Saturday, July 07, 2007

So You Want to be a Star?

When I was a kid I wanted to be up on stage singing, perhaps performing in musical comedy, maybe dancing, perhaps doing something else. I didn't know. All I knew is I loved music, went around the house with music in my head all day, happily singing whatever pop or musical comedy song I heard and loved that day.

I was turned away from that dream early and often. Not because I couldn't sing well but for other reasons beyond my control. Being different mostly and not knowing how to fit in.

Today I got a wonderful inspirational video sent to my email box. It's at and it shows a man auditioning for a British TV Show called "Britain's Got Talent." Very similar in many respects to "American Idol"— Simon Cowell is even one of the judges—but this was an instance that even blew Simon away.

A humble unassuming mobile phone salesman performed an operatic aria that moved the audience and judges to tears and had people on their feet roaring before he was halfway finished. In this video clip and a couple others available on You Tube this very quiet man talked about his lack of confidence, how he was always made fun of and made the outsider for being "different" in some way he really couldn't fathom, and how it was only when he was singing that he really felt okay. The audience and judges loved him now and he couldn't quite believe what was happening. It was inspiring and left me quite moved and not really quite sure what to do with the feelings this floodgate opened up for me.

I think what moved me most is that this man won such accolades for doing something he loved-- not for doing something that made sense, something he might be expected to do, something the masses respect. He chose a genre most Americans hate -- he sang an opera. And he was awe-inspiring.

The person who sent the link to me is a very sweet person named Ann Albers who makes a living partially by being an "angel communicator." She channels messages from the other side that are all about manifestation, trust and faith and sends them out via email once a week. I recommend getting on her mailing list. I like the messages but what really sells me on her is her personal commentary -- what she says about herself and how the messages address issues she has had in her own life.

This week she mentioned that she sometimes passes up opportunities that other people would give anything for. She turned down a radio show and has decided against finding a major publishing house for the book she is writing right now. After talking with other people in the business -- people who have become famous on the book promotion trail -- she realized she didn't want to pursue "success" like this. They complain about never being home, always needing to be on the road so much of the time, trying to do right by the publisher's agenda, they no longer feel able to set their own timetables and follow the dictates of their own hearts.

Hmmm. So many people get sucked into doing the expected thing, thinking this is their only chance for success. I wonder about that now. I wouldn't mind having a book contract for one of the projects I have in mind. But does becoming a "star" and attaining "success" really mean you no longer own your life? Or is that a phase on the road to true success -- setting limits for those who think they get to own your ass and insisting that you're the boss and doing right by yourself first, and then right by the people you're doing business with.

I seem to run into variations on this theme again and again. Be yourself. To your own self be true. Hard to do when your own way is so unexpected and different from the norm. But I'm starting to see the wisdom in it and I expect it will lead to a lot more rewards.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good post, Sheryl!