Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I'm not THAT bad of a singer!

American Idol Recap:
Just kidding. I'm not going to start doing that until we actually hear people sing more than 10 seconds and I can critique everything they did. Or wore. Or said. Because I'm judgemental like that. Of people on a show where America is judging them...and the judges are judging them...yeah.
But here's an interesting story:
David Osmond was in my freshman ward at BYU. One time, we sang together in a musical number for a fireside (or was it Sacrament Meeting?). There were about 6 of us singing? Maybe 4 --could have been 8. I can't remember (I just know it wasn't a duet, thank goodness!). But I do remember this: While we were rehearsing in the basement of Wells Hall (Heritage Halls), I was having trouble with a part. And David Osmond told me I sounded awful. Or terrible. I've blocked most of it out, but I remember he basically said I sucked.
In front of everybody.
Sure, we all knew he was an amazing musician, and we all knew he was (at the time) the understudy for his uncle (that Donny guy) for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. We also all knew that every girl in the ward was vying for his affections (except for a few apartments that refused to get caught up in the hype, including yours truly). But why he had to insult somebody who didn't sing as well as him in front of people, I'll never know why. I just know it was humiliating. And others commented later how shocked they were (and thought it was insulting, too).
Oh, sure, I forgave him eventually. But first I had to sing a solo at Easter, embarrassed the whole time I would mess up because David and his smirk was in the audience. I did okay, but I'm sure I would have done better without the memory of his insult.
When I didn't get into the School of Music, I once again remembered his insult. I know my inability to get in had nothing to do with what he said (I'm really not the best singer, people. This is why I'm a pianist), but it still stung a little. I'm not the WORST singer out there, and his insults truly were unfounded. Should I be a singer, though? No, way. But I knew that way before David ever told me I sucked.
(And just for clarification, I was auditioning to be in music education --not a vocal major. BIG difference.)

So, although I forgave him, it's kind of obvious I never forgot it.

While I was watching him on the AI auditions last week (and last night), I was surprised to find myself rooting for the guy --and not because he's an Osmond, but because I've heard him sing in real life (when he was 19), and he was just as good back then. Whether or not his style is your cup of tea, the guy has a great talent. Also, I figure he probably doesn't even remember his remarks to me. And he'd probably be so embarrassed to know what he said. I heard his mission was good for him, too --his ego came down a bit (although I'm sure being diagnosed with MS might have done that, too. Not that I'm glad he has MS! I actually didn't know about it, and when I heard, it broke my heart. MS is not fun; I feel for the guy).
But I still tell this story to people. Why? It kind has to do with this post I wrote. It's about burning bridges and how we need to be careful what we say to people. Of course, one could call me a hypocrite and say I'm gossiping about David (touche!), but at the same time, I think it shows some important lessons:
1. Be careful what you say to people. Especially if you plan on being famous one day.
2. Have compassion on those who may not have your specific talent. That doesn't mean you can't be honest (and holy crap, who are these family/friends telling these AI contestants that they can sing!? What liars!), but do so with some tact. And never do it in front of other people!!
3. Learn to forgive people who have insulted you. Even/especially if they might be semi-famous.
4. Don't ever think that the past will always stay in the past. It should (and may?), but things have a tendency of coming back to bite you in the butt.
5. Just be nice to people. In general. And forgive. And love. And all that crap.
So, there you go. Be nice.
That is all.


Cardalls said...

the list of things we have in common wasn't David Osmond, but it was a boy I REALLY liked and was dating and he told me I should never sing in public. I bawled for days and it really has affected my whole confidence in singing. Now that I am in my late 30's, I am over it and while I know I don't have a solo voice, I have a nice voice that blends well with others and I have sung in public many times (take that Dave--his name was Dave too!)

JustRandi said...

It makes me wonder how many times I have unthinkingly done or said something like that. I hope someone forgave me and learned something from it.
Just like you're doing!!

