In today’s episode we explore a great feel-good story – especially if you’re a parent. Who among us when singing, or when hearing your son or daughter singing, hasn’t at least daydreamed of that singing happening on a big stage, with audiences cheering, on some sort of national tour. (Maybe you remember Susan Boyle?) That’s part of the appeal of shows like The Voice, or American Idol, or the “Golden Buzzer” of America’s Got Talent.
Now what if Susan Boyle is a tween, and you’re her mom…?
In this session, I’m interviewing Kristen Wylie, a friend and actually a former coworker of mine. She is the mother of two daughters: 12 year old Amanda, and 9 year old Katie, from Franklin, Massachusetts. Her two daughters had been taking singing, acting, and dancing lessons, and really enjoyed performing. On a whim while in New York, they joined several hundred other girls during an open call for the third national touring production of Annie. Listen to the interview to hear their own rags-to-riches story, and maybe get a vicarious thrill for the next time you dream of your voice being discovered.
Here are some links to the clips I’ve included in the episode, if you want to hear more than just the clips:
- Susan Boyle’s original audition on “Britain’s Got Talent”, in which a frumpy, otherwise nondescript singer blew away the judges and the audience.
- Amahl and the Night Visitors: There are several recorded performances online. The clip I played is from a radio broadcast of a 2007 Holiday Pops performance with Keith Lockhart conducting.
- Opening night coverage for Annie in Boston, from which I borrowed a few clips
- One recording of the Stepsister’s Lament that Amanda sang for her audition
- I included a snippet of Hard Knock Life, though actually this is from the previous touring company, so it’s not actually the Wylie girls singing. Ditto for Tomorrow
- The Metro Daily West news had a great article about the Wylies, including pictures and the sound clip I included of them singing for the reporter.
- The Official Annie touring site, which includes pictures of the girls costumed.