There is an article online at Mashable about the Dog Racing industry in Australia. I am fairly certain the same is true of dog tracks everywhere. According to this article, the Australian Greyhound racing industry kills between 13,000 and 17,000 Greyhounds a year. They are killed not because they are old, sick or disabled, they are killed because they won't race or don't race well enough. With a live rabbit strapped to a lure the dogs are "trained" to chase after the prey. If they don't they are killed. Eventually when they slow down with age, they are killed. As awful as this fact may be to dog lovers everywhere it is only an example of a point I am trying to make.
These Greyhounds are bred and raised for only one purpose to race and make money for the owner/trainer/gamblers. If they are not able to race and win, they are of no use to that industry. If they are not making money, they are costing money, and the only solution is to eliminate them. It is not about sport, it is not about the beauty of a dog running, it is not about pleasing the dog, it is about money. It is a business. It is capitalism at its apex.
Business is the same for every industry, every profession and every career. If the product of that particular industry does not make money, it is of no use. It is the same in Show business, the only difference is we do not kill performers who do not make money for someone.
Since I began to perform I was always amazed that some actors I thought had exceptional talent did not make it, and some with minimal talent seemed to rocket to the top. For a long time I just assumed that the breaks were with some and not with others. Or I thought, some had the right combination of Agents and Managers who were able to guide them to success. While some of those factors may contribute, the only thing that is true of huge success or crushing disappointment is money. The more money an actor or act can make for someone else, the more exposure they will get. Sad but true this industry is not Show Art... it is Show business.
Art is the game of expression, business is the game of numbers. The more numbers you can control, ticket sales, record sales, book sales or product sales, the more money is made and there is an industry of people who make a living siphoning off some of that income. Like mosquitoes they go where they can feed.
As cold as that statement seems it is simply an economic fact. If your goal is to make money, do something that creates the greatest numbers of people wanting to own, see, experience or use what you are selling. If your goal is to express the highest qualities of your talent all you have to do is seek perfection, but that is not a guarantee it will generate numbers.
Certainly be the best you can be with the talent you have and develop it to the highest level you can, but remember one thing: Popularity (numbers) usually trumps talent on the capitalistic scale of success.
Great talent is never to be confused with great economic success. Great talent can bring great success as long as one understands that the true definition of success does not involve money. Only in today's world, and today's economy (particularly in America) do success and wealth become synonymous.
The American Dream is the freedom to do what makes you happy and to rise to the level of your own desires. Sadly today the American Dream has become the desire to become extremely wealthy. There is nothing wrong with either Dream, but we must understand what Dream we have chosen and by what standards we judge its success. To understand one's own abilities and happiness is success, not the numbers in your bank account.
"Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life thinking it is stupid" Albert Einstein
As you were,