Some people dedicate their entire lives to mastering one thing in life, but others have been gifted enough to excel in every endeavor they pursue. In the world of entertainment, excelling in one craft whether it’s in film, TV, music, or theatre, is already an achievement in its own right considering the amount and level of competition it takes just to break into the industry.
However, there are those who break barriers and test the limits of human capabilities by being the best in every field. These are known as the EGOTs, and there have only been 18 people in the long history of the entertainment industry who have achieved this coveted status. Let’s take a look at its origins and what it entails for one to be part of this almost-exclusive club of exceptional artists in the entertainment industry.
A Status Symbol Only for the Chosen Few
An EGOT is a status that an individual acquires when they have won all of the prestigious and major American awards namely an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. You can say that an artist who has achieved this prominence has reached the pinnacle of their career and a legacy that will go down in history.
“The term was coined by Miami Vice actor Philip Michael Thomas, who first told it to the Associated Press in 1984 at the height of the NBC action show’s success.”
In the rich and long-running history of Hollywood, there have only been 18 remarkable artists who have achieved this status symbol including beloved artists such as Audrey Hepburn, Whoopi Goldberg, Viola Davis, John Legend, Scott Rudin, Mel Brooks, and Jennifer Hudson among others.
There have only been 18 people in the long history of the entertainment industry who have achieved this coveted status
Composer Richard Rodgers was the first person to ever achieve this status within 17 years of his prosperous career in the industry. Some of his awards include an Emmy for Original Music Composed for TV for Winston Churchill: The Valiant Years (1962), a Grammy for Best Show Album for The Sound of Music (1960), an Oscar for Best Original Song for State Fair (1945), and a few Tony awards for South Pacific (1950), The King and I (1952), and The Sound of Music (1960).
Filipino-American songwriter, Robert Lopez, has not only become the youngest EGOT at 39 but also the only person who has achieved the status twice in just a span of a decade. He is known for Disney hits such as Frozen’s “Let It Go” (2014) and Coco’s “Remember Me” (2018). His other awards include Avenue Q (2004), Wonder Pets (2008 & 2010), and The Book of Mormon (2011).
There are also artists such as Barbara Streisand, James Earl Jones, and Alan Menken who won honorary EGOT titles, which is a non-competitive award that recognizes their excellence.
While becoming an EGOT seems like years of climbing an uphill battle with no guarantee, it is not an impossible feat; with the right kind of mindset, hard work, passion, resilience, perseverance, and luck it can be achieved. Here are some of the ways you can hone your craft to increase your chances of getting inducted into the league of entertainment legends.
The Road to the EGOT
The simplest and most obvious of all is putting in the work in studying the craft. If you are to be dubbed an EGOT, you must possess the necessary skills and talent to excel in wearing different hats across film, TV, music, and theatre. Do your research by learning from distinguished artists to understand their journey and how their craft contributed to and shaped the industry. Know every aspect of the industry, especially what worked and didn’t work in the past so you can find ways how to innovate it and make it your own. Once you have acquired the knowledge, make sure to put it into practice. There’s nothing more powerful than learning from experience that will help you master the craft in no time. Work on as many projects across all fields to gain the professional experience you need to
Being a master of your craft would mean nothing if you don’t put yourself out there and start creating. No matter how difficult it is to sit down with your thoughts or how many times you or your ideas get rejected, you must never stop creating, going to auditions, and joining competitions or fellowships to progress your career. If it’s an option already, get yourself a manager or agent to champion you and help you find opportunities you might not have access to.
You must possess the necessary skills and talent to excel in wearing different hats across film, TV, music, and theatre
If you’re unable to secure opportunities or an agent, it’s probably not because of your lack of talent, but the lack of networking with the right people who can put you in the right rooms and get your foot in the door. Networking is the name of the game because the way opportunities circulate is done through word of mouth, so you need to find a way to get into that exclusive circle to get you that coveted breakthrough.
An important thought to hold on to is that there is no such thing as an overnight success, but years of unwavering perseverance and hard work will surely pay off if you never give up despite the doubts and setbacks. There’s a reason why award-winning artists always acknowledge and emphasize that in their acceptance speech, they know how it feels to be a beginner and a nobody who had to give it all they’ve got to succeed and make a difference through storytelling. Even if you’re unable to win these major awards, just the fact that you are pursuing your dreams and doing what you love is already a feat worth celebrating.