York City. They're called the Sic F*cks." And the guy turns around and starts walking back to the car, and they grab him and bring him back. Then they walk into the club and we're doing a song called "Chop Up Your Mother" with these giant hatchets. That's why we're so right for the movie [laughs], because we had songs like that. Then they come back to us at the very end of the movie, and the movie ends in the club again. We have this song called "Rock or Die." I don't think they show us again, but you can hear the Sic F*cks at the very end of the movie. The movie ends with Snooky's scream, because "Rock or Die" � part of it is these bloodcurdling screams that Snooky and I do! ! and Snooky did the last scream on the song. That's how the movie ends � with her scream. It's really funny.
CR: What other movies or TV shows have you been in?
Snooky: You can see a glimpse of us in Legal Eagles with Robert Redford and Debra Winger. We used to do a lot of extra work. They would always call us to be either punks or prostitutes. In Hollywood, they couldn't tell the difference between a punk or a prostitute, so they'd always call us. We were supposed to be punks, and we were just in our regular, everyday "punk" clothes. We were sitting there waiting to be used in the scene and Robert Redford saw us sitting there and wrote this little bit in for us because he thought we looked cool. He and Debra Winger are standing in the lobby of the court building talking, and Tish and I come through the revolving doors and walk past. He's saying to her, "First you have a dog on the witness stand, then you have (something else)." Then we walk by, and he says, "Clients of yours?" [laughs]
We were in some different TV shows, just background stuff. Daisy and I were in Die Hard with a Vengeance. We were in Tompkins Square Park, which was right by where our store was, and they called me to do that. It was going to be a nice day the next day and I said, "Can I bring my dog?" They said, "No, no. We have enough dogs." I said, "Well, what if she's pink?" They said, "Bring her!" So I dyed her pink with Manic Panic and she looked so cute. She was in the movie and she earned fifty dollars. If you rent that movie, when they're disassembling the bomb in the elephant statue at Tompkins Square Park, you can see Daisy in the background. And me, but I was much more thrilled about Daisy being in it � her screen debut.
Tish: If they want to star me in something, I'll do it, but I won't do it for background work. It's "hurry up and wait." When I first started doing it, I was so excited I was like, "Oh, pick me! Pick me!" You know, sitting there waiting to get on-screen. Then, by the end of it, you were lucky if you could find me and Snooky in the corner sleeping. We were just like, "Oh, please. Wake us up when it's over." [laughs] It's so boring. Then everybody, actors and actresses, are way worse than musicians. If you think musicians are pompous � oh my God! I don't mean to be mean or anything, but I've worked in movies and I've costumed plays, and I've never met such a bunch of primadonnas in my life. They just drive you crazy. They are so into themselves. I thought musicians were bad until I met actors and actresses, then I realized that musicians are not as bad. [laughs]
CR: Snooky, how did you get your nickname?
Snooky: It was when Tish and I were teenagers, I guess. We were going out all night every night. We were all dressed up and had been out all night and we went to this White Castle in the Bronx, on Fordham Road, where we'd always go after a night out, for burgers and fries. It was probably five in the morning, and there were these two little kids in there � really young, but they were out � and the older sister's name was Snooky and the little brother's name was Junior. They were talking to us and fooling around. By the time we left there, I was calling Tish "Junior" because she's my little sister, and she was calling me "Snooky" and it just stuck. Everybody else started calling me Snooky and I didn't like it at first, but now I like it.
CR: What women are your inspiration?
Snooky: Patti Smith. She was really the first female punk rocker. She was totally an individual, independent, strong. She would come in our store and bring us Xeroxes of her poetry and sign them all and say, "Here, that'll help you pay your electric bill," and leave us a big stack of signed Patti Smith poems. She was so cool, and definitely inspirational.
Our mother, who was incredibly strong and independent and made her life what it was, made herself after our father left. We were really poor, and she just picked herself up, went back to school, and ended up excelling in her career. She started the Art Therapy Department at the School of Visual Arts and was an inspiration to so many people. She was such a healer. She was working at these mental hospitals with murderers and rapists, and they all loved her. She had so much love and she was just incredible.
Our friend Cleo, who is another great, incredible, strong woman who started really poor, like us, and worked her ass off all her life and became a great success.
And, of course, Wilma and Betty for their fashion sense � their leopard, one-shoulder outfits, big earrings, Wilma with her bright red hair.
Lucille Ball was really cool, inspirational. She was beautiful and glamorous, but really funny and smart. She could be beautiful and glamorous but be a total clown, too, which we like. We like funny women.
Tish: People who never gave up. Tina Turner. Our mother, for sure. Our mother was an inspiration. She went back to school when she was in her 60s and changed professions. She kept our family going for years because she was alone. Seeing somebody go back to school that late and start an entirely new career is just amazing. Everybody loved her and they still use her booklets and her advice for art therapy. I'm proud of her.
CR: What advice can you give young women who are thinking of starting a business?
Tish: First of all, I would say the only business you should go into is whatever your passion is. Go with your passion. Whatever that might be is where you should go, whether it seems stupid or not. Keep persevering and eventually you may get there. I've seen people in the music industry do it. You think "Oh my God, this person's been in the business for twenty years" then all of a sudden they make it. They've waited it out. Other people give up after five years and never know whether they would have made it or not.
Snooky: Never take no for an answer. You have to be as tenacious as a pit bull. Decide on what you want, and don't stop until you get it. Don't listen to anybody that tries to discourage you. Follow your heart, and follow your dreams. Be true to yourself. If you're loving what you do, you'll have a much better chance of success, because you do it with love, and not resentment. You have to love what you do, and do what you love.