I had a chance to catch a television show wherein young actors and actresses had to imitate how local or foreign singers look and perform. The similarities are striking at times for they have to use make-up, props, and costumes just to look like the artist. A combination of chills and amazement engulfs me when they can emulate the singer’s voice too.
Before every child takes the stage, a feature video shows the coaches on how to sing like the assigned artist. They would tackle technical aspects like pitch, stage presence, and pronunciation of words to make the imitation job perfect. At the end of every number, the judges have to share their positive comments.
While the show is good for entertainment, I do not adhere to the underlying message it sends especially to young people. To me, it condones copying a successful person in order to gain success as well. It somehow numbs the audience that the fast way to become popular is to do what works. That what’s important is to be somebody else so that people will commend and applaud you.
It would be forgivable if this mentality persists on one show or form only. But there are teleseryes that are downright rip-offs of foreign TV series like Arrow or foreign movies such as Thor. Some people gain popularity by doing online dance challenges or dubbing songs while filming themselves. An all-Filipino group that resembles a Japanese pop group was formed through contests within a noontime variety show.
Whatever happened to blazing a different path to offer consumers something new? Since copying prevails at the highest level, individuals accept it. That’s why netizens perform online challenges in hopes of getting an audience and parlay it into a career. That’s why some recording artists opt to do a cover of a popular song because it is already known by listeners.
This predicament scares musicians who want to be known for their own style rather than following a prescribed song formula to top the charts. It dampens the confidence of creative people who suppress their flare in order to be appreciated by the masses. It shoots down the idea that you can be successful by doing it your own way. It kills the concept of individuality for the sake of conformity.
If you are one of those who want to bless the world with a gift or a talent, do not be afraid of setting sail. Yes, you will encounter rough waves. But if you keep on navigating, you will reach calm waters. Express who you truly are. In today’s digital world, people who can appreciate you craft will find you through the Internet. Also, remember that what makes a person successful is not talent or passion. Rather, it’s the grit to weather the storms along the way.
When individuality is respected, diverse personalities and values come out. But instead of arguing about which is better, we become united by appreciating what a person is capable of doing. In the long term, our support can create more opportunities and industries that can enrich our society. Who knows, maybe upholding the greatness that lies in every person can break the cycle of us bidding farewell to brilliant individuals who leave the country in hopes of a better life. Or better yet, those who were forced to a profession they don’t enjoy can profit from their passion.