For actors, musicians, and any other kinds of performers, getting booked for paid gigs can seem virtually impossible without the help of a talent agent. Now is the time for democratizing live entertainment. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in — even in the technology field — it can be challenging to get your name out there without the right people helping you out.

How to find the right people to help your career can be discouraging for many talented performers.

Hiring an agent can be expensive and ever elusive — while most up-and-coming actors and musicians simply do not have the funds or connections to make this happen. Until fairly recently, many talented individuals were still finding it incredibly difficult to find paid work.

Thanks to the power of the internet, however, that all changed — and we have begun to democratize live entertainment.

MySpace was one of the first social media platforms that allowed it’s users to upload original music and other forms of content to their profiles. Now there are many platforms, channels, sites (think: YouTube); TV shows (think: America’s Got Talent, and Britain’s Got Talent). All of these inclusionary avenues set in motion what would later become a democracy of live entertainment.

Many now-famous faces got their start with the help of MySpace, including Adele, The Arctic Monkeys, and Lily Allen.

MySpace gave a running start to many unknown musicians. Finally, these vastly talented artists had the chance to share their music with the masses. Extensive and far-reaching streams provided word of mouth needed for success. “Did you listen to this new song?” And with that phrase, many artists were catapulted to stardom seemingly overnight.

YouTube was one of the next social media platforms to follow in Myspace’s footsteps — these pushed us a long way to democratizing live entertainment.

The YouTube video sharing site helped launch the careers of many of the superstars of today — most notably Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, and Charlie Puth. Rather than just hearing a track, YouTube allowed viewers to put a face to the voice they were listening to, and many YouTube artists even started making their own low-budget music videos to go with their songs.

With enough views, musicians and other artists were even able to make money solely from uploading content to YouTube.

When you can do your own filming, provide entertainment and deliver beautiful artistry in many formats — and actually make a living by doing so — it finally helped legitimize something many people saw as just a hobby. YouTube isn’t just for musicians, either.

Gurus who are knowledgable or helpful in any number of areas (think: cosmetics, clothing, how-to’s; family channels; psychology; exercise, yoga, and daily vloggers have become an essential part of the YouTube sphere). Countless numbers of these figures going on to becoming household names (Tana Mongeau, Emma Chamberlain, Tyler Oakley).

With the arrival of music streaming platforms like SoundCloud and Bandcamp — even more unknown performers were able to gain a large following by uploading their tracks to the internet.

You may be familiar with the term “SoundCloud Rapper,” which is essentially an artist that found success on the music streaming platform, particularly in the “mumble rap” microgenre. This style of music is incredibly popular today, with artists like Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Pump, and Lil Yachty paving the way for other up-and-coming rappers of their kind.

Mobile apps have also become a big part of the democracy of live music.

Mobile apps like Special Guest, making it easier than ever for talented performers to get booked for paid gigs. Musicians of every conceivable kind, composers, instrumentalists, actors, and even celebrity impersonators from across the country can find paid work through apps that are being developed almost daily.

Performers and artists in every town, city, and country — can begin where they are — in their area of expertise — and find a place to showcase and display their talents. It no longer matters whether you live in a small midwest town or a big city like Los Angeles there can be a play for you.

For talented performers looking for a way to break into the industry, the future is looking bright.

With so many ways to get your talent seen — your music can be heard. You no longer have to hold that beauty — that voice inside of you. The entertainment industry is changing in ways to democratize live enterainment — that has never before been possible.

Put yourself out there — get ready — we are waiting — please, show us what you can do.

Deanna Ritchie

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content development.