So it’s been about a month since my last post on Chester, and I just wanted to pop in and say that I’m still alive, that it’s not all doom and gloom in the past month. I’ve experienced some emotional dips and crests, but life is all about riding the waves and making it back to shore anyway, so I’m choosing to take it one day at a time and focus on the things I can change and the things that make life worthwhile.
And recently I came across this (relatively) old video of the dancing violinist Lindsey Stirling and was blown away by how much she had improved since she first got her start on America’s Got Talent Season 5.
So you may know Lindsey when she first entered the spotlight back in 2005. She got voted off the show by the judges, but then went on to make incredible YouTube music videos that have garnered – wait for it – half a billion hits so far.
Check out part of her discography:
Lindsey is amazing, so talented yet humble and inspiring. I’ve been a huge fan of her since she first took the audition stage, a bright-eyed manic pixie girl who could dance and prance across the stage while playing the violin.
I call her an inspiration because, like a true artist, she is passionate about her craft and constantly, tirelessly, seeks improvement. Her audition at AGT was, objectively speaking, not the best. She was still pretty raw as a performer, like every artist would be at the start of the their journey. But she’s worked hard to fix her pitch problems and stage presence to become the absolute star she is now.
Like a true artist, she is not content to rest on her laurels and stick to the tried-and-tested formulaic way of performing or playing. She does covers of popular tracks like:
As well as original pieces with her musician friends.
Like a true artist, she put herself out there, trying out for AGT and putting herself under public scrutiny and exposing herself to (often harsh) criticism, especially from the judges. Piers Morgan even said that she played like rats being strangled and that she wouldn’t be able to fill half a show at Vegas, and others said that the world doesn’t want to see a dancing violinist (basically implying that there was no place in the world for her).
But like a true artist, despite feeling incredibly crushed after bring served all that criticism and voted off the show, she took all the judges’ feedback to heart and went somewhere with it. She knew that the judges were, in their own way, right. (Okay, they didn’t have to be so blunt but hey, take what you need from it and the rest is just white noise.) She became even better, more innovative and practised, in terms of her music and dance and craft and stage flair.
Almost 10 years later, she has released two original full-length albums and gone on sold-out world tours. Lindsey grew tremendously as an artist BECAUSE of the criticism.
And to see that rousing standing ovation she received at the end of her performance made me SO proud of her I cried. There IS a place for her music in the world after all.
She mentioned that despite being voted off the show, she still believed that she could make it, that she had something to offer the world. And she held on to that faith in herself. Turns out, there IS a place for her music in the world after all.
So perhaps, while we’re busy doubting ourselves as we take baby steps towards our dreams, we need to get out of our own way and hold on to the belief that the world will always have space for what we have to offer.