Everybody knows at least one person who is talented enough to become the next Burna Boy or the next Joke Silva, but somehow, they have not made it into stardom yet and are therefore just themselves for now.
Now, you might think that the people that fall into this category do not put themselves out there or try to market their talents, but that is not the case in most instances. A good number of individuals in this group go to great lengths to get their talents spotted, but then they stay hidden in the shadows or end up as local stars at best.
Does that mean it is impossible to break into the entertainment sector, much less succeed?
The obvious answer is no because we have countless examples of people who have made it in the entertainment industry, and as time goes by, the industry seems to be churning out fresh batches of stars. This proves that it is indeed possible to achieve fame and greatness.
But what is keeping these stars from blowing?
Village people, just plain bad luck, or is there a third unseen factor responsible for not delivering Wizkid 2.0 into our hands?
The truth is that the entertainment industry has enough room for new talent to come and shine. However, if you are only going to depend on your gifts to win you a spot on that stage, then you might have to wait a long time. There is also a big possibility that you might be waiting forever unless a talent agent randomly spots you.
This is because the blunt truth is you are very unlikely to make it in the entertainment industry if you depend on your gifts alone. There are still a couple of factors and hurdles you would have to cross to attain stardom. They include the following:
You could sing with the voice of angels or put up an acting performance on par with Leonardo DiCaprio’s0. However, let us face it, if you do not have the financial backup to fund the basic needs or processes needed to push your talent, you might not go so far.
Take a musician, for instance, their ability to sing is the most basic thing they need and probably the only thing they would not need to pay for in their musical journey. Every other thing comes at a price, from recordings to promotions, video shoots, and production costs. You will need to spend money at every step, and sadly, we are not talking about small changes.
Every one of these processes costs a lot and could be the stumbling block between you and your journey to stardom.
- Lack of a Platform
Having a platform is essential for every beginner who has dreams of making it in the entertainment world. A ‘platform’, as the name suggests, elevates you to positions you ordinarily would not be able to reach on your own.
Take, for instance, a record label, a talent agency or a film company. These platforms already have structures and the required influence to meet the target audience of any star in their sector. Also, they have the funds to spend, as long as it results in more success and invariably more money.
Getting yourself a deal with this kind of platform is a leverage opportunity for a beginner. From here on out, all the work required to get to the top is left to you, as they would have already sorted out external tasks assigned to your goal.
However, getting on one of these platforms can be a hassle as the talent market seems filled with prospects. Therefore, it could be a bit difficult to get spotted amidst a sea of plenty.
Getting yourself seen and ultimately spotted as a gifted individual in the entertainment industry is far off from just having the talent. Placing yourself in a vantage position or within a talent agent’s line of sight is a much-required factor as a novice in the industry.
Talented people tend to underrate the power of visibility. The truth might be that funding or lack of a platform is the least of your worries, but not to your knowledge. You might just have a visibility problem.
What this means is that you are in a position where the right people cannot spot you. Now, this position could be geographical or social, whichever one it is, the result is the same – nobody will see you. While this might not be your fault, it is still your responsibility to correct that fault, or you could just be waiting on a miracle.
- Lack of Information
Simply put, if you are behind on information, you are automatically always two steps behind on your journey to power.
The famous saying ‘ignorance is bliss’ does not count in the entertainment sector. Factually speaking, in this space, knowledge is power, and you would need to consume it voraciously while consciously making sure that you are current with the trends of your industry.
Information could be in the form of an audition, casting calls or opportunities in general; they could also be industry trends. You cannot afford to show up at your moment of glory ill-prepared. That would be sad.
Imagine auditioning for the role of a superhero, and you do not have the faintest idea of what CGI means. It will be a disaster, even if you were the most gifted person who auditioned.
The same applies in other sub-sections of the entertainment industry; you want to ensure that you know what is going on per time in your space.
Now, does this mean that there is nothing to be done about this issue?
Does it mean that one should give up on their dreams of becoming a star just because there are a lot of hurdles in the way?
The answer is a big NO. As difficult and as hopeless as the situation may seem, you can still do some things to increase your shot at fame as a novice:
- Research your industry
No one is allowed to know more about your space than you. More than the stars of your industry, you should drive to keep yourself abreast of all the trends in your sector. No innovation or trend is supposed to be strange to you if you will become the next Beyoncé or Jennifer Lawrence.
You owe it to yourself and your dreams to know what they are up to at every turn so that when you eventually get the opportunity, nothing will be in your way.
- Network Aggressively with the people in your Space
There is a saying that we are one person away from realising our goals, and that statement holds in this sector as well. No one made it to whatever heights they have found themselves without the help of someone else.
You can never tell; that opportunity you seek might be a phone call away. Therefore, leverage industry events or workshops to connect with people in your sector. From that point, start building a healthy relationship with these people.
While you are at it, do not forget to sell yourself- let them know your strengths and capabilities. That way, when the opportunity arises, you would be on top of their list of people to recommend.
- Leverage the Internet & Distribution Channels
The internet is a powerful tool. From your unknown location, you could reach millions of people, and chances are you need one of those people to shoot to stardom.
Every day we hear stories of internet stars- people who were ordinary talented people today and breakout star the next day. You do not have to wait to find a platform where you can market your gift to billions of people.
How many of these platforms can boast of that reach?
You do not have to answer; just get to work. Let your internet platforms be your marketing agency- with consistency, you will be sure to get results eventually.
- Learn to Sell Yourself
When you eventually are exposed to the right audience with the ability to kick-start your dreams, what will make all the difference would be your ability to convince them that you are the one they have been searching for all along.
Therefore, you have to prepare as if you will run into a talent agent the next day. Your portfolio should be updated and impressive. Your performing skills should be sharpened to the apex so that when you are eventually in a position to wow your audience, there will not be a single soul who is not impressed.
Talent will never be enough, but with the addition of hard work, smart work and consistency, you will boost your chances of making it as a superstar.