Monday, December 1, 2008


It’s a fascinating question. Sensible in every way. Why, after suffering rejection after rejection after rejection, are people in show business willing to continue coming back to the marketplace to try again?

The answer lies in this story. (You may already have heard it, but the answer lies there anyway.)

There’s this agent, who has one client, an unknown opera singer who sings magnificently. The agent brings him to the La Scala Opera House, where tenacious persistence, he procures an audition for his client.

The agent and the La Scala theater manager sit side by side in the empty opera house, as the newcomer, alone onstage, begins to sing. His voice is a revelation. Despite his many years in the opera racket, the theater manager has never heard anyone sing so purely, so powerfully, so beautifully, so evocatively.

“Did I tell you?” crows the agent, following the unbridled enthusiasm of the theater manager’s applause?

“This man is the greatest opera singer I have ever heard!” effuses the theater manager. “I want to book him immediately to perform at La Scala!”

“That’s wonderful!’ cries the agent.

The theater manager then asks,

"What is your asking price for your client to perform in my opera house?”

“A million dollars a performance,” the agent replies.

“A million dollars a performance!”

“That’s our price. Take it or leave it.”

“But it’s insane. Be reasonable, Man. How many bookings do you expect to get at a million dollars a performance?”

The agent replies, confidently,

“We only need one.”


growingupartists said...

Looking forward to Who, What, When, and How. You could package it as a series.

Happy Advent!

Gary Mugford said...


The comic book version of this joke involves the super hero capturing and imprisoning the super villain for the umpteenth time. A little peeved at having to do it time after time, the super hero asks, "Why, oh why, do you keep trying to take over the world when you know I'm going to stop you?"

"Only gotta win once," mumbles the villain.