I recently read a blog post (for inspiration) which was titled "How to NOT become famous". This did indeed give me inspiration on the chances of becoming famous, and in particular in the performing arts. This is where the perspiration comes in....
There is a simple mathematical equation to figure out the percentage of famous people on the planet. According to Wikipedia there are about 870,000 notable people on the planet. We can divide that by the total population (7,442,000,000), and we get .012% famous people on the planet. With those odds, go play the ponies, you will fare much better.
Now, according to an article by Patrick Gleesen in Chron 2018*, the numbers are more solemn for acting. According to this article, there were a reported 135,600 actors in 2017. If you multiple that number by .00012 (.012%) of the total population, you get 16.3 total "famous" actors.
Now in this day and age with everyone (even mothers) having Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, plus there are a gazillion ways to make a movie or TV show, you might think that number is low. I do, too. But if you truly think about it, there really aren't that many famous actors who are household names.
This is where inspiration and perspiration come into play. If the numbers (no matter what number it is, let's agree to agree that it is a LOW percentage of actors who become famous) are low, can it really be an absolute that 50% Inspiration and 50% Perspiration will lead you to achieve your goals?
The answer is quite frankly yes and no. It is 100% true that if you work hard and you stay focused, achieving your goals will happen. However, it is also true that just because you play the lottery every week, doesn't mean you will win the jackpot.
If the 50/50 rule is not an absolute, then what does it take to become famous as an actor? It doesn't hurt to be rich (or from a rich family) so that you can focus on your craft and not on trying to eat. Nor does it hurt to be really good-looking, or really funny, or just super different looking, or at least know a great plastic surgeon (hence being rich). And, you need a great manager.
What is the moral? The moral is to know the difference between success and fame. Success can come in many forms - personal success, financial success, career success. But fame just means a lot of people know your name. I can think of a few (and I am trying to be nice here) famous people who I do not believe have succeeded in anything, but is just famous.
Go give it your 50/50 and succeed! Becoming famous might just follow.
*Gleeson,, Patrick. "Statistics on People Getting Famous in Acting." Work - Chron.com, http://work.chron.com/statistics-people-getting-famous-acting-23946.html. 27 June 2018.