Yes, I know, life is and always has been unfair. I never liked that, I still don’t. It makes no difference. Life will always be unfair.
I have so many students who were truly talented, and who worked very hard to develop their talents by taking music, singing, acting or other kinds of lesson, often for years. They have worked to get professional experience and exposure, to get their materials together and to do all the necessary things like Facebook, MySpace, CD Baby, a website, a CD release, etc., and often, sadly, none of this does any good. They go unrecognized by the world at large and toil away at “job jobs” earning money to pour into their art until finally, they are burned out in every way, and just give up, taking a “career position” somewhere that allows them to make a decent living and make a “normal life”.
And then, I encounter the people who are barely trained, and can barely make music, or barely sing, or barely perform. People who have little to say, little to say it with and what manages to be expressed is either banal or boring. I run into those who assume their abilities are superior without bothering to actually inquire into that assumption and who go forth into the world with bold assertion that the world should do them a favor, and, low and behold, it does. People who fall into record contracts, public performances in significant places, press attention for their first or second performance, people who, through personal connections or money, can call in all manner of important or significant people to “help them” get the kind of recognition they do not at all deserve. But they get it.
This is certainly not news. It is certainly not going to go away. I am someone who has great respect and occasionally even awe for those who confront themselves at deep personal places. I honor those artists who are looking into heart and mind for the truth that they and only they can call forth into the world through their chosen art form. I am always sad when those same individuals cannot find a path for their creativity to reach an audience which would benefit from its existence. I am chagrined when they cannot generate enough money through their art to make a decent life (and this is SO common an experience). And I am daunted when I see or hear a singer or an artist with less than nothing to offer the world (other than perhaps a very large ego) and realize that he or she is pulling in more money in one performance than most people see in a lifetime.
Sometimes art is just a question of personal opinion. We will never agree what “art” is or isn’t, and that’s good. But there are times when an individual is so clearly “special” and “above the mark” that is seems impossible that this unique gift is not somehow immediately recognized by everyone everywhere. Of course, this is impossible. There are many examples of famous people who were told at the beginning of their careers by “knowledgeable experts” to give up, go home, and get a day job, only to be proven wrong. Goes on all the time on American Idol.