Monday, April 20, 2009

The Truth About Susan Boyle

If by now you haven't seen the Susan Boyle audition from the reality TV show, "Britain's Got Talent," then apparently you've been in a coma since April 11, because it's one of the hottest news items from the last 10 days. One of the Youtube videos alone has garnered more than 35 million hits in those 10 days although I'm not sure how accurate that number is since I think people visit it over and over. I know I've probably seen it 20-30 times, and I've listened to her soulful rendition of "Cry Me A River" at least half that many times.

I think there's a little bit of Susan Boyle in a lot of us, hidden talents that were once developed and had to go mostly fallow because life happened. Susan did sing karaoke locally and did do one song for a limited release charity album in 1999, but otherwise she put her aspirations aside to care for her mother. Her mother's passing did not kick start the dream immediately because she struggled emotionally afterwards for two years before finally getting up the courage to audition for "Britain's Got Talent."

I studied singing for several years, and one thing I can say is that I can hear it in a person's speaking voice if they are singing consistently and properly. The judges should have heard that in Susan's speaking voice right away, and even before she started to sing, her poise and confidence with the microphone should have also tipped them off. Of course, when she did start to sing, they quickly realized that this unassuming package was a hidden treasure.

Susan is not the only one on the various talent reality series who was an undiscovered treasure. I'm not concerned or terribly interested in the very talented kids that come on the show. Their dreams and training are just beginning. They have no where to go but up. I am more interested in the talent that has had to put their dreams aside to deal with life. That's where the Susan Boyle is in so many of us. Her overnight stardom simply illuminated a long standing fact that the teens and twenty-somethings do not own the world of talent and that they can learn a lot from Susan Boyle.

I once dreamed of singing opera professionally, but life got in the way. I have no desire to switch gears and return to opera training, but I would love to get into a recording studio and cut a CD. That option would never have been available to me 24 years ago, but today I can practically do it in my own home at my own computer.

Having a dream does not make the desire come to fruition because sometimes life just gets in the way. Life can blindside you. I wonder how many other Susan Boyles are out there? Men and women who have put their natural talents on hold in order to deal with life.

To me, that's the real truth about Susan Boyle - that sometimes you can finally grab that brass ring, even with life's interruptions, and that even at the age of 48, life can begin again.


maria said...

Hi Jenny,

Yeah.. we've been catching Susan on the news over here and also on our local "Australia's Got Talent" tv show.

I said to my husband that she reminds me of "stage greats" ie. people who sing in theatre and can project their voice to the audience and give everyone goose bumps with their gift. Speaking of which I'm not a singer but sometimes I can tell from someone's speaking voice too if they have a great singing voice. I don't look for it but when I hear great singers speak.. it's like mentally it 'clicks' and I hear something familiar in their speaking voice that I hear in other singers voices. But great the judges of 'Britains Got Talent' - should they have been so surprised when Susan began to sing?

Susan's story/journey is an inspirational one. I look at it from a biblical perspective and think 'God has stuff for us to do'...and 'You never know what doors God will open for you'.

Can I share a bit about what's been happening with me? I started my humble foodie blog 3 or 4 years ago and a few months ago I was contacted by a local FM radio station (with audiences of up to maybe half a million --remember.. we only have about 20 million in all of Australia). More precisely, the breakfast announcer, Guryel Ali (a musician) contacted me and to cut a long story short, I'm now on radio once a week! Pardon? Me??! I don't usually like the spotlight on me and I'm not really a 'public' person. But here I am, on Tuesday mornings for around 10 minutes I have a bit of a chat with Guryel and pass on a 'recipe of the week'. And the station now links to my blog and publishes my recipe.

Who'd have thunk it? I love being a foodie and I love my blog..but it was obviously God blessing me because I sometimes still can't believe I'm on the radio. It's a Christian station too.

Anyway.. I wanted to share that because if anything like that was going to happen in my life.. I would have wanted it/ expected it in my late teens and twenties. A lot of stuff has 'eluded me'.. I feel and I have felt confused by that. I've had passionate dreams, but only closed doors and unfavourable circumstances came my way.

I'm 40 now. (Had my birthday in March). Hubby and I have reconciled - I had my 'dream trip' with him and my girl to Cradle Mountain Tasmania (hiking) to celebrate. Stuff has been happening that has felt like "dreams coming true".

So I identify with your blog post and am so glad you wrote it because I hope others are reminded that it's "never too late" to achieve things or have your dreams come true.

Thank you for your wisdom and perspective! :)

Slowing the Aging Process said...
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