Underdogs Rise Up: How Viola Davis and Frances Tiafoe Turned Their Backstory to Breakout Glory

The wall-to-wall coverage across broadcast and cable is over! The world was watching the pomp and circumstance around Queen Elizabeth’s homegoing events. With every angle covered in location and legacy, some folks aren’t sure if the whole Monarchy thing will survive without having to scale back.

While her son Charles has assumed the throne as King, there’s still a coronation ceremony in the works in the coming months. Imagine how some Brits feel about him taking over? Even a few Commonwealth countries are thinking about their next steps. That story is still unfolding and extends for 1000 or so years.

How ‘bout the other unofficial ‘Kings’ that fans these days are giving props to? There’s Viola Davis in her new movie role as ‘The Woman King.’ And there’s Frances Tiafoe who some think could be the next king of tennis (so to speak). Think of them not simply as ’rags to riches’ but more like ‘underdogs rise up’.

Next ‘King of Tennis’

Davis spreads her wings from TV screen to big screen as both star and producer. She plays a warrior in an all-female African army from the 1800’s. Tiafoe is the first Black American to advance to the U.S. Open semis since 1972 and Arthur Ashe. He’s stepped-up his game from junior tennis to being ranked top-25.

Their journeys played out differently but with a similar thrust. For Davis, it was looking around and being on the socio economic low-end. She still found a way out and way up to her breakthrough. For Tiafoe, he grew-up seeing wealth, it just wasn’t his own. They’ve turned their backstory to breakout glory with a:

  • Dream:- At 12, he got bit by the tennis bug from hanging around the Sports Center where his dad worked as a custodian. Dreams can happen by association, aha moment or even trial & error.    
  • Goal:- To build-on his desire and skills, a coach took him under his wings. Then one tournament after another he started to achieve his goal of eventually winning big on the youth circuit.   
  • Lane:- Davis decided to pursue this movie project as she considered new acting roles. Sometimes in careers it means re-inventing yourself in a new lane or a new line of success.    
  • Brand:- She’s expanded her cred not just as actress but as producer and can begin to carve her niche as a brand. Your brand is how you want others to see you, based on how you do you.      
Viola Davis

Davis shares how persistence and perseverance was needed to make the movie. Sometimes when a thing has never been done before, it can be a tough sell. But along the way it took moments of faith to the guide the hands of fate. That also came from personal experience in how she met her husband.

Tiafoe might not say he’s on the fast-track to #1. But he’s certainly seen as the latest American male tennis player who’s got next, once the big names like Federer, Nadal and others move on. They’re inspiring young and older to live out their dreams, even when times are hard or a job isn’t as it seems.

Talkback: Kobe gave us the mamba mentality. What’s the motivation mindset that works for you?

Tip: Underdogs rise up by turning dreams into brands and backstory into breakout glory.

Tracks: Alicia Keys – Underdogs – https://youtu.be/izyZLKIWGiA

Jennifer Hudson – Hallelujah – https://youtu.be/LgMCm5NWtII

Bear Grylls and President Obama Step-out the Bubble to Leave a Mark in the Wild – #WUWECAST

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny?


Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (Old-School Flava)

It’s not often that people get to hang-out with Kings and Queens. That’s usually reserved for folks in high standing. Then there’s Bear Grylls who gets to bond with celebrities around survival skills. He and President Obama stepped-out ‘the bubble’ to send a message to D.C. and leave a mark in the wild.

In a clip on Today.com from his show Running Wild with Bear Grylls, Obama is heard saying “This has got to be one of the best days of my presidency. First of all, I’m not in the office. Second of all, I’m not in a suit.” It’s a case of them making a point about wildest dreams by stepping out their comfort zone.

On the show celebrities take a discovery journey. They build confidence and after a while things happen less by chance and more by choice. Overcoming a challenge in the office or the wild is good for leaving a mark or being unbreakable. Plus, a sense of purpose helps with ‘leaving marks before the concrete dries.’

Grylls turned his early career as an SAS soldier into a Reality TV Adventurer. Much of his claim to fame is with beating common fears, taking climbs and surviving the wilds. For him, stepping out the bubble at work is fun, like playing with plastic wrap. Squeeze here before the popping champagne sound you hear.

He says to the British Telegraph “I don’t believe we’ve begun yet. I still think we’re at ground zero, and if we really get our act together over the next few years we can build that into an absolutely huge, huge business around the world.” Obama wants to build a legacy and Grylls wants to build outdoor adventures.

Groove-Track: Michael Jackson – ‘Unbreakable’ – https://youtu.be/GcAASD4FZM8

Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (New-School Flava)

Not often people change shoe strings. Or hangout with Queens and Kings. Left for folks in high standing. Or others with social ranking. There’s Bear Grylls who gets to bond. Around survival skills with peeps he’s fond. Grylls and Obama step-out the bubble. Sends message to D.C. leaving marks in the rubble.

As seen in Today.com clip. He and Obama take a trip. On Running Wild with Bear Grylls. Obama seemed open to new thrills. Sees it as a best day in office as president. Part of being a Beltway resident. This time he’s not in a suit. Making a point without horns to toot. Stepping out comfort zone to bear fruit.

On show celebs take journey of discovery. Building confidence in their ability. Like fire under the feet as a test. Success less by chance but choice and zest. Getting over challenge in the office or wild. Good for adult and adventurous child. Leave a mark or be unbreakable. A purpose like concrete that’s unshakable.

Grylls began career as a soldier. Now Reality TV’s freelance Adventurer. Claim to fame is beating common fears. Surviving climbs past mud, sweat and tears. Stepping out the bubble is like playing. With plastic wrap found in packaging. Squeeze here to sound the pop. Champagne flows and you don’t stop.

Telling British media it’s just the start. Of what he wants to do worlds apart. Hoping to go from ground zero. To renowned survivalist hero. Thinking this could become huge venture. An enterprise in global outdoor adventure. So while Obama works to build a legacy. Grylls hopes to build skill-set supremacy.


Tip: Wildest dreams start by stepping-out the comfort zone and building acclaim in skill-set supremacy.

Talkback: How would other politicians do if they were to appear on Running Wild?

Groove-Tracks: Leona Lewis – ‘Fire Under My Feet’ – https://youtu.be/bGCZL801OfQ

Anthony Hamilton – “Comin’ From Where I’m From” – https://youtu.be/-4LVf9qdFYA

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST