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Michelle Yeoh: I had to learn to fall before I could fly

·2-min read


Michelle Yeoh says she had to learn to "fall" before she could "fly."
The 60-year-old actress studied at the Royal Academy of Dance in London and had hoped to become a ballet dancer until an injury scuppered her plans "perseverance, grit and humility" by stuntmen at a gym when rebuilding her strength following the incident.
While accepting an honorary doctorate at the American Film Institute, she told the Class of 2022: "The first thing they taught me what to do was to tuck and roll, then how to fall on my side, and then how to fall on my back. And after a while, it dawned on me that they were teaching me how to fall. I was convinced I was being pranked. I was like When do I get to do the real stuff? You know, the jumping kick, the roundhouse kick,.
"They said 'How are you going to go up if you don't know how to come down?. That lesson sticks with me to this day. I had to learn how to fall. Well, you could say I learned it in my bones, literally. These moments taught me perseverance, grit and humility."
The 'Memoirs of a Geisha' actress went on to explain to the graduates that success without failure is merely luck and that insisted that cannot be relied upon because "failure" is necessary for growth.
She added: "You see, after I learned how to fall, I could learn how to fly. What I want to share with you today is that our slips and stumbles are the secrets to our flight. Every person who has ever stepped onto this stage has had their fair share of crashes. Trust me, that's part of the deal. Success without failure is called luck. It cannot really be repeated or relied upon. It is from failure, we learn and grow."