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14 June 2007

Find your talent, what you were born to do, what is yours to do...

As this young man has finally done.

I promise not to post talent show videos endlessly, but when this one came across my desk this evening, I had to pass it on or at the very least post it so I could listen to it every morning for a while....

How many people do we pass on the street, in the Metro, at the dairy case in the market, or in the bookstore, who - like Paul Potts, a cell phone salesman - have a talent that can illuminate dark places, raise the hair on the back of our necks, tie us together as humans?

As I watched him sing, I realized that we all have something we were born to do. His is to sing, as you will see... What's mine? Yours?

As Erica Jong said, "Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark places where it leads." With song and voice such as this, even those dark places will be made bright, it seems.

Go here if you'd like to know more of his story, hear what music means to him, and see another moving performance by Paul Potts.

UPDATE: And here is his final performance. Paul Potts won the competition and will begin recording his first album next week.


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And if you REALLLY want to have your socks rocked (or as one youtube commenter said, "Don't YOU believe in GOD !!!!!!!???") try

or (scroll down to the 1.50 part).

What a wonderful world we live in.


Does this remind anyone else of the old Harry Chapin song "Mr. Tanner?" Except this has a happy ending.

The best part is the judges' reactions/comments. They clearly expected nothing from this guy. Perception shouldn't equal reality, and clearly didn't in this case. Thanks for sharing, Patti!

Well, that's twice in a row Ive ended up wiping away tears while listening to the videos you posted about this competition. What's going on? There's music that makes us tap our feet or wiggle our behinds and then there's music that resonates some primal tuning fork in our guts, makes us gape with astonishment, gratitude, joy.

Who ever ever would have guessed such an operatic voice would or could emanate from such a rumpled unassuming phone salesman. How much of my response, I wonder, was due to that contradiction of appearance vs ability/capability. If I make those judgements every day, Im missing alot of beautifully soaring arias.

Paul - you've made the point more beautifully than I ever could - it is, somehow, the contradiction of what I see (and assume) and what is. And as my friend David said, "Watch them again and see how still they both are. So simple. So open." It is that quality, also, that so moves me.

I must say, as a former music major, it gave me a thrill to see the rock star response that Paul received from the audience and the judges. What a better world we would live in, if we all had such appreciation given to us for the talent of our souls.
Thanks again for sharing this - now I am wiping away the tears, smoothing down the gooseflesh, and getting back to work at my own art.

You could post one of these everyday Patti. Emotions all around the talent of world! Thanks again.

My husband came across this yesterday and insisted that I watch it. I cried, I was so moved. It restored my faith in the human race. The power of music is amazing. I hope all the best for this guy!

Wow! That moved me to tears. I'm glad Paul had the courage to share his gift with the world and bless so many with his music!

What a totally amazing story, and an uplifting way to start my day :)

Gives one hope for the world, when a dream like that comes true.

Thanks for sharing this!

Lovely voice and and a lovely man. His humility is endearing. And in daring to dream and act on his dreams, he will get to sing for the Queen.

Paul Potts and Simon Cowell: Singing hyped emotion? H-umm?

As we reflect on Paul Potts, the newly discovered winner of “Britain's Got Talent” [ BGT ] and his beautiful voice, we naturally reflect on our own values and life accomplishments. What gifts has God given us? If we work hard, can the sun warmly shine on our faces? I cried and replayed videos several times to take in emotions of not only singer, but also judges, and audience. But my wonder had a gnawing knowing that did fit neatly into the ‘underdog to top performer’ story I heard in his storyline.

World wide delight and emotions from seeing Paul fully approved; perhaps after being de-valued for years, came as much for his humble slightly tousled persona in the show, and as much for his ardent operatic singing. But, a charade that falsely elicits my true emotions seems a scam, especially if greedy.

I heard the story on video at - from the opening set-up, “… the world of show biz seems a million miles away. Its Paul, a mobile phone salesman from South Wales.”. At 3.51 on the clip, Simon Cowell said, “I like shows where somebody isn’t a professional, has talent, isn’t aware of it, has a normal job, and then you see something else.”

On the clip, Paul talked about his dream and how he had lacked confidence. Yes, we identify and all desire encouragement. He sang. Magic. But, as Simon said, “… then you see something else.”, and like he said: I saw a former £8,000 prize [ about $16,000 U.S., now ] for Paul Potts from Michael Barrymore’s TV talent show, and extended tutelage from operatic masters in Italy, four amateur opera productions, a concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and plans for a summer tour with them.

Obvious. Amateur talent needs training and experience. That is worthy! But my emotions are dialed into a guy who said his dream is to do what he feels he was born to do, but that he had always lacked enough confidence! Prize money and experience seems confidence building: and he had plenty of both. I saw a fellow who wore a humble jacket at his first show before TV cameras, sans a tuxedo he knows well in opera, yet spiffed at the finals. But, the song! No. A voice is the spoken word, too.

