Thursday, September 15, 2011

Be a Star: Madonna, Sting, Larry the Cable Guy...Seeing a Pattern?

Her real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. She attended New York University’s Tisch School of Arts. An accomplished pianist, she went on to play night clubs all over the Big Apple, paying her dues, barely scraping by. Until…

Unless you’re an insane Lady Gaga fanatic, you probably didn’t know her real name. Hopefully, you see where I’m going with this. This is the 3rd part of the Be a Star series in which I hope to persuade you to think of the publishing industry as show business. In spite of Lady Gaga’s talent, she still thought about marketing. Her name is memorable after hearing it once. She makes all the headlines when she wears dresses made of meat.

If you don’t see a connection between the diva and your manuscript, maybe this will help: A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. Well, since the great success of this YA blockbuster, we’ve learned that Lemony Snicket is a clever pseudonym for Daniel Handler. I have to admit that when I first heard about the publication, the author’s name was the catchiest part.

Snicket and Gaga had to work their butts off and come up with a PR storm to make a living doing this artist gig. So again, keep these stories about paying dues (like the one about Willie Nelson) in your back pocket for when you get a rejection letter.

That said, I’d like to thank everyone who attended the RMFW Gold Conference. As the publicity chair, I take it seriously to get writers in the door to our little soiree and I sincerely hope it helped all of you. If you didn’t snag the deal, make sure you keep the connections. Those can be just as valuable.

I leave you with a short clip from our Novel Idea Follies—one of many programs that makes our Gold Conference the most festive in the landscape of writers' seminars.

The Book Deal (To the Tune of Paperback Writer)

Starring Terry Kroenung and Herb Padzensky.

Gusto Dave


Bev Walton-Porter said...

I know a lot of people snark about Lady Gaga, but my son just graduated from Tisch School of the Arts with honors in Dramatic Writing, and it's no piece of cake to get in and finish that program! The first week he was there, he called and said, "Mom...are you sure they didn't make a mistake? Am I supposed to be here?" It was overwhelming for a kid from Colorado in the big city of NY.

We are a middle-class family and we don't earn a ton of money. I'm a full-time writer, so you know I'm not rolling in dough! Our son only got to go there because he kicked butt in school, graduated #6 in his class and grabbed a bunch of scholarships/grants.It costs about 59k a year to go there -- NO way we could afford that!

Anyway, the point is that NYU's Tisch is a challenging program, and the majority of students who apply will NOT make it in. It's that selective. Tisch grads are like a who's who of Hollywood. But even attending such an exclusive, challenging program does NOT guarantee success! It's all about making the right moves and connections, promoting and marketing your wares (or product). People who do that (like Gaga) will have a better chance of success.

So although many people don't like Gaga and complain about her not having talent (to which I say, "What?") I have an idea of what it took for her to succeed at such a young age, and she IS talented! She's done her homework, she put what she learned to good use and now you're seeing those results.

Instead of people hating on Gaga, they should LEARN some lessons from her success and apply those lessons to their own lives. Otherwise, it smacks of envy/jealousy/sour grapes.

Thanks for posting this!

Chiseled in Rock said...

Well said, Bev! And good luck to your boy and you!


j. a. kazimer said...

Loved the novel follies. Thanks for entertaining us weary writers after an intense day of conferencing!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I had a ball at the novel idea follies. This was one of the fun highlights.

Chris Devlin said...

*really enthusiastic applause*