Well, I may be a 42 year-old married gal, but somehow, I caught it.
And I’m not even ashamed to admit it, because if you’d just give this cutie-patootie a chance, you’d catch it too.
My daughter got a call this weekend from her friend wanting us to go the recently released movie Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. My daughter, only eight, isn’t a big Bieber fan. But she is a fan of movie popcorn and spending time with her buddy, so she said yes. I tagged along because I really wasn’t sure she would make it through a documentary style movie, and I figured I should be there in case an early exit was required.
Before I entered the theatre, the only thing I knew about the young Mr. Bieber was that he was from somewhere in Ontario, and had hair that seemed to make headlines. Other than that he was just a kid in skinny jeans who could croon a love song.
By time I left the theatre I was blown away. This kid did it all himself. His drive, charisma, talent, his belief in himself – all so impressive. It was completely inspiring for anyone who has a dream sidled with the fear of not making it.
So maybe you don’t know the Biebster. The Coles Notes version is this: he’s a 16-year-old kid from Stratford, Ontario, raised by a teenage mother. She put a video of him singing on YouTube, and it went viral. People from all over the world clicking on his video, leaving comments, requesting new postings. A record producer sees it by sheer luck and decides he has to find this kid. Then he gets as famous as the Beatles.
The key part to his success story though, is that he got rejection after rejection after rejection.
Music Studios didn’t know where he fit. “Take him to the Machine” (studio talk for the Disney or Nickelodeon channel). But they didn’t want to go that route. They opted instead for getting him out there, in social media land. They used Facebook and twitter to generate a buzz and a thriving fan base letting them know where he was going to be to perform. He travelled to radio stations who weren’t playing his songs and performed live for them, charming them into becoming fans. And those teen fans from YouTube kept turning out in larger numbers to support and swoon over him. And in a less than two years he was known around the world and selling out Madison Square Gardens.
Did you hear that my fellow writers? What about you other readers who have dreams who seem unreachable? Social media + pounding the pavement. A combustible combination it seems.
Did luck play a part? Well, it couldn’t have hurt, but after watching this kid, it was happening one way or the other. He has so much drive and determination. He believed in himself, even when he was told no. He is his own biggest fan, and yet he’s confident without being conceited. He’s talented, but worked hard and didn’t give up.
Am I a die-hard fan now? How can I not be? This little sweetheart is the real deal. It helps that in this age of arrogance and self-centeredness, he is humble and kind. (go Canadian boy, go!) He has this lovely quality that encourages others to shine, which makes him all the more admirable.
So although we left the movie with my daughter stating “That was the worst movie of my whole life,” he certainly has made a fan out of me. Though you won’t likely find his face on my bed sheets (something I find creepy if you’re 13 or 42) you will find me cheering him on from the sidelines.
The bottom line is that hard work and talent seem to be the least of what is missing with people these days. It’s about the belief in we have in ourselves, and the resolve to, as Bieber himself says, “Never Say Never”.
Cameo by another teeny bopper, cutie Jaden Smith. (Big cutie Will Smith is his dad). All I had to dream about at 12 was Leif Garrett and Shawn Cassidy… and neither of them did Kung Fu.