The 47 year old long shot that shocked the world when she sang is getting her 15 minutes of fame and for good reason. We will always give people like her our time and enthusiasm because we are all the same. Especially us artists. As artists we approach are careers like we want careers, not just a hopeful shot on a contest TV show, we go at it with logical steps that one must do to gain entry to the biz. The difference is we go about it as if we want a career in the 16th minute and after.
But what Susan Boyle represents, what makes her story so precious, is the feeling we all have of being underdogs. Let me ask you this; When she began to sing, and we watched the jaws of the judges drop and the audience members eyes widened, did you have the small reaction of, "Good! That's one for our side…?" Didn't you? Just a little?
Everyone considers themselves the underdog. Yes, even the celebrities that "have it made." For instance, how many comebacks has Eminem had? Has he really gone anywhere to come back from? Every artist thinks their art is too personal to be liked by the public and so we tell ourselves we must "sell out" just a bit to make our deepest meanings user friendly. Once in a while someone has a major breakthrough, they risk exposing their deeper meaning and audiences everywhere react. The underdog has their day, and don't all us artists say "See! It can happen!" It connects us back to the initial spark that lit the flame of our pursuit.
Blade Runner, The Crying Game, Rocky, these were movies that made us believe a true vision could have impact and the message could be shared and gosh, don't people band together in their love of those movies? By risking his voice didn't Ridley Scott create a community of people that are inspired by his work? Is there any better feeling for the underdog? I say Susan Boyle isn't such a phenomenon because her breakthrough of self is something everyone wants for themselves, and every artist strives for everyday. To explore our self expression and finally have it be seen, or heard, in the right platform so it can be used and appreciated and enjoyed. Yes, she did it on a big TV show and yes she sang a song from a well known Broadway show, but it's her risk we are reacting to.
The underdog in us connects us to the thing that makes us want this more than anyone else. It's the thing that we love about this woman from something-shire England, it's a need to say all the things we've never said before in a gesture, a song, a monologue, and to open the door to the many more things we're dying to say.
Does your underdog complex push you to be better? I bet it does.