After tracking down a number of YouTube clips of great film composers’ early works for another post on this forum, it really struck me how special and rare it is to be a great artist.
99.9% of painters, actors, songwriters, sculptors, singers, designers, musicians, photographers, dancers, and composers are dreadful at worst and adequate at best.
Skipping all of the other EXTREMELY important other attributes that a media composer needs to forge a successful career (perseverance, collaboration, relationships, social skills, salesmanship, leadership, instilling confidence, problem solving, etc.), the most basic attribute is the quality of what they compose.
Most composers are more like the band doing a set at their local bar. They are probably somewhat competent, but nothing that special. Hopefully, they are getting great satisfaction out of playing music, but not deluding themselves into thinking that they are about to breakout into the big time because of their awesome music.
The same applies to the stand-ups at open mic night, dancers in a community theatre production, actors in a homemade video, painters in the community art exhibit, photographers posting in social media and songwriters loading their music onto Soundcloud.
It is really wonderful that those who enjoy expressing themselves creatively have so many outlets to do so.
But, let’s not kid ourselves. Just because someone likes creating and derives great joy out of doing so doesn’t mean they are more than merely competent at doing so.
The next time someone wants to question why someone is not getting further along in their pursuits, one of the key questions to ask and answer with brutal honesty is:
ARE THEY MERELY ADEQUATE?