Every day the public hears about something "going viral." This could be a video, photo, tweet and so-on. The media become fascinated with these stories. The subject of the viral success (it could be a person, group of people, animal, really almost anything) may then go on to appear on national and international media outlets. If they are lucky (or if they chose to), they can parlay this into a career or a new venture. However, it is how they handle the success that is a major factor in determining this.
In Hollywood, overnight success often occurs when a member of the entertainment community (actors, actresses, artists etc.) has a lot of success all at once, and was virtually an unknown until this success occurred. It could be a movie or the right push from a music label. It also might be directly linked to "viral" success as it is becoming more and more common for someone in the entertainment community to be discovered online or find success online first.
There are different factors in that determine "viral" success. But, when it comes to talent, it tends to be more age driven. The teen (or even younger) singer or artist is popular and some have gained success from this. Justin Bieber is probably the most successful artist to have been discovered from this using this medium. Because of his success, many have attempted to emulate this, though it is difficult to achieve.
Overnight success stories or viral sensations are fascinating and will remain a staple in our culture (at least for now). But the journey of how a person got to the point of success is just as fascinating for many. Personally, I don't want to always see the 10-year-old become the viral sensation. It's alright occasionally, but knowing that the talent has had their ups-and-downs and worked hard "pounding the pavement" has a greater appeal to me. And I am not alone.
Each Olympic Games, the public are not only captivated by the skills of the athletes, but also curious about the road they took to get to the games. This is highlighted in the stories on the athletes as well as advertisements showcasing this. In talent competition shows, this is a staple. Besides talent, the viewers' love a good backstory. Even if the journey doesn't directly relate to their situation, the contestant becomes more "relatable" to the viewer. While their backstory might not make them win, it usually helps the contestant and is good for the ratings.
The entertainment field is not a level playing field. How someone makes it (and if they make it) varies from person-to-person. It is great that some people obtain viral success at a young age. Still, I find myself rooting for the person that I could tell worked for in some cases years to get to a certain point. They could be a current artist who finally had a #1 hit after years of being in the industry or an actor who finally won an award after being nominated many (too many) times.
In the past, I have written about a few up-and-coming artists, directors and so-on. There is a chance that some of them may experience "overnight success" in terms of the rapidity that the success comes-in. They could one day record a video that also goes viral. Both scenarios are entirely possible. However, I can firmly say their success was far from overnight. Instead, their careers have been like a rock that they have been pushing up the side of the mountain for years and the success is the mountain finally beginning to level out. While I wish the 10-year-old great success in his or her career, it is these people I rather see "go viral."