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Recruitment Record; Forget the dreams of overnight stardom, a showbusiness career calls for years of hard slog, warns MARJORIE CALDER.

Be honest. Do you sing in the bath, or tell jokes to yourself in the car's rear view-mirror?

Chances are, you know you have the voice of Frank Sinatra, with the sex appeal of Tom Jones and the comic skills of Ben Elton all rolled into one. You just haven't been discovered ... yet.

But the advice from one of Scotland's leading variety agents, Emkay Entertainments, remains: Don't call us, we'll call you.

With almost 30 years of experience in the industry, Emkay know the chances of an unknown artiste being plucked from obscurity to be plunged straight into the limelight are tiny.

The variety entertainment business requires graft and persistence, just like any other. Yet Emkay agent Glyn Davies insists that once someone has started such a career, very few ever leave.

And Karen Logan, right, would agree. She first strutted her stuff in front of the stage lights in a show with Johnny Beattie.

Years of hard slog followed as she built up a showbiz pedigree before backing superstars such as Dionne Warwick and Ben E. King. Karen is living proof that a good living can be made.

And there's always that carrot of possible stardom to inspire a struggling performer. Although Glyn Davies is an agent, he still gigs as a comedian and singer, and loves that buzz from live performance.

The industry has changed from the heydays of the 1960s, when the proliferation of working men's clubs guaranteed work for entertainers seven nights a week.

The clubs may have gone, but there are no fewer people bitten by the showbiz bug. They just need even more persistence and a good agent to ensure the work keeps coming in.

Glyn said: "Even the most laid-back semi-professional can work every Saturday night in life, if they are talented.

"Some still work seven nights a week, and many will not have had Christmas or Hogmanay at home since they started."

The principle of "the show must go on" still applies, so entertainers inevitably miss family birthdays, weddings and anniversaries, if there is a chance of a paid gig.

You can never know whether this might be the one where the TV talent scout might change your life, or even just that you might secure a lucrative regular contract.

Inside, we look at the current state of the entertainment industry in Scotland, and how best to make a good living in it ... while never giving up on that dream of becoming a star.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Calder, Marjorie
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 18, 1999
Words:412
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