Do you believe you are just lucky or that you are just that good? Since starting J-Vibe Online Magazine, we have met with the most fascinating people, sitting down over coffee, lunch, dinner or wine and connecting for hours. Talking about lives and careers and the circuitous routes or the straight as an arrow paths that are taken to get from point A to point Z. One theme that seems to come up in most conversations is that these extremely successful, humble and intelligent people who have created change believe they have just been lucky. Jim Salners, an actor and one of the first 50 employees at AIM Management, believes that being lucky is due to persistence. We just think it’s because he’s that good.
Lucky in Acting – Nope, Just That Good
Jim Salners is originally from Chicago and got into theatre by accident, but it changed his life. When the acting teacher forced him to try out for the school play, he resisted, but after he gave in, he was cast and then he was hooked. Acting became a big part of his life in one way or another. While at Carnegie Mellon University, Jim was studying chemical engineering, but he wanted to act, so he started an elective acting program at the college his Junior year in college. To this day, this program is still being used. His professional career took him to Midland, where he became actively involved in the theatre, and by day he was an executive and by night he was an actor.
When Jim’s real life got in the way of acting, he sat on the board of the Midland Theatre, the Alley Theatre and now is on the board of the Queensbury Theatre. Since his retirement, he has taken up acting again full time in Houston, and can be seen in shows all over Houston, where he makes a whopping $150/week, but lucky for him, he gets to do something he not only loves, but is just that good at.
Lucky in Business – Nope, Just That Good
Jim started his career in the Oil and Gas Industry in the Midland Odessa area and quickly became known as a leading expert. He traveled and gave presentations all over the country on oil and gas limited partnerships. In 1986, when his company went out of business, he moved to Houston and went to work for a small company called AIM Management Group. He was the 50th employee and helped to grow AIM as the National Sales Manager for 19 years.
Jim is known for his public presentations and speeches that he has given all over the country in the Oil and Gas industry and with AIM. Although he had to give up his first love of acting, public speaking fulfilled Jim in a different way. He treated it like a one man show, and to this day, he still has people who will approach him and tell him they remember him speaking to their group. Was he lucky in business? Nope, he was just that good at what he was doing.
The Yucca Theatre
The proudest moment that Jim has had is the hand he had in restoring the Yucca Theatre in Midland and getting it marked as a historical landmark by the state. Jim was a part of a group called the Mummers, which performed in the summers, and the legion hall where they were performing was being torn down by the County. In search of a new place to perform, they had specific needs. They needed to be able to serve popcorn and alcohol. The Mummers found a place to perform that was right outside of the city, but the rent was too high, so Jim found a building downtown with cheaper rent and got his own liquor license as a place for the Mummers to perform.
When they found out that the city was going to be tearing down that building as well, Jim put together a plan to build a theatre, but he was met with resistance from the rest of the group. He got a tip about the Yucca Theatre, which had been closed for years and was in disrepair. But, when he went into the building he knew it was perfect. Jim worked out a 100 year lease for the Mummers at $1 a year, and they did the work to restore it themselves.
Thoughts on Being Lucky
If you have a hole in the wall and throw a tennis ball at the wall to try to get it through the hole, eventually you will get the tennis ball through the hole. That’s luck and persistence. If you never throw the tennis ball, then how will you know if you can make it? I have thrown that tennis ball against the wall and just happen to get it through the hole!
Thoughts on Being Good
Acting is like going to college, but you can’t get a B or a C. You have to get an A. You can’t be adequate. You have to be good.