The Reality of the Entertainment Industry
The entertainment industry of today is not the industry it used to be when
we were amazed by it, when we trained for it, or when we entered it. The industry
of today is so over-saturated with people who want to make it that it has become difficult to stick out in a crowd. From the industry of acting, to writing, directing, book publishing and making music; every facet of the
artistic endeavor is now a place where the majors are struggling to maintain profit and millions of mid-level workers are
struggling to sustain an income great enough to survive. In this difficult terrain
where no one wants to take a chance on anyone, you have to gamble with all your chips, and you have to place the bet on yourself.
Being talented is not enough. Being driven is not nearly enough. You have to be crazy with desire. You have to increase your
odds to major proportions if the world is going to ever hear about you. And that
is the goal. To be able to sustain yourself financially and have the freedom
you want to continue to create and live comfortably, simultaneously, you are going to have to be recognized by the world and
loved or hated by millions.
To understand the scope of a branded name we look to a hero like Stephen
King, who no matter what he comes out with, his name guarantees interest. He
has branded himself to the world as an expert on his subject matter. This was
not talent alone. Branding a name involves marketing, public relations, publicity-stunts,
ingenious business practices, networking skills, perseverance and a ridiculous number of finished projects that are put up
for judgment. Its a lifetime of hard work.
When an actor goes out to audition for a commercial today, the competition
can be anywhere from two to eight hundred others, where ten years ago, the competition was fifty other people. When a writer takes a new book to their editor, they are competing against an ever-increasing number of
wannabes. Filmmakers of today? The
last guy to win Sundance shot his movie for seven thousand dollars on a digital camera.
Anyone can be an artist in todays world. The question is: who is going
to rise to the top and sustain their career there?
We are living in a society that has so many choices. Audiences only want what they want, when they want it. Knowing
what the world wants and being there with the right product at the right time, and having the machine to get it to the masses
takes decades to create. How many geniuses have written brilliant books that
no one has read, because they were exhausted from the writing alone and didnt have the energy to find a publisher with vision? How many amazing actors will never be recognized because they did not have the determination
to stay in the game long enough to impress the right producer to give them the right opportunity to be seen at the right time
by the world?
The most successful artists
are not necessarily the most talented people they are the ones with a business plan.
If you do not have a strategic outline to your path in entertainment, you are setting yourself up for a broken heart
and lost dreams. Writing the great American novel is not enough. To survive you must understand the steps to branding your own name in the industry, in the media, in your
country and throughout the world. By creating a step by step learning plan for
yourself that involves continually growing your product, continually growing your marketing strategies, and continually growing
your ability to generate worthy public relations, you can grow your network of believers and you can actually brand your name
around the world. Anything less and you live project to project, hoping and praying
that the next one might be the big one.
A scared artist is an unhappy
artist. Dont set yourself up for a lifetime of worrying where your next meal
will come from. Create the table you will eat at for years to come by following
a strategic path.