This is a new article I wrote for Technorati.com:
I loathe the show American Idol – mainly because of the cattle call auditions where the program travels from city-to-city in search of contestants.
Conversely, millions of viewers love those auditions because the majority of the wannabe performers are so pitifully pitch deaf that they’re akin to an auditory car crash. People can’t turn away from a car crash – they have to ogle it.
It’s laughably sad.
These performers are so diluted regarding their lack of ability that they can’t begin to plumb the depths of their nonexistent talent.
How did they get that way?
I blame their parents and other adults in their lives.
During formative years, such influencers irresponsibly built up their little non-singers to believe that they’ll be the next Celine Dion – when their voices actually pitch more wildly than the rookie ballplayer Nuke LaLoosh in the movie Bull Durham.
That’s why I can’t stand American Idol, because parents and caregivers didn’t care enough about their kids to quell their delusions without killing their dream.
Parents should support the aspirations and dreams of their kids, but it must be done with the same nurturing care as with a child’s education or physical needs.
If a child wants to be a singer, it’s probably a good idea to get them enrolled in the church or school choir; sign them up for singing lessons; hire a vocal coach or encourage them to play an instrument.
Creative types should immerse themselves in the culture of their dream if they want it to become a reality someday.
A child’s talent needs to be tested in small ways, over time. Anyone chasing their dream is going to hit obstacles of doubt and dissent. Parents must honestly sift through the jealous derisiveness and constructive feedback to help the child improve.
This pressure testing must be a supportive process to keep hope alive in the child – but hubris in check.
If a child is committed to their dream, then the parents must encourage the child to log the practice hours. Lofty dreams are built upon a solid foundation.
In pursuit of a dream, parents must also protect their kids from dream-killing humiliation. Parents must love them enough to protect the dream by possibly re-directing the dream in another form of expression.
If the child can’t sing perhaps they can write lyrics or melodies – the grownup must help them find a sustainable, life-long creative outlet on a smaller scale.
Ultimately parents must help their child live the dream to the best of the child’s ability without squelching it as a mere pipe dream.
Question: Did your parents help or hinder your personal dream?