On Monday night the season finale of Smash aired. We finally got to find out which woman – the talented veteran or the green as grass new girl – would get to play the lead role in the musical that they had been competing for (I won’t spoil what happened).
As you probably know, I host a podcast discussing this show, and the competition between these two women was a hotbed of debate. All of us had a side we wanted to see succeed (my side lost. Sad. ). One argument that kept coming up was whether or not the green girl deserved the role over the equally talented veteran. Should one have to “pay their dues” or does that not matter if you have the “it” factor?
This is a debate that surfaces all over the place. We always hear stories of the band that’s never done a tour getting a huge record deal or the actor who’s first job is a major motion picture or the writer who makes the bestsellers list with his first novel. On the other side of these stories are the bands that are just as talented, have been touring for years and still have no contract; the equally talented actor who has been at it for years and only landed local commercials; the equally talented writer who has spent years writing a library of books and doesn’t even have an agent.
There are also stories, however, where the artist who has put in the years of hard work – in other words, paid her dues – FINALLY lands that record contract, acting role, or book deal that she has been chasing. Both versions of the story make us cheer for very different reasons. But which one is *fair*?
This debate also reaches beyond the arts. Similar things happen in virtually every career field that exists. There are always dues that are said need to be paid and there are always those who defy that right of passage. Is one situation more fair than the other?
I don’t know the answer to these questions. This is just something that I have been thinking a lot about ever since the finale of Smash. I am curious to know your thoughts about this. Do you think that someone who has put in the time should find success ahead of a newbie? What if that newbie has more innate talent, has the “it” factor? Does the answer depend on the specific situation? Is there an answer? Let me know what you think in the comments.