What’s the big deal about Susan Boyle?

My inbox and Facebook pages were littered with reference after reference to Susan Boyle. If you don’t know who this woman is, Susan Boyle, singer extraordinaire  you’ll want to check out the video below so you have your own point of reference. I would actually invite you to do this before reading on, because my own talk about things might color your experience and I certainly don’t want to spoil your joy.

That all said, what is the big deal? I’ve thought about this a lot. As someone who has done quite a bit of singing in choirs and enjoyed a bit of success as a musician and performance artist, I examined the clip a bit critically, as I’m want to do — after all, extraordinary is the standard around here.

The conclusion I came to in conversation with my friend Renee today is this: Ms. Boyle, while having an amazing voice, was not so much amazing in who she was, but rather, in helping people see (the audience for starters) how they had unconscious expectations of what amazing or excellent might “look” like.

I was not shocked to hear her belt out the excellent choice of songs with the strength and passion with which she sung. I thought she sang quite well. And, at the same time, excellence is every where, so I was not at all surprised. What did surprise me is that people were so impressed by it. Is this phenomenon because we (humanity) has such limited views about what is possible? Is it because we expect certain things to look a certain way — in terms of voice, dress, character and aesthetics?

Frankly, I think people being so surprised – at least surprise is what I perceive when I watch the whole clip with the judges conversation — is a result of their limiting views on what’s possible, not a commentary on Ms. Boyle. So I proudly salute you Ms. Boyle for helping people see how they are allowing themselves to have such limited views of what can be so in this world.

Of course, as I said to Renee, I’m sort of an unexpected walking incarnation of my dreams, so maybe I just believe hope and possibility lives everywhere. 😉

About PoiPriestess

Isa “GlitterGirl” Isaacs has been a professional fire dancer and instructor since 2002 when she established her first flow arts education company, Temple of Poi, the premier poi school in the world. Since then, she has been working as a Priestess of Poi, teaching the ways of flow as a lifestyle choice. More details can be found on the about page on this site.