We watch American Idol, well, we do now after a few years off. Wednesday night was the first night back for season 11 and of course the first couple of episodes show some people with real talent and people whose talents definitely do not lie in the singing spectrum.
Invariably, every person with lackluster vocal talents said, “Well, everyone says I can sing!” ”They say I’m a cross between Brad Paisley and Chris Daughtry,” or “I’ve sung the National Anthem at lots of ballgames!” And every time I say, “bless their heart!” Marty says that they bring it on themselves, but some of them have friends and family who have travelled with them across miles to support them in this endeavor, and they have lied to them! Lied! Anyone hearing some of these people would know that there is no talent. Some of the friends are grinning as they console them because they knew what was going to happen!
When I was younger I wanted nothing more than to be an actress on a Soap Opera. I know, shocking right? I’m not the least bit overdramatic! I wanted to be on General Hospital, to be exact. I wanted to be a nurse, right beside Bobbi and marry Lucky Spencer (son of the soap opera super couple Luke and Laura). I wanted to sit right beside Susan Lucci and wait for my Daytime Emmy (forget the Oscars!), and hopefully it wasn’t going to take me 19 years. I loved to act. I was in small productions in Lexington as a 3rd-4th grader, I ate up church Christmas productions (even as a Kindergartener I longed to be Mary but was stuck as an angel because of my blonde hair.) I did some theater in high school, I was an avid reader and often acted books out in my head/room (overshare? Is it any wonder I didn’t have a lot of friends?). I guess somewhere along the way someone filled me in that there were not a lot of roles for fat, pimple ridden girls in daytime drama. I also realized at some point, I’m not that talented. You should hear my performances of the nightly Bible readings. I try to give different accents but they all come out sounding a little southern cockney.
The point I’m trying to make is, someone told me the truth. Hard as it may have been, I wouldn’t trade the way my life turned out for anything. But someone had to tell me, so that I didn’t get up on national television and make an idiot of myself.
I guess, as a parent, that’s the struggle, how much truth do we tell them. Do we tell the clumsy one that they’ll never be the star of the basketball team? Do we tell the ugly girl she’ll never be prom queen? Do we tell the 12 y/o with the cracking voice he’ll never sing? I think it’s my job to encourage, and please hear me say my parents did that (they sat through a whole season of basketball where I rode the bench, played for a total of 30 seconds I believe). But, I also have to guide, point them in directions where they can succeed, encourage them in new endeavors (thanks for that season of basketball by the way), and speak truth when it’s just not going as it should.
If the first 4 years have been any clue, my children are destined for Daytime Emmys. Watch out Susan Lucci!