Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Cream Rises to the Top

There's a notion out there that the 'super stars' of the world got there because of a 'break' or 'good luck' or who they slept with.

But I think that when talking about the 'best of the best' in the entertainment world, whether it be music, sports, writing, movies or television, that those who have certain ingredients are destined to find success. I'm not talking about 'celebrities' like Paris Hilton or Snookie. I mean people like Leo DiCaprio, Gwenyth Paltrow, John Grisham, Tim Lincicum, and Eminem.

Yes, the majority of actors and musicians who find success get lucky. There's a lot of work involved, too, but some stumble into a hit show or A-List rock band because of luck. After all, somebody has to play the wacky friend who gets a few lines every week on 'Big Bang Theory' and a lot of people could do it. And somebody has to be the bass player in U2. A lot of musicians could pull it off. Those kinds of jobs are breaks and a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

But even if they aren't your cup of tea, you can't dismiss the elite super-stars as being just lucky. It takes ambition and talent (and the 'it' factor if you're an actor or singer). And they also have to be responsible and cooperative. There are a lot of talented and ambitious people who could've been famous, but they're nut jobs and can't work well with others.

This idea of stardom being a fluke is based on the fact that a lot of this stuff looks easy. But even being an 'average' musician, actor, pro athlete or writer takes a lot of practice.

I've often heard a would-be writer call a talk-show with a famous novelist guest and ask 'How do I get published?'. The fact that they even have to ask the question proves they are not that dedicated or ambitious. Someone who lives and breathes writing already has some clue as to how to bust into the industry because they hang out with other writers, and publish things in small magazines and online. And they've read all of the writing magazines and 'how to' books. If they're not doing that stuff, what makes them think they could get a novel published let alone be the next Stephen King? Yet people do. But they are generally people who mearly have an 'idea' for a book and they read a lot and think they could do it, too.

The people who run the 'business', be it sports or show business, are scouring the world for that next super-star. If there's money to be made, they will find them. But those potential super-stars have to have those one-in-a-million gifts. They can't just want it. Or think they have it.


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