As I was sat watching the X Factor over the weekend (I love the auditions, bootcamp and judges houses stages but am not so keen on the live shows) it occured to me how great the premise of the show is in terms of the opportunities it gives to unknowns in the music industry.
Take out the backstabbing, drama and Simon’s high waisted trousers, and the other pet hates that people have about the show, and drill it down the core idea. It is an equal opportunity, restricted only by a minimum age and ability to get to/attend the auditions, for anyone who believes that they have a talent and wants to make it as an artist/singer/performer, to put themselves out there and be judged. First and foremost by a panel of people who know what they’re talking about, and then secondly by the general public a.k.a the consumers. The former have either managed or produced or signed people or have experience of the industry from trying to claw to the top of it themselves, and the latter are the very people that the ‘unknown’ will rely on to make and keep them successful, through buying their music and building support through fan clubs, blogs etc.
The above was noted, and my brain then clicked into gear, the hamster upping his pace somewhat – and I wondered if it is just me that thinks that the New Writers’ Scheme provided by the RNA is essentially the same thing. Albeit it is without the backstabbing and the high-waisted trousers, though I do think we can leave in the drama as without it there would be no fun!
The NWS membership also provides equality of opportunities because it is open to any unpublished author who applies for membership in January, irrespective of age, race, religion etc etc until the number of allocated spaces is filled e.g. there is no qualifying criteria.
The NWS is also a chance for unknowns a.k.a wannabe writers to be judged by (a panel of) their peers e.g. published authors etc
Here, in my humble opinion, is where the similarities lie:-
1) NWS: Your partial or full Manuscript is sent off for a First Reading Vs. X Factor: You go onto the stage for your First Audition.
(For me there was a high level of nerves in sending off my MS which I can only imagine X Factor auditionees also experience whilst waiting in the wings to go on for the first time….)
2) NWS: If your (full) MS is good enough, it is put forward for a Second Reading Vs. X Factor: If you’re good enough you’re onto the second round – Bootcamp.
3) NWS : If your MS is at publishable standard it gets passed onto an agent/publisher for consideration Vs. X Factor: You have now reached the judges house for consideration for the live rounds
4) NWS : The agent/editor thinks you and your work are fabulous and marketable enough to be published and pitches to a publisher/a commissioning/acquisition team Vs. X Factor: Contestants perform live in the studio backed by their mentors
5) NWS: You are offered a publishing contract Vs. X Factor: You come in the top three/win and land a contract and are signed to a music label
6) Fame and Fortune beckon??!!
For details of the NWS please go to http://www.romanticnovelistsassociation.org/index.php/join/new_writers_scheme
For the latest gossip about the X-Factor go to http://xfactor.itv.com/2010/
Would love to hear your views on my theory!
Take care, Nikki.
P.S. Just in case you’re an X factor fan – Go Matt and Rebecca!