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December 06, 2007


Joe Otten

A very good point, regarding top bosses at least, but surely actors are bad example.

Whether you can sing or act or play football well is relatively cheap to reveal.

Whether a band can be trusted to stay together and keep working rather than sulk or split up over artistic differences is difficult to reveal, and therefore explains high rock star income, and also a preference among record companies for avoiding artistic differences by avoiding artistic content altogether.

But actors can get small parts in big films or big parts in small films, they can audition, this is fairly cheap. Footballers can play for minor teams.

Isn't the football club much like the studio. Does it really make a difference?


I sincerely concurr, i for one believe that i am repositance of talent,but much of it isnt realized ;not that there isnt effort...but that there is limited exposure. Life has its own inherent inequities ,the challenge remains is how to circumvent them!

Ian Bertram

The proliferation of internships paying nothing is a clear demonstration that the media industry does make you pay to reveal your talent.


Some talent is simply more obvious than others, cf: Menuhin; Horowitz; Pavarotti; Velazquez; Shakespeare; Austen, et al. Their talent is directly discernible: a business executive's isn't.


Performers have always believed that, haven't they? That all they need is one good chance to prove themselves. Hence the Casting Couch. Hence the Talent Show.

james c

In the case of Hollywood stars, your argument seems wrong to me.

One could argue, as you do, that all Hollywood does is simply to reveal talent-it is much more plausible to argue that they create stars, albeit from those with the right raw material.

There are of,course, one-offs, but the industry is built on turning young hopefuls into formulaic products.

The stars then derive an economic rent, because the film-viewing public likes to watch films with actors that it knows.

Your comments about the collapse of the studio system also do not seem convincing to me. It is natural that the studio system should emerge at the start of the industry, when there were no establsished stars. Once the stars had been created, they would inevitably demand a better deal and the system would collapse.

Exactly the same thing happened with the (popular) music business where the talent gets a much better deal than in the early days.

Larry Teabag

The problem with this analysis is that you conflate "box-office appeal" with "talent" for actors.

In case of managers the two analogs boil down to the same thing.

But for actors, they do not. Keanu Reeves springs to mind as an example.


Talent is not really necessary in the entertainment world. So long as the masses are kept distracted by the mediocre celebrities, they are rewarded.

Not everyone can be allowed to join the ranks of celebrity...there has to be a filter...this filter makes mediocre people into celebrities with mass appeal.


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You can count on the band to stay together and continue to work rather than sulking Than or split up over creative differences are difficult to detect, and explains the great rock star of income and also a favorite among record companies, artistic differences avoid by avoiding artistic content completely.


Very good article, thanks for sharing

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