My friend Angie Johnson has the world at her feet. An appearance on Ellen, a viral video on YouTube, and every major media outlet in the US fawning for her attention. After seeing her YouTube video, Carson Daly got her a private audition for The Voice on NBC and Perez Hilton has blogged about her.
Here’s an excerpt from her website, where she describes how it happened:
‘…on August 8th, 2011, while I was deployed on my 7th tour performing for the troops in the Middle East, an audience member from one of our small acoustic shows posted a YouTube video that changed my life. (R.P. I believe God sent you from above!) Now here I am! Watching a wonderful, new path unfold before me. And I am so happy to be sharing it with YOU, the people who have made it all possible.’
Angie didn’t spend hours and hours in front of a camera, posting video after video, hoping somebody would give her a break. She went out and did the only thing she loved, she performed. She sang her heart out.
Artist Dan Dunn got 13 million hits on YouTube with this video and also appeared on Ellen. His teenage daughter posted it without him knowing. Dan is one of the most generous and talented people I know, and by his own admission, this father of five didn’t even know how to use YouTube when everything took off for him in August of 2007. Since then he’s performed all over the world, from the Superbowl to Simon Cowell’s 50th birthday and now he has bigger things on the horizon.
At first glance it would seem that YouTube was the catalyst for these people to ‘hit the big time’. And that is partly true – it doesn’t hurt to have exposure. But there are literally thousands of talented people posting videos every minute on YouTube with very different results.
If there was a formula to becoming a YouTube sensation, someone would have found it by now. The fact is that by the time Angie posted her video on YouTube, she had put in a stupid amount of time in the decade before, honing her craft. Dan Dunn had been a caricaturist and illustrator for 30 years before his daughter posted that video of him performing in a variety show in Atlantic City.
Most of the artists I scout in my work at SL Feldman & Associates are looking for that magic bullet, that one thing that will help them get over. The answer to becoming a YouTube sensation is the same answer that applies to becoming a sports sensation, a cooking sensation or any other. It.Takes.Time. DeBeers doesn’t flood the market with diamonds, so don’t flood the internet with your wares. A few succinct and polished gems will do the trick. And don’t forget, it takes at least 10,000 hours.
Kahlil (at) gigsmacked (dot) com