You never really realise, when you start out. The years tumble by and people fall to the side, but some stay.
You're in it together.
You have those people at the top and the people at the bottom, and you find yourself somewhere in the mix struggling to get by.
And the geniuses pass straight to the top, as do the ones related to the big shots. Everyone else shuffles through the fields trying projects and finding themselves and losing themselves.
Sometimes it's like everyone is succeeding, other times it's just rejections and failures and let downs.
One by one people go down one lane or the other. Someone lands a big role and another lands a pregnancy and life takes people on their unique journeys.
It's not a race, you realise. The most talented ones often struggle the most. If you have something new or interesting, no-one is going to get it. People on reality TV rise because they're exactly what we already know, no surprises. They soon fall away.
You find yourself surrounded by the most talented people in the world, yet only seven people know their work and collectively you barely earn enough money for lunch.
But it's not a race. It's a journey and one by one you take a step forward. The audience gets bigger.
You surround yourself with talent and passion and you wait to see the day the world gets clued in, and eventually they do. It's not just talent, it's luck, it's life, it's serendipity. You gotta work at it and hang around long enough.
You never know when or why it will click. 'Jaws' wasn't even going to be a good movie; but the shark broke, and Shaw hated Dreyfuss, and A-listers turned down the Brody role, and Spielberg nearly got sacked 50 times. Dreyfuss came out on TV and distanced himself from the film, said he was embarrassed by it.
But "Jaws" came along at the right time, and cinema changed. Thank God they stuck by it. You see it on a smaller scale every year. Someone breaks, they fall into sudden relevancy. It's not about big breaks, it's about destiny. Its about staying in the game.
Your friends start to succeed, and it's the sweetest feeling in the world. All those people who told them to keep it real, to stick to the day job.
You surround yourself with artists who resonate with you. A mixed bag of writers, actors, musicians and directors. You whittle it down to the people who really have an impact on you. Because if they can reach you, they can reach the world. It's all about the personal connection. Eventually, they succeed, they land the deal and find the audience. But as the world sits there, surprised at their success, you are comforted by the knowledge that you knew it would happen all along.