20 Years To Becoming An Overnight Success

I think by now most people with access to a TV or the internet have seen the ‘overnight success’ of Susan Boyle from Britain’s Got Talent when she entered the competition with a performance of “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Miserables. For those who haven’t seen it, the video of the performance is available on YouTube and is compelling viewing. This performance was one of the most watched YouTube videos of 2009.

What is exceptional about Susan’s debut performance is that, before she sang, the judges and audience saw the surface layer, the personality of an unemployed 47 year old woman who came across perhaps as a little eccentric, and perhaps also to some extent a misfit. There was visible skepticism and cynicism from the judges and the audience before Susan started singing.

As Susan started to sing however, the magic happened. There was a transformation in the faces of the judges, an electricity went through the audience, and the crowd rose to a standing ovation – before Susan reached even halfway through her performance.

What is also interesting about Susan’s story is that Susan did not just wake up one day and decide to try out as a singer. Susan is a case study of someone who took 10 or 20 years before becoming an ‘overnight success,’ rapidly achieving  global acclaim and a recording and performance career.

Before competing on Britain’s Got Talent at age 47, Susan started singing from age 12. Video footage from Susan singing in 1984 and 1994 is also now available on YouTube.

Interestingly, looking at the video footage of Susan in 1994 and 1984, I don’t see the same magic and spark that I see in her 2009 Britain’s Got Talent performance. In some ways perhaps the decades of preparation were necessary before Susan could be ready to touch the hearts of millions of viewers around the world.

Here is the video of Susan singing “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” from Jesus Christ Superstar  in 1984:

and the same song in 1994 (with an added challenge of a rather uncouth TV host):

also the same song acapella at a wedding when she was at age 25:

What is really amazing is that Susan had a long term dream for over 20 years – before eventually realising the dream after taking the world by storm through an incredible performance on a national talent show.

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20 Years To Becoming An Overnight Success

I think by now most people with access to a TV or the internet have seen the ‘overnight success’ of Susan Boyle from Britain’s Got Talent when she entered the competition with a performance of “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Miserables. For those who haven’t seen it, the video of the performance is available on YouTube and is compelling viewing. This performance was one of the most watched YouTube videos of 2009.

What is exceptional about Susan’s debut performance is that, before she sang, the judges and audience saw the surface layer, the personality of an unemployed 47 year old woman who came across perhaps as a little eccentric, and perhaps also to some extent a misfit. There was visible skepticism and cynicism from the judges and the audience before Susan started singing.

As Susan started to sing however, the magic happened. There was a transformation in the faces of the judges, an electricity went through the audience, and the crowd rose to a standing ovation – before Susan reached even halfway through her performance.

What is also interesting about Susan’s story is that Susan did not just wake up one day and decide to try out as a singer. Susan is a case study of someone who took 10 or 20 years before becoming an ‘overnight success,’ rapidly achieving  global acclaim and a recording and performance career.

Before competing on Britain’s Got Talent at age 47, Susan started singing from age 12. Video footage from Susan singing in 1984 and 1994 is also now available on YouTube.

Interestingly, looking at the video footage of Susan in 1994 and 1984, I don’t see the same magic and spark that I see in her 2009 Britain’s Got Talent performance. In some ways perhaps the decades of preparation were necessary before Susan could be ready to touch the hearts of millions of viewers around the world.

Here is the video of Susan singing “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” from Jesus Christ Superstar  in 1984:

and the same song in 1994 (with an added challenge of a rather uncouth TV host):

also the same song acapella at a wedding when she was at age 25:

What is really amazing is that Susan had a long term dream for over 20 years – before eventually realising the dream after taking the world by storm through an incredible performance on a national talent show.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.