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I Just Wanna Be Famous

As I watched American Idol last Tuesday night, one thing that struck me was the desire for so many people to just be famous. Either legitimately (with talent) or illegitimately (with outrageousness or lack of talent.)

Obviously, some just try to get their 15 minutes of fame by doing whatever they can to get some camera time. One girl after being told “no” admitted afterward she “didn’t really know what she was doing.”

Many really are great talents and American Idol is a major jump-start for their career if they make the show. But I swear some of these people have never sung ANYwhere before in their whole lives. They seem to live in this delusion that they will actually be considered for the show. Astounding. But I digress.

At our last Bootcamp I sat down with a girl to see how I could help her with her performance. When I asked her to tell me about herself and what she wanted to do, the first thing out of her mouth was, “I want to be a famous singer.” I immediately put on the brakes in my head and thought “girl, you need to really love what you do; because if you don’t, it will be a long and painful road just trying to be ‘famous.’”

If that’s your main goal, you’ll come up empty. But if you really love what you do, are willing to work hard to get it, and don’t get discouraged when you have setbacks or get told “no,” then that is success.

Record deal or not. Big stage or small stage. You’re out there in front of people doing what you love doing, and maybe bringing people a message, hope, escape or just pure entertainment! And if you hone your craft and put the time into rehearsal and your show, you will be successful at some level.

I’m currently in the process of dubbing all my old band videos to DVD. Watching each one, I have to smile and remember the excitement of putting together those concerts, writing the songs, booking the shows, talking to people afterwards, the outfits (was that really in style then?!). Every day and every rehearsal was part of a journey. Good and bad, we loved it because we had a passion for what we were doing.

Going after fame for fame’s sake? There’s no life in that. If your passion to sing dies when you get rejected for one competition, then it wasn’t much of a passion.

Re-evaluate your career goals and make sure this is your calling and the path you want to travel.

Amy Wolter

As a trained Live Music Producer for Tom Jackson Productions, Amy Wolter brings her years onstage as a lead singer & keyboardist - along with her experience as a producer, arranger, and songwriter - to singers and bands who won’t settle for ‘good enough’. She’s worked with artists at all levels, and genres ranging from Rock to Celtic, empowering them to have confidence and authority onstage, and put on memorable live shows, a few of whom have been on two of the largest US tours in recent history. Some of her clients include Grammy award winners The Band Perry & Lacrae, CMA and ACM –winning country acts, Gloriana & Thompson Square, 2016 The Voice contestant Mary Sarah, CCMA (Canada) winners High Valley, Jess Moskaluke & Chad Brownlee, and Winter Jam Tour veterans Sidewalk Prophets & Love and The Outcome.

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Greenroom Comments

  1. One thing I have learned over the years, at least for me, is that trying to play live gigs is more important than being famous. I no longer have any desire to be in the “music business” so to speak, but I do have a desire to play live.

    I have also learned to work on my shows so that I am presenting more professional concerts than in the past. It is been a process and I am still working things out, but for me there is no greater feeling than to be playing live and to be making a connection with the audience!!

    • Yes Keith! I think most true artists would be happy just to be able to make a living with their music. Then if fame happens to come along with it, fine. I agree with you that there IS no greater feeling than playing live and getting that audience reaction/connection!

  2. Tony Meade says:

    With the state the mainstream recording industry is in, it almost makes you not want to get the huge record deal everyone wished for 20 years ago. Not knowing if you’ll ever get people to actually buy the records rather than steal them online, or whether or not you’ll ever be paid for the records you do sell, or if you’ll be paid for the streaming and other new technologies out there.

    Though it’d be nice to have a highly paid group of professionals helping you with promotion, touring, radio and so on, so that you can focus on music, there is something to be said to retaining control and autonomy in an industry so full of charlatans and rip-off artists.

    • Yes Tony…it’s a good thing/bad thing, this new industry model…more people have access to your music now, but the financial payout is low. If you ARE on a label, they have to recoup everything they put into promotion before you see $. Artists are now realizing why their show has to be great; that’s where most of their/your income will come from. A great performance where you really connect to your audience, means more merchandise sales after the concert, repeat bookings, more fans, etc!

  3. Kara Aubrey says:

    Isn’t that the truth! American Idol contestants pre-bank on winning the fame; and if they don’t win, they dump the rest of what they had, if they had anything at all, down the pipes of impossibility. I was just talking to a guy yesterday who’s trying to get in the “music biz” – I have to say I am getting quite fed up with hearing from many people like this, the fame seekers, and how these people say they just cut a CD and are going to play some famous club and automatically be famous! – all the while I’m thinking to myself, “so what’s the point of it all?” I couldn’t agree with you more Amy – without passion and purpose being so much beyond the desire for fame, there really is no point. This excites me all the more. 🙂

  4. THANK YOU AMY!!!!!!!! for reminding me that RECORD DEAL DOES NOT NECC. EQUAL SUCCESS.
    Success is doing what I love!


  5. Tom, I think you would LOVE this article I just read from derik Siver’s website. Instead of wanting to be famous, the author of this book is suggesting that “intimacy” and “interaction” leads to success.

    Here is the quote from Author Seth Godin:
    What you can sell, what you better be able to sell, is intimacy. It’s interactions in public. Souvenirs. Limited things of value. Experiences. Memories. People will pay for those things, IF: your art is actually great and if you make it possible for them to buy them.
    If it’s great, let it go. You’ll do fine. If it’s not great, figure out what great is and do that.
    A tall order, but a huge opportunity.”


    • That’s a great blog Michelle! (Not sure why I’m just now seeing your comment – you probably posted this when the blog first went out.!) Bill Gates says that we need to be both ‘high tech and high touch’. Your live shows are the ‘high touch’…getting upclose and personal – CONNECTING with people in the audience.

  6. AMEN! 🙂


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