It’s a funny thing about showbiz. When I was a kid, I knew I was “different” (no jokes, please) and was SURE I would enter The Business when I grew up. But then the Real World intervened.
Fact is – nearly all of the people who DO enter showbiz do so after a firm grounding in a STAGE SCHOOL (like Italia Conti) – paid for by their rich parents, who figure their little girl/boy is “special”.
Of course, some of them ARE – and they are the ones who just MIGHT succeed.
Others STUMBLE into it (an Open Mike night – someone wants a specialist journalist for a show – or they achieve fame via a different route and then cross over).
But I did not do ANY of that. My parents were POOR and after I left school, I had to earn a LIVING.
At various times, I ALMOST blundered into it (I was a semi-pro DJ for a while, among other things) but it never quite happened.
The problem is – EVERYBODY thinks they can be a movie star or whatever – but only one in a THOUSAND has the GIFT. However, that still means there are some SIXTY THOUSAND-odd people in the UK – WITH that gift. Thus even if you DO have it – your chances of success are barely one in a hundred.
Okay, one in TEN – if your idea of success is working in local rep your whole life – with the occasional TV or movie bit-part to remind you of what COULD have been.
Plus, in addition to talent (where mine is LIMITED, to say the least) you need LUCK (again, limited) and ENORMOUS DEDICATION with NO FEAR OF REJECTION – which is where I fall WAY short.
So these days, my contribution to The Business is in the area of PROMOTION. As an unofficial “VJ” on YouTube, I am less of a performer (although I have done a FEW live bits there) than a modest SHOWMAN – promoting the talents of OTHERS.
To which end, having uploaded over 1,600 pieces, on 33 channels – I have so far gleaned OVER FIFTEEN MILLION HITS. SIXTY THOUSAND EVERY DAY, right now.
My reward is not financial (sadly!) but I achieve contact with friends of, relatives of – and occasionally the ACTUAL stars themselves, whose work I “promote” (Tom Mullica himself recently contacted me, after his piece went VIRAL, with nearly two MILLION hits to date) – and that is nice.
But even nicer is the public “fan-mail” I get. Tonight I answered just a PIECE of it – and communicated with people from Britain, America, Russia, Chile and Malta. And we spoke of things that were common to us both.
Furthermore, I linked one of my Fifties Rock ‘N’ Roll pieces on YouTube – which a 15-year-old had said showed him what REAL Pop was like – to my piece on The History Of Pop And Dance, on WordPress. Then I steered him to it.
I have already shamelessly linked relevent WordPress pieces to my top YouTube “earners”, in order to promote THEM!
Then – there IS always that WRITTEN work. As one of the top million or so non-fiction writers in the English language (!) my well-over-500 posts on WordPress, plus my book and short story (and a number of movie crits on IMDb) earn around one hundred hits a day (79,000 – thus far).
Okay – that IS pitifully tiny, compared to my A/V pieces (but like I always say – no-one READS anymore) – however, at least THOSE efforts are all MINE!
So there it is: fame – of a kind – at last! I am FAR too long in the tooth to consider entering The Business now – in any case, I am happily RETIRED to Thailand and have responsibilities here.
But having become a “columnist” and low-rent P.T. Barnham – I make a difference.
In the time it has taken YOU to read THIS, some FIFTY PEOPLE – from all around the World – have been entertained by something I uploaded into the Public Domain.
And YOU just read THIS!