As the third personality in my mini-series on People of Inspiration, step forward Susan Boyle.
In the musical “I Dreamed a Dream” , which I saw at the Birmingham Hippodrome, I learned much about this gifted singer and deepened my knowledge of her life-experiences and background. The show starred Elaine C. Smith in the role of Susan Boyle.
Probably the words which stood out for me in Susan’s story were these, spoken near the end of the show: “I realised it was my choice, to use what God had given me. I didn’t have to do it. But my mother made me do it.” Her mother’s words were the deciding factor for Susan: “God has given you a gift for you to use.”
In November 2010, backstage at the Rockefeller Center, New York City, as Susan cried and raged and shouted and faced the consequences of not going on stage to face a massive audience, she was told by her manager: “You don’t have to go on. You don’t have to do it. I’ll go out there and tell them you won’t be coming on. If it does this to you, it isn’t worth it.”
Susan then had to answer a question for herself: “If it does this to me, is it worth it?”
Before Susan’s famous big break in “Britain’s Got Talent”, there were always factors in her life which held her back. The doctor’s words to her mother shortly after her birth: “Don’t hold out too much hope for her.” The fact that she dealt with her nerves with flippancy and fooling around. The sarcasm and bullying and jealousy she met. The low self-esteem, the lack of self-confidence, the boyfriend who never was, the mother who asked her to “do something with your singing instead of staying here looking after me.”
To me the most outstanding thing about Susan as a person is that she felt the fear, and did it anyway – because of her mother’s words.
Right at the beginning of the musical these words were spoken: “We all have dreams. But as we grow older we let them go. We lose them in the sheer business of just getting through life day by day. I think that’s sad. We should hold onto our dreams.”
The message in Susan’s story is that you need words to hang onto when you’re on the edge, and about to go into meltdown. Words like: “You will get there… I’ve always taken you seriously…. I have every confidence in you.”
And words like the ones that finally got Susan through: “God has given you a gift for you to use.”
I’d love to have your comments! Have you seen Elaine C. Smith in the musical, or listened to Susan Boyle on stage? Are you, like me, a fan of her sweet, rich and powerful voice?
22 thoughts on “People of Inspiration Part 3 – Susan Boyle, Who Made a Choice to Use the Gift God Had Given Her”
What a pleasure to meet someone who thknis so clearly
Thank you Mina. I’m glad you enjoyed the post on Susan Boyle, and my thoughts about her! I find that when a place or person inspires me, my emotional response comes first, and I allow that to guide my reflection. It reminds me of what one of my Eng Lit tutors at uni said, about analysing a poem: “every poem is the poem of the meaning, inside the poem of the word.” He meant that every effective poem should be something you can respond to emotionally first, and then your mind takes over and starts exploring on a rational level. Thank you again for your comment.
Coral P. sent me a comment on this post. Coral says: “I enjoyed your Blog. You are a very perceptive lady. I wish I could have been to the show with you . Did you know Susan Boyle was going to be there? What a treat!”
No, Coral, I hadn’t fully taken on board that Susan Boyle herself would be singing at
the end. I’d read somewhere that she does come on at the end, but had
thought it was only on an occasional basis, & not necessarily every show. So
I was delighted when she did appear in person. She certainly had a rapturous
reception from the audience.
I’ve never seen the show…but I do love Susan Boyle. She is almost like a Cinderella story except she didn’t have a wicked step-mother or (mother)…and I loved that look on Simon Cowell when she began to sing….Diane
I did too (responding to your last sentence)!
Thank you for a very uplifting blog and I totally agree with your comments I am a great believer in the positive word and I too admire Susan Boyle a lovely singer who faced adversity didnot give up and used her gift to enhance other peoples lives.
Thank you Isa, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It was pure serendipity that I just happened to get a ticket to see the Susan Boyle Musical at the Birmingham Hippodrome the day before I was planning to do a post on Susan Boyle. The whole show was so moving – when Susan came on at the end to sing, the audience all stood and roared their approval. As usual with big audiences (whenever I see her appear in a live performance, on TV) they drowned out the first few lines of “I Dreamed a Dream” with their shrieks and cheers, which does rather annoy me! But I have the Cd at home that I can listen to, which I do whenever I’m ready to be emotionally stirred!
I have indeed seen Elaine C Smith’s brilliant performance in this outstanding musical. As an avid fan of Susan Boyle since April, 2009, I was impressed with the honesty of the story. This is one of the best bio musicals I’ve seen in many years and hope for it to go to the West End and for Elaine and cast to garner Olivier nominations they so richly deserve. I have all three of Miss Boyle’s albums and eagerly look forward to the 4th. Her voice is one for the ages and she touches me to my very soul when she sings. I agree that this is her God-given gift and believe that in sharing her gift and her faith with the world, she has become the woman she was born to be.
This is a wonderful comment and expresses beautifully what Susan Boyle represents and what she has achieved… as well as what she is in herself.
Susan Boyle captured my heart with that first soaring, crystal note and has it still. She is magnificent, just pure magic when she sings.
That describes it exactly. I saw a TV programme about her a few months ago in which someone (I think it was her record producer) said, “For Susan emotion is the key; she has to engage emotionally with the song she is singing” and that comes over very strongly, & communicates itself to her audience.
Have seen it 3 times and can’t wait to see it again. Been a fan since April 2009. I am from the USA and have made a trip to Scotland to hear her and to Newcastle for Opening night. It deserved all the standing ovations it got and Susan got 4 well deserved standing ovations. Her voice hits you where you live.
I agree so much. When I listen to her singing, she thrills and moves me. I love the choice of songs on her CDs too. Apparently everything she chooses has a strong emotional significance for her.
I haven’t seen the musical but have many online friends who have, and they all loved it. Reviews have been mostly raves, with several 5 Star reviews from respected critics. Susan’s voice is only part of her story – it is as you point out, her courage, that has inspired millions of people around the world.
This is so true. And the messages that come out of her story are powerful, and much-needed in our society. I’m reading a book on “resistance” called “The War of Art” and how anybody who sets out upon a creative or personally-challenging enterprise always encounters this resistance at some stage. I recognised it in my own life. And Susan is an excellent example of somebody who suffered from this “resistance” and ultimately overcame it.
Reblogged this on MMM… Meditation, Mental health, Mindful crochet and commented:
Susan Boyle – a great inspiration – especially to us more mature folks – follow your dream, use your God-given gift.
Thank you.Much appreciated!
Great post! I was surfing the net recently and came across the utube clip of her first appearance on Britain’s Got Talent. It was just so uplifting after a wet weekend so I shared it on my blog. She is such an inspiration – it’s never too late to follow your dream, to use your God-given gift.
Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and many people seem to have been inspired by Susan’s story, and by the spiritual truth behind it.