I was unexpectedly tearing up last night watching The Voice. I’m usually the first person rolling their eyes at the sobby backstory but there was this young guy, just 22 who won Australia’s Got Talent when he was 14. I don’t recall watching much of the show but I remember this kid. He was a young looking 14 year old at that, and the voices of Aretha Franklin, Adele and possibly even Dame Kiri somehow came out of his mouth. The prize was $250,000. At the age of 16 apparently he took himself off to the US to launch his singing career. It blew my mind when he said “I was exposed to some things that a 16 year old should never be exposed to.” That broke my heart.
I have no illusions about reality television. It’s all about the $$$ and I’ve heard that they will well you up the river if it means ratings. Some of the people who were on Married At First Sight have come out saying they felt betrayed. I’m not sure what they were expecting, but it’s no surprise to me that they didn’t find everlasting love.
I was glad, however, when Jack, this lovely young boy with the amazing voice chose Guy Sebastian as his mentor. Guy has been there and from all appearances seems like a decent guy. Let’s hope, because this boy, with pin-up looks despite the lip-fillers and heartbreaking vulnerability has the voice to ‘make it’ but I am not sure he has the stomach for the industry unless he gets a lot of support and love. This is the weird irony about modern creatives making an income; you need all the introspection in the world to make your art, but then you have to turn into the Greatest Showman to promote it. I think it’s even worse in showbiz than for writers and visual artists, because so much of success in Hollywood etc is tied up in appearances.
When I think back to myself at 22 I shudder at the idea that everything I was going through would somehow be broadcast to the world but then I would never have put myself in the firing line like that.
I even have misgivings at the idea of releasing my novels under my own name but having said that, I’ve sent 100 pages to a publisher today as part of a monthly drive they do for unsigned writers. Who knows if anything will come of it, of anything I am writing but I have to constantly remind myself that that’s not the only reason why I write. It’s certainly a factor otherwise I wouldn’t bother with this blog, nor would I ever ship anything. I’d be happy in my room, writing in notebooks and filing away documents. Luckily, my idea of fame would be being asked to speak at a writer’s event.