Confession – I cry when I watch reality talent shows

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I know, I know as someone who hopes to write television, reality television should be the enemy but I am a sucker for reality talent shows about singing, dancing or cooking.

I get really excited to see people do something well that they are really passionate about it. To see someone engage in something they are so absorbed in and then the rush of joy that washes over their faces when they are done, pretty much 100% of the time has me weeping like a little baby. This has now become a rather messy occurrence, now that I run while watching television but the Voice’s sexy Adam Levine is the best cardio motivator on television these days.

People often criticize these kinds of shows as bastardizing the music, arts and cooking industries. However, I think that undervalues the guts it takes these contestants to put themselves and their passion out there to be scrutinized by famous judges, national voting audiences and international viewers. It is a testament to being open and vulnerable while showcasing a supreme display of confidence in not just yourself but your passion.

I think I cry now because I used to know that feeling of being absorbed by something you love and seeing it come to realization, and I miss it desperately. I used to get that feeling when I was on stage in junior high and high school. Taking on a character, making people laugh and the overall rush of a thunderous applause was a natural high I savoured back in my teenage years. In college, for the first time ever, I opened up myself up enough to share my creative writing. And my old stage rush from high school was replaced with the new rush of seeing or hearing my writing come together in a video or audio projects in broadcasting school. After college, for four glorious years, I had that rush and I was paid (poorly) for it, during my time as a radio creative writer.

When I got laid off from radio, I made the decision to choose money over that rush, so I could be a self-sufficient adult. And since then, there has only been a few glimmering moments that passion flickered back into my life – through improv acting classes and sketch comedy writing classes. Sure my paycheque has almost doubled, but in the last few months where all I have been doing is hacking away at dry projects after dry project at work and feeling too burned out to pursue anything creatively on the side, I have never felt less like myself. I feel like there is a limb missing or something.

So yeah, I cry when I watch a singer get lost in a song, a dancer move to the music or chef create something beautiful with food. I cry because I am blown away to witness such pure joy and talent. I cry because I so desperately want to be brave enough to take the leap to make that kind of contribution to the world again, even if just in a small way.

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