Adam Savage has spent his life gathering skills that allow him to take what's in his brain and make it real. He's built everything from ancient Buddhas to futuristic weapons, from spaceships to dancing vegetables, from fine art sculptures to animated chocolate and just about anything else you can think of.
The son of a filmmaker/painter and psychotherapist, Savage has been making his own toys since he was allowed to hold scissors. Having held positions as a projectionist, animator, graphic designer, carpenter, interior and stage designer, toy designer, welder, and scenic painter, he's worked with every material and process he could get his hands on - metal, paper, glass, plastic, rubber, foam, plaster, pneumatics, hydraulics, animatronics, neon, glassblowing, mold making and injection molding, to name just a few.
Since 1993, Savage has concentrated on the special-effects industry, honing his skills through more than 100 television commercials and a dozen feature films, including Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace and Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Galaxy Quest, Terminator 3, A.I. and the Matrix sequels. He's also designed props and sets for Coca-Cola, Hershey's, Lexus and a host of New York and San Francisco theater companies.
Not only has he worked and consulted in the research and development division for toy companies and made several short films, but Savage has also acted in several films and commercials - including a Charmin ad, in which he played Mr. Whipple's stock boy, and a Billy Joel music video, "Second Wind," in which he drowns.
Today, in addition to co-hosting Discovery Channel's "MythBusters," Savage teaches advanced model making, most recently in the industrial design department at the San Francisco Academy of Art. Somehow, he also finds time to devote to his own art - his sculptures have been showcased in over 40 shows in San Francisco, New York and Charleston, W.Va.
What does it take to truly succeed, as both a maker and in one's career? The Mythbusters co-host offers frank advice on working hard and working smart. "Most work is boring," Savage says, "but focusing is incredibly meditative."
What's the "funnest" thing Adam Savage has ever done with his job? The Mythbusters co-host says it's a toss-up between getting a "hickey" from an octopus or pulling 7 Gs in an F/A-18 Hornet with top Navy pilots.
Adam Savage, co-host of the Discovery Channel's Mythbusters, imparts his wisdom to earn career success and fulfillment. Savage shares tips how to overcome job boredom, the value of embracing collaboration, and why finishing a project right matters most.