Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hopes and Dreams

I love America’s Got Talent. Watching talented singers, dancers and other acts achieve their dreams is wonderful, whether they’re performing in front of a huge, live audience for the first time, to their appreciation of the magnitude of appearing on national TV, to gaining fans to working with one of their idols, such as Stevie Wonder or Patti LaBelle, to winning a million dollars and the opportunity to headline or be in a Las Vegas show. It’s the American Dream personified: if you work hard to achieve your goals, if you put your mind to something, dreams really can come true. A good number of acts rise from relative obscurity to fame. Some improve and gain more confidence over the weeks, so even if they don’t win or make the Top 10 they’ll probably perform better in the future. Season 6 winner Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. was working in a car wash. Now he’s won one of the biggest talent competitions in the world. But many don’t make it on the show. And the farther some acts go, the more time, energy and hope they invest, the bigger the fall when they don’t make it to the next round. When they fail to get the judges’ approval or enough of America’s votes. I recently encouraged a friend to audition and, since I’ve seen every episode, helped with preparation. Time will tell. I don’t have a talent suitable for AGT. But I do know what it’s like to achieve a dream , such as winning Romance Writers of America’s national Golden Heart® Award. I’ll never forget the excitement of getting the call that my manuscript was a finalist, how I’ve appreciated all the congratulations, or the thrill of hearing my name called in front of around 2,000 people, including many industry professionals and best-selling authors, and going up on the stage to give a brief speech. I also know what it’s like to get so close to a dream you can taste it and not achieve it…for example, when I receive a revision request for a manuscript I’ve already spent hundreds of hours crafting, then work diligently on the revisions, but the agent or editor doesn’t love it enough to take things to the next level. But like those who reach for the stars on shows American Idol or AGT, I continue to hope more dreams will come true.

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