And it's not that I hate AI and puppies. It's just that I don't watch AI, and I'm really not an animal person. Really not.

But if you decide to do the reviews, I'll come by anyway. Promise.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Um, that wasn't directed at you by the way. Except maybe a little bit for the part about being glad about someone having MS. ;)

Cheryl said...

Great. Now I REALLY can't ever name my son David! :)

I'll hold you to that promise!

Yeah, yeah. I know how you feel about me and all my hatin'. *snort

flip flop mama said...

I can't believe he said that to you!!

Good reminders though...

Summer said...

I'd definitely never forget an insult delivered like that either. I'm glad you've forgiven him.

Now you've got me thinking I need to watch AI and see who he even is. I've missed the last three weeks.

Cheryl said...

Well, at the time it actually wasn't to surprising. I mean, it fit his personality. I have heard he's much nicer now (and not just from AI --I heard that years ago).

Just don't be prejudiced against him, though, okay! He really is a great perfomer; not necessarily my favorite, but the guy has loads of talent!

Julie said...

I was not loving his flavor saver last night -- it was a bit contrived for me.
He's got a nice voice -- it'll be interesting to see if I like him or not. Your story will not influence me because, while I possess a decent amount of tact, I am sure I've offended someone somewhere along the way and hope they've moved -- like you.
I'm getting pump-o-ramaed for the real season to begin!

Alison Wonderland said...

Something interesting.

Cardalls said...

well apparently he didn't sound so hot himself last night either hmmm? revenge isn't in your vocabulary, but i thought of you and had to smile last night :)

Rachel Holtkamp said...

As a roommate of Cheryl in that freshman ward, how I remember all too well when David Osmond came into the ward! I had totally forgotten about that experience and it totally sucks when you're told that you can't do something well. I think you handled it well (to the best of my knowledge). I'm glad you have forgiven him, and I don't think that you are gossiping. You are telling a story that happened, and you actually came out learning about forgiveness. I was rooting for him (mostly because he's a homegrown Utah boy and I adore his younger brother). But, it also broke my heart that he has MS. Missions are always good for people, and hopefully, he continues to pursue his singing career. (Total stream of consciousness here).

Lizzie said...

You know, you watch AI and you see all those people who are like "my family and friends always tell me I should be on AI, I'm like SOOOOOO good" and then they SUCK, like BIG TIME, and you think "Wow, too bad someone wasn't honest with them about their lack of talent". So while I'm a big supporter of honesty and all that, there's a TIME and PLACE! In front of a bunch of people, when you're preparing to perform, that just ain't that time or place. And certainly not when the "advice" is unsolicited. Not cool. Glad to know he's humbled himself, but a good lesson for anyone out there who thinks they need to be the Simon Cowell to the world.

David's voice is fine, I guess. Wayne kind of likes his sound. I'm not big into guy's who have like PRETTY singing voices. I can appreciate it, but I'm not going to buy their cd. I want my male singers to be a bit more, you know, manly. I dig a bit of a rough edge, some smokiness. I'm TOTALLY loving Danny Gsomething (I should really learn his last name if I want to be a fan), the guy whose wife died (another reason to learn his last name, that's just too sad of a way to keep describing the guy). His rendition of "Kiss from a Rose"... that was HOT!!!

Susan M said...

I wonder if some of these people who can't sing just can't do it acapella, but sound ok (or at least not horrible) when singing along to a song. And that's why their family thinks they can sing.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

wow. very cool. your story AND your insights.

FoxyJ said...

If it makes you feel any better, he was in my mission and served as my district leader--and I managed to outdo him in a burping contest once (yes, I was a very genteel missionary). He always remembered me as the sister who can really belch. He's a nice guy, but not always the most tactful and I think not always in touch with reality. I also remember talking to him once about my BYU experience and he was genuinely astounded that I had lived in Provo for a few years without a car. Um, a lot of people don't have cars.