The American Idol Effect

American Idol is a show I’ve never really followed.  Sure I’m aware of the show, the participants and the judges.  The qualifying shows have provided a few moments of laughter but once it gets into the actual competition, my channel changer goes into action.  My niece however is a huge fan.  She watches the show religiously and loves singing along with the contestants.  I have a picture she colored for me that shows last seasons winner with the 4 judges on stage.  She’s going to be crushed when the show goes off the air.

When I was visiting her house the other night, she wanted to sing me a song she learned from the show.  And she did a great job with all the words.  I was amazed.  But she threw in a twist I hadn’t expected.  It seems she’d been not just learning the songs but studying the mannerisms of the singers as well.  As she started singing, her facial expressions and vocalization became something other than her normal manner.  In her quest to be like the stars she emulated, she’d lost the essence that was her unique voice and her wonderful personality.

Talk about a 2 X 4 between the eyes.  Standing in front of me was someone doing the exact same thing I’d done  to my voice.  Watching my niece sing was like watching myself in a mirror trying to find my vocal placement.  I really wanted to sound like the sultry voices I was hearing and in pursuing this goal, completely messed up my unique voice.  I really wanted to get my niece to understand this but she couldn’t wrap her brain around the idea.  She just saw the people she admired and thought if she mimicked them, she would be successful like them.

Hopefully this is just a stage for my niece.  She’ll find something else that will pique her interest and she’ll goes back to her awesomeness.  Me, I’ve been trying to find my natural placement again.  I’m getting closer.  But I realize how many of us think that someone else’s way of doing something is so much better than our own natural way.  So there’s comfort in numbers but I’d rather be somewhere else.

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6 Responses to “The American Idol Effect”

  1. Herb Merriweather Says:

    Great article…so many of us have left ‘who we are’ in our various quests and endeavors. It’s best to blossom with the roots you already have…
    Good food for thought…

  2. Alix Michaels Says:

    After coming back from Voice2010 armed with great tips and information, I was determined to “get it”. While trying to put in place all these “how to’s”, I really started to feel I maybe losing my own uniquiness. Thanks for sharing and letting me know I’m not alone!

  3. Nancy Wolfson Says:

    You’re the only one who can do a spot on Pam Tierney.
    Work it.
    xo

  4. Ellen Says:

    I think this is my favorite posting of yours so far. Keep it up, Pam, I get so much out of what you’re thinking!


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