June 2nd, 2010

e on ground

Middling on talent versus performing...

I watched the YouTube of that kid (the 6th grader) singing Lady Gaga last week (I'd link to it, but I'm YouTube inept), and I've been thinking about what it takes to really be a performer.

D has tons of talent -- in fact, for an 8-year old, he's way ahead of the game...and he seems to like to perform, as well. But he's nothing like that kid. And I realized that you have to be willing to put yourself out there in a big way when you want to perform.

Of course, you don't have to be a pop star to perform. But even performing on stage with classical music (such as I had to as a piano major) was more than I could handle. I think I've mentioned before that I was the only music major who opted for the thesis rather than the senior recital. I couldn't fathom getting up in front of dozens of people and playing piece after piece on the piano.

On the radio today, they were advertising this contest where people can send in videos of themselves singing a John Mayer (spelling?) song. The thing is, I could definitely sing a song like that -- but not in public! I could even do a video, because I wouldn't see my audience. But if I was the one chosen...um, well, that wouldn't work at all. I don't have the world's greatest voice, by any means, but I can hold a tune and have sung all my life -- but I'm not a performer. Not like those people who can become this whole other persona once they get up on stage.

Really, performing and talent are two very different things. I think the majority of people have talent in one way or another, but putting themselves out there is something completely different. I suppose it's like writing a book (and finishing a book) -- probably many people can do that, but sending it out and actually looking for readers is something completely different.

What say you?
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