Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fairy Tale

A week ago there was a story in the London papers about a 47 year old, unmarried, unemployed woman who lived with her cat and dreamed of becoming a professional singer. She auditioned for the 3rd season of Britain's Got Talent and when she walked onstage in her frumpy dress and messy hair the judges (including Simon Cowell) and the audience laughed at the sight of her. Well then she opened her mouth and sang and she shocked them all.
The article in the paper appeared BEFORE the show had even aired on television and as soon as I read it I searched for a video clip and since it hadn't aired yet there was nothing. By the time the episode aired last weekend and a clip of her performance was uploaded to YouTube, she was already an internet sensation. Similar to the story of Britain Paul Potts the car phone salesman who won the first season of Britain's Got Talent in 2007 with his opera voice, last week Susan Boyle the unemployed Scottish woman with the voice of an angel shocked the world by singing the song I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables.
A few days ago when the clip was first posted I was able to embed it in my Facebook page but now that the clip has been seen by more than 14 million people the embedding has been disabled, but here is the link:
I've watched the clip about a dozen times and it never fails to send shivers up my spine and make me teary. Each time I watch it, just a short 7 minute video, I'm amazed at how astonishing what happened at that audition really is. I'm sure part of the appeal of the video is a result of clever editing and the hype about the audition that shocked even hard hearted Simon Cowell, but really... what is the emotion that affects the millions who watch it?
Susan Boyle has all the makings of a fabulous fairy tale or a blockbuster movie... an ugly duckling middle age woman who by her own admission has never been kissed and lives with a cat for companionship. She decides to make her own dreams come true and auditions for one of the most cynical men in the music business and with 1 song changes everything. Not only has Susan changed the course of her life when most of the world would have written her off, but she truly, truly touched that part of so many of us who have always believed that their lives were meant to be extraordinary but things just didn't go as we planned. For me it's not just the sheer beauty of her voice or the courage it took to finally chase your dream. It's the magic of watching a real dream come true.

No comments: