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Talent Shall Triumph: True Artists Never “Make It”

By Martin Frenette

There are so many talented artists out there and yet we are all feeling, at one time or another, that the same faces and names are showing up in Playbills and credits.

We all know that insanely impassioned and inspiring performer who’s taping endlessly in an empty studio, day after day, that singer who’s repeating vocal exercises every morning in front of framed pictures on some coffee table. There isn’t one particular reason as to why that tap dancer doesn’t have a public nor why that singer can’t have an audience who will react and be moved by her interpretation, but talent shall triumph! However, it is and will often be, after a long and straining path, still, I beg you to believe in yourselves, in your talent, if you’re expecting others to believe in you.

As for those who seem to have it all and right away in this age of social media and reality shows, instant glory and true recognition could almost now be labeled as either a myth or as an ephemeral, virtual spotlight. Those “Superstars of the web” and other “realities” might become famous in the blink of an eye (or of a “Like!”), but that recognition can’t be compared to the one that is lived by well established, truly talented artists.

Artists now have to work harder and sweat it all for a call-back or for a tiny part in any production, they have to work harder to be seen and noticed.

They cannot wait around or expect someone to discover them like a fairy tale.

There are now also many more artists than back in the old Cabaret & Revue days, back when men were wearing hats and the audience could smoke in the artist’s face. Some might say that we are better prepared than previous generations, given established performing arts schools and other programs that are now around, as well as those living stage legends that we not only got to (or are still getting to) see perform but we can also read about and learn from.

Even with those tools, skills and references, nobody ever said that you would ever be fully prepared to fight for your place in this artistic battlefield.

One shall not give up on fighting to earn that place in the spotlight nor on believing that these skills and tools are entitling them to skip that battle to get their name on the marquee right away.

Chita Rivera once said that “the best place is in the chorus, as you get to see everything, everyone and to learn how to get to the center stage,” even if that means being creative by creating your own show, your own piece of work and casting yourself. Every artist has to be willing to invest time, will power and courage to live their dreams. Most importantly, just because we are all sharing the same dream: To be on stage, to live our passion and earn from it, does not mean in any way that there is only one good path to get there, hence, one shall not look down at someone else’s road to accomplishment.

Most of us have to learn not only how to knock on doors, but also how to find them, to “beg” for a part or for financial support and sponsors, without making it look like you are actually beggers.

A famous French-Canadian director once said: “This is such a begger business!”

This business is filled with humility, but, also, with humiliations, as we are all madly in love with this profession that doesn’t necessarily love us back.

If your true desire and motivation to be in the arts are narrowed down to being a star, the wake-up call is likely to be brutal. As mentioned before, some of that fame, is ephemeral, especially in these times where people have limited attention spans and are quick to click to the next face or the next video. Even the biggests stars eventually end up being tossed aside where they have to watch newcomers playing a part that they thought was theirs.

Still, with the right motivations coming from a good heart, talent shall still triumph! Just make sure to think about it before investing all of your time, sweat and energy, in any profession really, if your only goal is to be on the front page of a magazine to say “I’ve made it.”

At what point have I made what?

You don’t think like that, you don’t think “I’ve arrived!”

I’ve never thought “I’ve made it”

I think every time you’re doing another show, it’s like the first time, you have to keep up what you’ve done, you got to keep it going at that level and pray that you’ll learn something different and, as you get older, you adjust to the age with grace, with interest. It’s exactly like life, every morning brings its own challenges, so you’ve never “arrived.”

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