The Voices of Germany


The exceptional musical talents of my two daughters have come up one or twice in this blog (see “Glinke’s Clinkers” and “Fame 2.0 – Stage Mom”) In that second one, I ranted for a while about casting shows and why I forbade my daughter participation in any of those. As a successful cabaret artist / musician / friend of mine once told me, the best path for a budding musician is the most natural one. It begins with singing at family gatherings. From there it goes on to participating in musical events at school or in the village. From there one goes on to singing at weddings and baptisms and then local concerts and festivals. Good results in music competitions help too – first local ones and then ones encompassing larger geographical spaces. The child musician should slowly expand the circumference of their audience or those who recognize his/her talent. All the while, the budding musician should also benefit from having a normal childhood and a good all-around education.

My younger daughter is a wonderful pianist, but does not really enjoy the competitions or performances. She plays in two local concerts a year, purely for the sake of her teacher. The elder daughter, on the other hand, was clearly born for the stage. And her development and trajectory have been right on track. At seventeen, she is now in a band along with some of the best local musicians (all 10 to 20 years older and more experienced than she). Her successes at competitions in singing and songwriting have made her a known quantity in the province’s music scene. Last week, she hit a new high mark when performing at an international symposium in Vienna, attended by music teachers and professors from 25 nations. The concert consisted of nine varied contributions by music school students, one from each of the country’s provinces. Mitzi was “Miss Burgenland” so to speak. She played piano and sang two of her own songs. I realize I am not exactly impartial, but I will tell you anyway that she was fabulous.

And absolutely on the right track.

Yesterday, the husband came home from work and dropped a bombshell. He had received an email from a “scout” for one of the biggest casting shows in the German-speaking area, called “The Voice of Germany”. He (or she) had seen a video of Mitzi on the school’s website and wanted to contact her about participating in the show. (I am not sure if they realized they were writing to Mitzi’s father as well as her school principal . . . ) The fact that Mitzi was being actively recruited meant that she could skip past the first round of auditions – she would begin already in the “finalist” category. The husband added that he had called Mitzi’s singing teacher who was all for it. “Why not?” she had added.

Why not?

I confess, the whole idea creeps me out. I see in my daughter’s eyes that she wants to do it. I see in my husband’s eyes that he could be brought to a “yes” – his mouth is already forming the word silently. I hear my own voice repeating the mantra of earlier years: “No casting shows!” I smell danger. I picture thousands of anonymous voices of Germany whispering in my daughter’s ear for the proverbial fifteen minutes: “You are a star. I love you.” I feel her confusion about just how real these oh-so-unreal reality shows seem to feel. I envision the sudden spike in her trajectory and the deep and drastic dive that follows it. I sense I am alone in my rejection of this whole idea, this detour which will temporarily catapult all of our lives into the realm of sensationalism. I taste the bile of adrenaline as I contemplate the coming conflict.


7 thoughts on “The Voices of Germany

  1. As you see, I am still quietly following your blog entries. I was very amused about the chicken stories! And now these possibilities; difficult decisions are to be made. My younger daughter is seventeen years old, too, and I think I would tell her about my thoughts and feeilings and “worst case scenarios” and leave the final decision to her (if it is possible for all of you to fulfill the requirements: accompany her to Germany etc.)
    I would be afraid of reproaches if not allowing her to participate. And perhaps try to not let all this take too much space in your lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As always – so nice to hear from you!! I have been missing your Pictures of the Day. They are always so poignant.
      As for this situation, my daughter will be 18 and can make her own decisions about doing this or not. I will just try to keep her grounded throughout in the case she decides to. Maybe it will all be great. And if not, I will be there to pick up the pieces – she knows that.
      All that being said, I have to add – I REALLY hate these shows!


  2. Oh, my. I don’t have any idea how this would feel. Well, fraudulent…because none of my minions can carry a tune in a bucket. But you? I hope the path Mitzi chooses enlightens and emboldens her for a successful tomorrow. On another note, my little prolific friend, I believe I am all caught up on your posts! I look forward to reading about your school year, your chickens, and the unenviable coming of adulthood for Mitzi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The offer was for next season – 2018. Mitzi has basically decided not to do it then – her Matura year. 2019 is still an open question. It wasn’t really my opinion that put her off the idea – it was conversations with other people with direct experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I saw there was another young girl – must have been from Burgenland somewhere, who was just in the show recently, maybe she talked her out of it… but of course sweetheart and I were glued to the screen the last show, just in case 🙂


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