So you wanna be a star do you?

Hollywood cranks stars out like they’re Skittles. New York births fame like we spawn pollen. But how are artists really made? We’ve all heard about the overnight sensation that was 11 years in the making. The fame that lasts almost always is backed by serious talent and incredible tenacity.

Too often we tell our kids how great they are for small moments. We give trophies, ribbons, and medals at the drop of a hat. For many, these accolades are meant as positive reinforcement or support. Same as a pat on the back or saying “Good job” used to be. That’s all well and good – as long as everyone realizes that being Great takes hours of work, sacrifice, and grit to keep going – even when there’s no obvious carrot at the end of the stick.

Mia Green was probably 14-years old when she accompanied me to a radio interview almost a year and a half ago. I’d heard about her and asked if she’d be on our first live show. The deejay and I were taken by her composure at the taping. No visible jitters or nerves. Then, when she took the stage at the show at Agnes Scott College, she walked out with just her guitar to center stage. She talked of her songwriting, performed flawlessly, and blew the audience away.

She was an overnight sensation to that audience. One who’d been working at her craft for years in her room, during lessons, at school talent shows, and before her church family. Fast forward a year and a half from that June 2014 show and there she is on the lineup at the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival. She sounds even better. Her growth, determination, and obvious love for music are a joy to experience firsthand.

Fall is festival season. Next time you pass a stage, take a moment and realize that person up there has put in some long, hard hours for their art. Give them a smile, maybe a clap, and who knows? Maybe they’ll be the next “overnight sensation”.

*Keep your ears open. Mia’s first cd should be out soon!