100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself #23.

It may get a bad rep and even though there are a gazillion different platforms and channels out there now, and nothing to watch at times, television allows us to collectively share experiences that can change our lives and perspectives.

On Saturday, April 11, 2009, a nervous (though you couldn’t really tell) Susan Boyle stood on the stage of Britain’s Got Talent and shared her dream of becoming a powerhouse singer on the global stage.

Simon Cowell rolled his eyes as she swung her hips and gave the world a cheeky grin as she prepared to sing “I Dreamed A Dream”, one of the biggest songs ever produced for the stage.

Piers Morgan adjusted himself in anticipation of a musical disaster.

The audience followed suit.

Everyone waited for yet another live flame-out, as that was once the biggest appeal of these talent shows; we all seemed to enjoy seeing people crash and burn in front of a live audience, didn’t we?

I know it’s unlikely but just in case you haven’t seen/experienced this moment, I’m going to allow you to see the results for yourself.



#23: That Susan Boyle Moment.

I once had a friend, a best friend, who wanted nothing more from life than to be part of a successful rock ‘n roll group that shook the stage to its foundations every night. Ronnie didn’t want his name in lights, he was perfectly content to be a wheel on a bus that traveled from town to town, giving citizens an escape from the tedium of their lives. Rockin’ did indeed rock the stage. He achieved a measure of notoriety; he was a mainstay of the region’s music scene and everyone loved him.

But he never had his Susan Boyle moment. The image of fame he nestled in his heart for a lifetime never materialized. He was a rock star to those of us who knew him best but the world didn’t know his name.

But I do.

Luke Skywalker blowing up the death Star. The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Susan Boyle’s walk in the blinding sunshine of fame. These are moments that can have a profound effect on millions of people simultaneously while touching individuals… individually. Okay, that fell apart fast but let’s move on, shall we?

I often return to YouTube to relive this triumph of the human spirit (and pipes) and I still tear up as I think, “What Ronnie wouldn’t have given for this chance to shine bright.” But I don’t feel sad, I feel grateful for having known Ronnie and his gifts at all.

Fortunately, shows like BGT have shifted their focus to contestants’ triumphs rather than the missteps, thus giving the audience a more positive experience overall. So when you’re feeling subterranean and the light is a distant memory, you can always click on a moment preserved in time, a moment that serves to remind us that one person’s triumph is a victory for all of us.

We all want the same things.

We all dream a dream.

And it doesn’t matter if it comes to life or not, it’s the dream itself that’s worth living for.

So thank you, Susan Boyle of the village, you’ve gotten me though some dark days.

See you in the lobby and the dreamscape, kids…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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29 Responses to 100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself #23.

  1. We all need more Susan Boyle moments in our lives! Thank you Hook.


  2. susielindau says:

    I love this, Hook!
    Reality TV depends on our empathy and we are! I have often swiped a tear away after watching a show. The Bachelor? Not so much.
    I won’t give up!

  3. It has been a long time since I have walked into the lobby of The Hook…reading this just shows how much I have been missing out. It’s wonderful to be back and to be greeted by such a heart-warming post! Hook, are you softening up finally? Hope you are keeping well. Thank you for this! Big hugs x

  4. dianaepona says:

    Well done, friend. 🙂

  5. She was amazing that night, and gobsmacked everyone. Elaine Page was not that impressed when Susan did get to sing the duet with her, in fact a report I read about her reaction was far from kind. I don’t like EP anyway. Give me Susan any day. Her rendition of Wild Horses is awesome.

  6. This was a powerful post, Hook. I hope you felt it as you wrote it. The Susan Boyle moments come to all of us if we just pay attention when they happen. A “Thank you,” a Handshake all go to make us stars even if it is only in one person’s eyes.

  7. Doug in Oakland says:

    I understand and agree with your post, but I would like to offer you something else that may help you on your way: Speaking as a musician, your friend had a treasure worth (to me at least) as much as the fame and riches that always seem to be seen as the benefits of musicianship, and that is the music itself.
    Just getting to make music in my life has been enough, and I can’t explain it better, but there is a reason that people like me and most everyone I know dedicate their existences to the making of music.
    The benefits successfully selling your music are secondary to the fact of making the music to begin with, and that’s something no-one can take from you once you have it.

    • The Hook says:

      You’re right, Doug; Ronnie lived to perform.
      Until the day he lost his connection to his gift, and all of us who loved him.
      Thank you for the perspective.

  8. Problem. We all have a Boyle moment, when we count. Unfortunately my Boyle moment happened, then was snatched away by the woman I loved to distraction. BUT. Better to have been there, felt the hurt, the failure, the despair, than never to have been there. It changed me for ever

  9. Jennie says:

    Yes, it is the dream itself that is worth living for. I loved seeing (and hearing) Susan Boyle. She is what dreams are made of. Ronnie must have felt and understood. You are getting to the root of some really important stuff, Hook.

  10. Fall Fraust says:

    As a former pro musician, the bigger dream might have been to make it big. But the heart of my dream was to just be able to play, whether that meant jamming with my band, or on a small stage. Just to perform. You can get as much enthusiasm, and appreciation out of a few people as you can 10,000. Performing is hard work, loading, unloading equipment, setting up, playing smooth sets, calming people that are inebriated, jumping through hoops, breaking down, learning new music… the love and appreciation of just being able to perform usually what most musicians hold in their hearts. I get what you’re saying, and at the same time, your friend may not have had that blinding fame moment, but his legacy will go on, as those who saw him perform sit around and talk fondly about the fun they had, the music they heard, and how great the band was. He gave them memories. Something far more precious than fame.

  11. Great thoughts here Hook. We all dream a dream indeed . Keep dreaming! Hope keeps us alive.

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