If you were to throw in the towel and give up on a career in music simply because it seems so unattainable, you wouldn’t be the first. The musicians who get to be in the public eye, they get there by winning several lotteries in a row. Before you take the stage at the VMA’s, you need to have the right look, the right connections, the right image, you have to get one lucky break after another. Some people wind up becoming famous through hard work and sheer persistence, but that’s not in the cards for everyone.
But as they say: Shoot for the moon and you may wind up among the stars.
“Superstar” is not the only career available within the music industry. There are more than a few careers in the field that are accessible to anyone who has the talent, the drive and the dedication to do what they love for a living.
In entertainment, those who are successful, if not exactly “celebrities,” are often referred to as “working actors,” “working comedians,” and of course, there are working musicians.
These musicians play background music in upscale restaurants, they do paid studio work, they compose jingles for TV and radio commercials and so on. The freelance nature of many of these jobs means that some musicians live gig-to-gig, but those gigs can be quite lucrative for a dedicated performer if your demo tape is good enough. This music also tends to be “made to order” based on the client’s needs.
The amazing thing about the digital age is that you don’t need to be a superstar in order to be a star. If you have a unique voice and can write a catchy hook, it’s not so unrealistic to think you might build a devoted following on the internet. Youtube ad revenue alone can keep the lights on if you have enough subscribers, and iTunes sales mean that you don’t need a record deal to go platinum.
Once upon a time, being a “recording artist” meant that you were on MTV and performing at major festivals. Today it just means that you’re dedicated enough to what you do that you can make a living in music.