Since the first big talent/singing tv show hit my world, which for me was not Young Talent Time (for the kiddies playing at home, it existed even before I was born), or even really ‘Hey Hey, it’s Saturday‘, it was more like Oz Idol, in 2003; peers, friends and strangers have heard me sing and boldly chirped “You should go on ……..!”. I politely smile, make polite chit chat and quietly wonder about the scenario of that actually happening.
To be honest, the thought of Ian Dickson telling me if (he thinks) I’m good or not left an empty and cold feeling in my soul. Rubbing shoulders with Marcia Hines would probably have been fun, and who was the other one? Oh yeah, the guy that will actually sign and back you if you’re good, or sellable, or show a bit of chest – male or female – either works.
I always imaged if I did it, it would actually be to learn more about my vocal instrument from the vocal coach (Erana Clark) and to learn more about arrangement and performance from the musical director (John Foreman). I’m happy to google that you can actually just go and seek out vocal coaching with Erana outside of Australian Idol.
These shows offer “extreme promotion” at the cost of you crying and making life dramatic. For a period of your life, you sign your soul, and everything you do, over to this money machine. And they work you to the bone, and sure, the incredible highs result in you streaming your face into most lounge rooms in the country, and the incredible lows, where they cut to an ad break for another five minute while your future lingers in the shadows before you’re cut from the competition or invited to fight it out for another week.
And hey, I’m sure it’s not an easy ride. I’m sure it’s blood, sweat and tears and all that. And as I sit here, looking up at the music industry, with this 6 billion people in the world, thinking about the hours, time, work, dedication, passion and courage it takes an artist to keep at it, I just can’t help but think, there’s no reality in being voted out of it.
I guess my point is, is that I AM entering those shows! Check it out – the show is called LIFE.
You may choose to press your buzzer and turn around when you hear my voice, you may, of course and will, instantly judge my outfit, shoes, range, ability and hairdo when you see me play, you can automatically cull me and vote me off by simply walking away, and that’s ok! You can vote for me by smiling, or clapping politely, or with aplomb, at the end of my song… or by buying my CD.
This little CD. That will sit in your hand, weighing less that 100 grams, and is a representation of my pure joy to create: is my audition, heats and finale. Even though there will be more to come, in this one little shiny object, holds my ‘having a go’, ‘entering the show’, ‘sticking my neck out’, ‘jumping in the deep end’. I don’t think I really want Kyle Sandilands’ opinion (about as much as I can’t be bothered to tell him mine), if you can be bothered – I actually want yours.
In return for your ‘vote’, you get this little piece of massive art to listen to as often as you like. There’s no sitting on the edge of your seat, watching your tv box with your ugg boots on, wondering if I’ve won. I already have. Turn around and look at your cd collection, or flip up your Itunes library. They have won. They worked for it. And they won. Yay reality!
And so here comes the next one… Australia’s 2012 series of The Voice. While carneys juggle dogs and get the shit taken out of them by Kyle, again, on the other channel, here sits four artists, with their backs turned (and their new albums with impending release dates), pressing a button depending on a level of uniqueness of an artist singing a cover song. If it’s too unique, it’s deemed bizarre, if it’s too similar, it’s a photocopy. If it’s just right, and it gives you chills, it gets through to the next level.
I don’t want to be Delta’s next level. Bless her cotton socks, she’s lovely person as far as I can tell, but I would rather your vote. Yes, YOU. Your buzzer. Your next level is simply just supporting and believing in a fellow human being, the way people believe in you. You know – the people that you love? That care for you. That believe in you.
No text’s for 95 cents are required. Just tap your feet. Hum along. Put it on in your car and drive along. Be inspired to write your own song. Let a light shine in your day. Share it with your mum.
Buy someone a CD that inspires you for Christmas or their birthday.
If you share my music with someone. You’re not just sharing drums and bass, harmony and horns. You’re sharing how I felt when my friend moved to the other side of the country. Or how I felt when I thought a storm was going to blow me away in Montreal. Or how I felt on the last day of term, when my student took flight in to the world.
Now I know I’m about to border on cheesey here. And I do swear to God if I hear one more person on the pre-song interview say “Music is my life” I’m going to scream. But,
Music isn’t life.
It’s just something that makes it better.