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Upcoming Child Stars - Thoughts?

Ebbie 04 Dec 09 - 08:26 PM
Jeri 04 Dec 09 - 09:02 PM
Ebbie 04 Dec 09 - 09:26 PM
MGM·Lion 04 Dec 09 - 11:53 PM
Stower 05 Dec 09 - 07:18 AM
katlaughing 05 Dec 09 - 11:23 AM
Ebbie 05 Dec 09 - 11:43 AM
Ebbie 05 Dec 09 - 11:49 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Dec 09 - 11:57 AM
Leadfingers 05 Dec 09 - 12:14 PM
eddie1 05 Dec 09 - 12:19 PM
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Subject: Upcoming Child Stars - Thoughts?
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 08:26 PM

In Juneau we have a very bright, very talented this week-turned-10 singer/songwriter who was on the Ellen Degenerus show last year, can be found all over YouTube and is now performing - and recording- with a very good band behind her.

Her manager called me this afternoon and wants us to book her/headline her on our monthly concert series. He sent over a bunch of links to her songs, including some taped in his studio with the band behind her (The drummer sounds very bad in the YouTube link but that must be a result of bad miking because I know him and he is very good. If I liked drums at all, I'd have him play at my funeral. :)

If you are interested in hearing her, check out Anna Graceman on YouTube.

Problem: I am conflicted on the whole matter of child stardom. I agree fully that the child is dreaming - but I think in the majority of cases it is the parents who have the dream.

Besides which, I think our whole culture is obsessed with fame and fame as-soon-as-possible.

I see no hurry and think that she will get only better with time and experience.

Any thoughts? I sent the manager's email on to a couple of co-founders of the concert series to see what they think. When it comes down to it, I suspect my vote will be NO.


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Subject: RE: Upcoming Child Stars - Thoughts?
From: Jeri
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 09:02 PM

At the end of the day, I don't think you should be judging the singer's motives, whether the gig is good for THEM or not or whether it's right for them to do the gig. You book based on whether they'll pull an audience and that audience will enjoy them.

That said, I've listened to part of a song (slow connection), and I don't think she's a headliner. She's good and will get better, but I think she needs more time and experience. Know that I'm not 100% convinced I'm right.


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Subject: RE: Upcoming Child Stars - Thoughts?
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 09:26 PM

Thanks, Jeri. Here's what I wrote a co-founder:

* I have severe reservations on 'child stars'.. Sure, I believe the child is doing a lot of dreaming - but very often, I think, it is the parents who have the dream. I don't really want to be a part of it.

* Her voice is good now - for her age - but it will get better. I see no need to accelerate the process. To my mind, our culture is obsessed.

* She is a good songwriter- Steve thinks she is one of the best songwriters in Juneau - but with age and maturity she will write songs that are more appropriate to her age and experience. She has not got it yet, in my opinion.

* They are putting out a CD this winter - but I think that illustrates my major point. With age and maturity she will put out a better CD- the novelty appeal doesn't cut it.

* If we put her on at Gold Street, the audience will be supportive - but I suspect that a good many members of the audience will be as uneasy as I .


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Subject: RE: Upcoming Child Stars - Thoughts?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 11:53 PM

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't — but the same is true at whatever age a person comes to prominence: some will make a fine career, some degenerate into drugs & breakdowns under the pressures of fame; and some will still come out at the other end. It applies in sport too - e.g. Jennifer Capriati as distinct from Tracy Austin.

I wouldn't be without those early Shirley Temple movies on tv [tho I know others who hate her, I always STILL find her irresistible, & I am ole enuff to have seen some of them when new]. She gave up the career when she grew up & became a distinguished diplomat instead. Drew Barrymore, on the other hand, had problems when she grew up, which I believe she has now overcome and returned to a worthwhile acting career.

I can, to sum up, see no principled objection to child stars: some will withstand the pressures, some not — but why whould they be denied the opportunities if they have the talent?


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Subject: RE: Upcoming Child Stars - Thoughts?
From: Stower
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 07:18 AM

On this clip and this one she plays piano in the clunky, clumsy way you might expect of a 9 year old without the experience she obviously can't have. She sings in the way a talented 9 year old might, imitating others, not yet having found her own voice.

There is great potential there, and she deserves all the encouragement in the world, but she needs lots of work. Making her a headline act now would be premature. I would sent an encouraging message but definitely wouldn't book her.


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Subject: RE: Upcoming Child Stars - Thoughts?
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 11:23 AM

I find her imitative and annoying, frankly. She pounds the piano and does not enunciate well. There is talent, yes, but as others have pointed out, she needs experience and some years to mature before being any kind of "star," imo. She doesn't hold a candle to other youngsters I have seen on youtube.

I could see her being up there with a mentor or as part of a group, maybe, but not alone as a headliner. I, too, have mixed feelings about child stars. I think the ones who are successful have had a steady hand in their lives, a parent or someone, who has helped them along the way such as Ron Howard aka "Opie." I'm not sure who guided him but they did a good job.

This little girl needs a few more years, imo.


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Subject: RE: Upcoming Child Stars - Thoughts?
From: Ebbie
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 11:43 AM

Thanks, everybody. I haven't conferred yet in person with the co-founders but you have given me words to use.


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Subject: RE: Upcoming Child Stars - Thoughts?
From: Ebbie
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 11:49 AM

Sitting here thinking. It occurs to me that it would not bother me to put her on as just another performer. Regular sets are 20 minutes while headliners get 45 minutes.


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Subject: RE: Upcoming Child Stars - Thoughts?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 11:57 AM

Despite my defence of the idea of child stars above, having now played the clips again & more critically, I must say I don't think this one is ready yet. She needs to be taught better to judge & moderate the volume of her piano keys, & to take far more care of the articulation of the words she is singing — to my mind the very first responsibility of any singer. Someone must point out to her that the fact that she knows what the words are is not, in itself, sufficient to communicate them to a listener who has never heard them before. The old trick of a minimal pause between syllables so that each is pronounced as a distinct vocal entity can be very useful advice here.


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Subject: RE: Upcoming Child Stars - Thoughts?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 12:14 PM

If she doesnt get sidetracked , and continues to develop she should be worth booking when she is in her teens ! At the moment she certainly lacks a lot of skills !


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Subject: RE: Upcoming Child Stars - Thoughts?
From: eddie1
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 12:19 PM

Two "Child Stars" in the UK way back when were Helen Shapiro
and Lena Zavaroni

As you can see, Helen, with a deep voice way beyond her years, coped well with showbiz Helen singing
and is still belting them out although nowadays she does mostly gospel.

Lena, on the other hand, did not cope well with growing up - maybe as a result of demands forced on her by management - developed anorexia and depression and died at a very young 35. I always found the fact that even when fifteen or so, she always appeared in a lacy dress with hair ribbons, button shoes etc, Lena singing
just a tad sick.

I hope this young lady can follow Helen's example.

Eddie


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