Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Voice UK...and Some Thoughts on Risk

Since I weighed in on the American version of The Voice, it seems fitting that I weigh in on the version actually airing where I live. I'll admit I sort of wasn't interested at first. But then G told me Jessie J was a judge (if you've never seen that video I just linked to, you must. We laughed about how-- quite accurately-- Jessie J made this song... uh, a ballad. Which, it is.) Not to mention, also judging Tom Jones! (Also, then I turned and wyclef into the same person. It's the W's. Wherever you are, Wyclef, I apologize.) Then G told me I had to watch this crazy adorable kid, Sam Buttery

And that was pretty much enough. But then! I found out that West End star and veteran green girl in Wicked, Kerry Ellis, was rejected. I mean, they didn't know it was Kerry Ellis. And in fact, even when half the people in the audience screamed over her, yelled out WICKED, none of those four judges knew who she was. Or cared. 

Granted, it probably wasn't Kerry's best vocal, but she's had a more illustrious career and is probably more well known than Danny What's His Face guy on there. Not to mention, just, as a vocalist, She sang Elphaba eight times a week. 'Nuff said. 

I was filled with a lot of thoughts and feelings, you guys. About risk, and standards and other people's opinions. What people will say or think about you in one context vs another context. Your skills measured in one place vs. another. I thought about all that in relation to theatre vs. other media. Broadway in relation to West End. New York in relation to London. There's no right answers to these questions. Just the continued recognition that they're always worth mulling over. 

I've been in London for exactly one month. In some ways, I have a lot more than I thought I would have. In some ways less. But more and more I learn not to judge myself by anyone else's standards but my own. And even embarrassing risks are worth taking.  

Broadway Bonus Video. I could not love these friends and frequent collaborators more! Go Newsies!

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