I’m a believer in happenstance and serendipity and feel there are things we can learn in pretty much everything we encounter or consume. Even when it’s unexpected.
A few nights, I was perusing YouTube, as I often do, and a recommended video came up in my stream that for some reason, caught my attention:
I had never heard of Loren Allred before, and I know very little about David Foster. I do know he’s married to Katherine McPhee and that he wrote “And When She Danced,” a song he sang with Marilyn Martin—best known for her 1985 hit duet with Phil Collins, “Separate Lives.” (I digress.)
I’m no vocal coach, but I do know a flawless artistic performance when I hear one. And this one by Loren, was no doubt, exactly that.
I also discovered the official lyric video of the song, which I’ve watched at least 100 times in the past few days. Here’s the link for you to enjoy—3:27 well spent.
The Greatest Showman
After a quick Google search, I found that the song “Never Enough” is track #6 on the soundtrack of The Greatest Showman—a movie that never interested me, all while being a not-much-of-a-Hugh-Jackman-fan. (Narrow mindedness is a downfall of mine and often gets in the way of me experiencing great things.)
I prolonged my tenure on YouTube by watching The Greatest Showman | Official Trailer [HD]—and to my surprise, was quite interested.
I immediately rented the movie, erased all plans I had for the night, and started watching it right then and there. Five minutes in, I was a wreck.
I could probably write an entire book of thoughts I have about The Greatest Showman, and it would be chock-full of life-lessons and things I took away from it. Cinema and music have this effect on me.
The one thing that stood out most to me was something Barnum said:
“Every one of us is special, and nobody is like anyone else. That’s the point of my show.”
As artists, we long to create something beautiful and meaningful. We long to be known for the work we do and how we do it.
Unfortunately, we often take the shortcut of imitation and skate to where the puck is, rather than where it’s going to be. We get lazy, unoriginal, and find ourselves copying and emulating those who inspire us. We end up being like everyone else.
P.T. Barnum channeled his inner George Costanza and did The Opposite. Instead of building the A-Team, he chose from the Island of Misfit Toys. He wanted performers and curiosities, male or female, young or old, and rostered his squad with rare and exotic types from around the world.
I’m leaning that sometimes when we want to do something sensational, we have to stray from our tendencies. We have to be instinctive and do what feels right—even if it’s against the status quo or when our efforts are questioned by others.
This Is Me
Track #7 on the soundtrack of the movie is a song called “This Is Me,” which was nominated for an Academy Award, and won Best Original Song – Motion Picture at the Golden Globes.
I encourage you to watch the video and wrap yourself around the lyrics:
“Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me.”
The video has 118,730,974 views, and I’m sure that’s for good reason.
Last night, I ordered Atomic Habits (aff) by James Clear. I have stiff-armed reading it for far too long, and I want to punch fear (and my bad habits) in the face.
I want to challenge myself to be someone special. I want to go out of my way to be like nobody else. I, too, want to make no apologies. I want everyone to know.
This is me.
So friends and fellow creatives, let’s collectively adopt these words as our personal anthem. Let’s take a deep breath. Let’s march on to the beats we drum. Let’s not be scared to be seen. And let’s smile. Because the curtain is going up…