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.