Ebony Haith from season 1 of America’s Next Top Model and Naomi Julia of The Entertainment Industry Insider

Throughout history, entertainers were those who could do it all- sing, dance, act and model. To be successful as a performer, one needed to be well rounded and capable of delivering in any and every situation. As harder lines developed between the film, music and fashion industries, well rounded entertainers were no longer necessary. Being good at one thing and one thing only was enough to break someone into their desired business, and although cross over attempts may have been made, few were successful.

Over the last decade or so, those lines have started to blur again. Film, music and fashion have all faced their individual struggles and the solution seems to be entertainers who can once again deliver in a variety of circumstances. There are very few successful singers who haven’t modeled or made an appearance in television or film. There are even fewer actors who are incapable of belting out a tune or doing a dance number if asked, and the rise of the red carpet has turned all sorts of entertainers into fashion plates for renowned and upcoming designers.

However, for aspiring entertainers who are multi-talented, old advice and methodology is still being dished out. They must choose between the music, fashion, and film/television industries. Their other talents remain hidden until lightening strikes and they become celebrities. But if society and the industry are demanding well-rounded entertainment, why are hopefuls still shoved into boxes?

“The lines between the industries don’t really exist anymore at the top, but lower down the ladder are professionals who are quite specialized,” says Naomi Julia of The Entertainment Industry Insider. “Being specialized can be a very good thing for the professional, but it can also lead to them giving bad advice to young talent with a wide variety of options. A modeling agency will tell you to be a model. An acting agent will tell you to be an actor. A music manager will tell you to focus on singing. It’s their job.”

Even for young talent pursuing singing and acting simultaneously, it’s still considered being in multiple industries. A general ‘entertainment industry’ doesn’t really exist, so these performers are essentially developing and managing multiple careers at the same time in businesses that require artists to give their all. Hopefully juggling is one of their talents.

“It takes more than just passion to be a successful entertainer, although passion is a must. You also need to develop a long term strategy and essentially build your own business where you are the product.” Julia continues, “Too many talented kids seek out professionals and hope to be plugged into an existing system. But to be successful as an overall performer, you have to build your own system and your own team dedicated to your own goals.”

They don’t market Swiss Army Knives as just a corkscrew. The many purposes it serves make up the main selling point. With entertainers, it should be no different. However, what’s happening at the top levels for the biggest celebrities is taking its time trickling down to the entry gate. Doing it yourself and carving out your own path, at the moment, seems to be the best option. No one said it would be easy.

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