It was implied that people did not previously value his talent: an unknown without sponsors. On the British TV interview after Paul won BGT, he was clear, “You know, I’ve not taken up promotions before because people wanted me to change who I was, and I’m determined to be true to myself, because at the end of the day ….”, - June 17 video, set 1.30. They wanted his talent, and he chose not? Okay, he can negotiate! But, that seems strong-minded; and very confident! He refused pro-motions and we got e-motions: shy bullied kid; his best friend was his voice.

Paul went to New York to field NBC’s key questions, like: “… and I know that you haven’t had formal training, so how did you learn to sing like this?”. He ignored their wrong assumption and said, “Umm, I’ve just always sung - just always sung. My voice has always been my best friend.”, June 21 video at 2.53; same site. As Simon said, “has talent, isn’t aware of it ….”. What worth to him are the masters who gave him lessons, on which he spent most of the £8,000 prize money? … and singers with whom he traveled the stage on the Italian operatic circuit, and London’s experiences? Humility means to be common and unassuming, like its root ‘humus’. ‘Earthy’ and unpretentious people do not cover their history of experiences, help, and friends. Rather, Paul promotes wrongful ‘underdog’ assumptions.

Critics comment that for an operatic singer, Paul is okay; not extraordinary. I like his voice. Paul Potts should have ‘Passion’ for his middle name. His voice is memorable, as is his confidence. What is extraordinary, though, are the hyped emoted feelings: Packaging him, with a ‘P’. Some people might say, “That is how the show world sells!” No! Not here! Not with true emotions of people around the world, teary eyed for the underdog; not in this case of contestants’ climbing the ranks on rungs of public votes: and the public paying to vote by telephone. Purity of spirit should remain pure, not a sham that brings a shame to hope and faith in Horatio Alger type humanity; at public expense. I enjoy world-class music, but not world-class charades and emoted stories for profit! What is the Paul and Simon story?

British Simon Cowell spent 2 years forming “Four Tenors” or “Il Divo”, a popularized package of the operatic world, similar to the Three Singing Tenors. Producers Package talent. He knows that world. He knows that both talent and emotion sell. Did he tweak our emotions through set-up stories to launch a Paul Potts’ Premier CD; with Simon producing more mogul money? I like full emotions and full disclosures; not half-full false ‘unknown underdog’ ‘discovered’. Half-full leaves me half-empty.

A contestant background video showed Paul in what appeared to be lush South Wales seaside, looking like a CD cover. As BGT showcases this 36 year old mature amateur singer, then perhaps the last drop of bloody money can be wrung from innocence. Not his innocence. Ours. Simon Cowell’s announcement at the final show that Paul Potts would be recording an album the next week was lucid business-linkage to the world. But to link our common emotions for hope in challenges, and our faith in people and love of life: to a ‘hold-out promotion’ ‘confident’ person who did not disclose his full story, is miserly manipulation. A contestant who approaches their stage will be known: by producers: and in advance. Producers want to uncover upsetting persons, especially when the prize is the doorway to a contract! They want lead-in pieces about a contestant’s character and history! I want a good spirit that is fair to the closing of Nessun dorma!: Vincerò! Vincerò! Vincerò!, I shall win! I shall win! I shall win!

His ‘unknown’ is really sans ‘full disclosure’. His ‘underdog’ ‘without confidence’ is hyped and yanks at more money. If he acts fairly, worked hard and has talent, then hopefully he will be rewarded.

If Paul Potts fairly wins a competition to get a contract, then great! The U.S.A. Paul Potts NBC interview ended with a transition piece, to NBC’s next show segment. Its topic was ironically poignant: “Greed in America: why some people will do anything in search of easy money.”. Emotion was hyped, then E-motioned by U-tube. We cried. Why? Good voice, and hyped! Perhaps disclosures of Paul and Simon were not as lyrically full as some New York city namesakes, but they might have much in common with another June 21 item from MSNBC: “Martha Stewart on grilled chicken done right” at . Someone, turn up the heat to grill them about “disclosure”, in this case! The sound of money echoes in my deeply emoted feelings, and charades are shallow sales.

SSH - evidently this has touched a nerve for you. I can appreciate your explanation of the Paul Potts story. Sure, it's not as simple as we thought - or hoped. Surely it is a story taking place in the world in which we all live, in which Hollywood (and business and government) provides a facade that we never really get behind.

I'm not naive enough to think that a 4-minute film clip of his story has all the details, nor have I ever believed that TV (and movies and business and government) isn't designed to make money. But the hope I feel each time I watch him, the passion in his considerable voice, and the emotions that he evokes for me and others tell me something far more important (about myself) than the Simon Cowell business story.

I am struck by the way he plants his feet on the stage and opens up. The clarity of that stance and voice moves me. The reason his story has touched so many is that perhaps we want to believe this can happen. Even beyond that, it gives me a glimpse of someone following their bliss and opening their voice to the world, that we could all do that, whether or not Simon Cowell is there to rush us into a recording studio.

I like the feeling that hope and inspiration provide me. And I think that sometimes, being naive is important.

tears tears tears.... nothing else to say but how beautiful is this. amy

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