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?