I love being a part of the entertainment industry. i can honestly say that most times it is so much fun for me.When you can get paid for something that you wouldn’t mind doing “for free” then that means you have a job that you adore. However, I don’t enjoy “every aspect’ of what I do. Too many times I have encountered situations where certain bands had to have a “certain look to get hired.” By that I mean that if someone is extremely talented in a lot of circumstances it won’t matter. For instance, a good friend of mine who was a promoter once told me “If I had a great female singer with awesome talent who was homely and overweight I would not be able to sell one ticket. However, if I had a female singer with marginal abilities but looked great in a short skirt then I would sell out every venue.” It goes beyond that. Many times if there is a great band with all minority performers then often that band will “be asked” to integrate it’s color scheme (in other words, bring in some acceptable people of color) in order to get the gig. That is because no matter how good you are some people will not want to see an “all minority band.” I am not making this up. This has happened on “several” occasions. This also doesn’t just apply to the music industry. Have you ever noticed how great a lot of your news anchors look on television? That’s because the look of an anchor can make the difference in the “TV ratings.” When you think about it, who wants to turn on the news and witness someone ugly delivering it? There are some really great and talented individuals who will never get past a certain level. That is because the industry will not let them. I wish I could tell artists that their ability alone will take them to the top. I remember years ago performing behind one of the greatest singers I ever heard, and that man’s name was Phil Perry. He could hit notes that Pattie Labelle could hit and his voice was just incredible. I told him that it was an honor to perform for someone as gifted as him. However, while he does have fame, he did not have “that look.” He wasn’t in great shape then and he looked a little “too mature for this business.” Also I once played behind a lady named “Vesta Williams.” At once point she was heavy (but still sexy in my eyes). She was an “incredible” vocalist whose voice would actually “rattle” the monitors onstage. She was on the same label as Janet Jackson and she once told me that “She could out sing Janet easily but she knew they wanted her to lose weight.” She told me that she was going to lose it so she could get some of that “slim girl money.” Eventually she did lose the weight, but she couldn’t dethrone Janet because of her “already famous last name.” Vesta was eventually dropped from her record label. The point that I am trying to make here is that it is great to be talented, but don’t just depend on your abilities to get you to that next level. The entertainment industry has its flaws and if you are not aware then you will become a victim to it. Whatever you need to do to get “the look” you had better start working on it now. The gig you save “just might be your own…” Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Actress Gabrielle Union and Brett Jolly