Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Courage to Express

As you know, I'm a trained opera singer. Even though I haven't been on stage for years, I still enjoy singing in the church choir, and I love finding new talent on the net. That's why this piece simply breaks my heart.
Watch this video ... I'll wait.

I literally had tears streaming by the end of this piece. Actually, the tears started before this courageous young man even started to sing. He is a 17-year-old teen, and in the opening interview he states that "people took the mickey out of me early on. Every time someone said something it was like they took a piece of me... "

That broke my heart.

I believe with every fiber of my being that we are all born with gifts given by God. It's up to us to develop them and use them to make this world a better place. But it seems our culture is determined to smother potential through pettiness and vanity.

I've spent years watching artists walk away from promising careers because too many people took too many pieces and they had nothing left to give. It's left the world a darker place.

I once read a blog where a publisher was answering questions about jacket covers. One person asked if an author should put their picture on the back. His response was something like "if they are nice looking or have a great photoshop guy, then sure." His flippant remark was meant to be funny. It made my stomach churn.

The arts are hard enough. Expression in any form means actually having the courage to share a piece of who you are with the world. It's putting your heart on the canvas, stage, paper, or dance floor and hoping that no one stomps on it. In today's culture where beauty is skin deep, and worth is based on body measurement, it makes it that much harder to be a normal person working in a commercial world.