I have watched the video of Susan Boyle many times and every time I become a blubbering, sentimental, emotional cry baby. My box of tissues is severely tested. She is phenomenal.
If you haven't seen it Google her name and select the song "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Miserables. It will knock your socks and other pieces of your clothing off. The video is of her appearance on the British television program called "Brits Have Talent." Essentially it is a talent show in the tradition of Major Bowes and Ted Mack.
As she walked out to perform the audience almost jeered. On the way out, she said to two stage hands, "I am going to rock this crowd." Sure lady. She is 47 years old and not the most attractive person around. If she walked into the room she would not even get the once over once. She has two chins and strange looking hair. It looks like she stuck her finger into the water and then into a light socket resulting in a Dagwood Bumstead do when he is astonished. Her hair is thinning and flecked with grey reminiscent of a dappled horse. She wore a cheap looking gold, somewhat tight fitting dress that did not complement her figure. Her beefy arms gave clear indication of her age. Her face though not ugly would slow down if not stop some clocks on weak batteries. She looked like a pleasant next door neighbor not a person in show business.
The audience snickered, groaned and giggled as she took her place. People were rolling their eyes and making side comments to each other. Women hid behind their hands trying to stifle laughter. The three judges, two men and an extremely attractive woman (the epitome of show business chic and the direct opposite of Susan) were doing likewise. They did not try to hide their disrespect for Susan. They asked her age and where she was from and why she had not been successful in a singing career. She said, "No one has given me a chance before." Then she was asked, "Who would you like to sing like?" When she said, "Elaine Paige," they rolled their eyes, made sideways glances, snorted liked horses as if to say, "Such cheekiness! Who does she think she is? Let's get this over with." Doubt and fear flickered in Susan's eyes.
And then she sang. Oh did she sing! After a few measures the jeers turned to cheers. A few measures later the crowd stood as one and applauded wildly. Determination and resolve replaced the fear and doubt on her face. "I told you I could sing. Now what do you think?" The audience was ecstatic, roaring its approval. When she finished, the roof came off and the house came down. The judges evolved from disdain to quizzical to astonishment and they awarded her the highest score possible. She is now pursuing a singing career with Simon Cowel, one of the judges, as her manager.
Moral of the story. Be careful how you judge others on their appearance.
Larry grew up north of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School. He lives in Plainfield and can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or (317) 839-7656. Write him at Larry Vandeventer 6860 Sunrise Drive, Plainfield, Ind., 46168. He has written five books.