Now-Famous Susan Boyle Gives People Reason To Smile
Every now and then in this job you get to meet someone who has a profound effect on people. Sometimes it's a president, maybe a terrorist.
But the most affecting are just plain citizens who finally realize a lifetime goal, who can get past all the barriers life can throw at you, whether it's a difficult birth that makes life a little harder, or people who can't see past that difficulty and turn it into a handicap through bullying or just lack of belief in what you can do.
Susan Boyle is one of those people. There's a good chance you know who she is since millions, and I mean millions and millions, have watched her entry into "Britain's Got Talent" on YouTube. Her rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" from the "Les Miserables" theater production blew the judges, and the audience, away. It took just four days for word of her performance to spread around the globe. Her life has gone from being a quiet, church-attending, karaoke-singing unemployed woman in an old Scottish coal mining village to a phenomenon. If you haven't seen the video it's worth going to YouTube.
I got to meet Susan this week, when she did an interview and bit of her star-making performance for CBS's The Early Show from her house in Blackburn, Scotland … the same house she and her eight older siblings grew up in and the same house she nursed her mother in until she died a couple of years ago. (Watch interview below.)
A more unassuming person would be hard to find, and that's part of her charm. She has enough faith in herself and her talent to make the leap to (now) worldwide fame while at the same time not feeling it necessary to change herself into something she's not. She didn't go out and get a new hairdo and new makeup and more power to her. She is what she is, and that's all that matters.
If you saw Blackburn, you'd wonder how she didn't get beaten down into a state of mind that matched the gray, drizzly, cold place we saw, where happy hour starts at about noon and the appearance of a television network's satellite truck is like the circus coming to town for the children looking for some sort of entertainment.
Her persona and her achievement leave you with a smile ... and these days that's a huge contribution.
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