“You’re beautiful. No really, I mean it. You, my friend, are talented!” Then the agent turns and whispers to his associate, “Who was that kid again?”
It has happened many times before and now it’s happening again. The ‘Hollywood machine’ as people like to call it, is swimming around the new media pool promising these impressionable young influencers the moon…that is if they sign on the dotted line. Where were these visionary career builders when these kids had only twenty thousand subs? Crickets.
What was so wonderful about YouTube 5 or 6 years ago was that there were no gatekeepers to ‘bless’ the talent. These content creators trusted their gut, found their voices and simply went out (or stayed in) and DID it! They did it because they wanted to make videos, and with this newfound platform, realized that they could do just that… unimpeded.
Where were all the agents and studio folks then? I know where they were-they were ignoring it, or even worse, mocking the early adopters who were predicting this rising current. Probably because they didn’t understand it and as a result were feeling threatened. I witnessed it myself in a meeting when a TV exec sarcastically referred to my friend as ‘the king of the internet’ when my buddy pointed out that one video on YouTube, shot for about eighty bucks, garnered more viewers than a slickly produced, late night talk show. The exec dismissed it, and soon after that meeting he himself was dismissed because the network’s ratings were…well, you know.
Even early founders of the YouTube multi-channel networks had a noble vision to encourage creativity, but NOT be at the mercy of the “system”.
Now here they come again claiming they know what’s best for someone’s career, a person who was never even trying to have a ‘career’ in the first place. Many agents and producers are good at what they do, and some even have supportive intentions, but this notion that Hollywood is coming to ‘help’ out this new media crop is actually the other way around. It is the creators who will be helping the ‘Hollywood machine’ A) earn more money, and B) feel relevant.
You’ve come this far on your own, and with the expanding reach of YouTube and all the other budding social platforms, you can continue to flourish and get everything you want and deserve. I believe content is currency and, in my opinion, is worth more than actual currency. So keep in mind that you have more opportunities than ever because you’ve already created your own career path, and for that reason alone, “You, my friend, are talented!”
Fran Solomita is the CEO of Mozaic Branding. A comedian turned executive, Solomita served as VP of Branded Entertainment at Maker Studios for two and half years and directed the film, When Stand Up Stood Out. He enjoys writing about himself in the third person.