Too Young?

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I saw a performance by a Jackie Evancho, a truly gifted child with a fabulous voice. It is the kind of voice that inspires any well-connected agent to call God directly and schedule her try-out for the voice that announces the Second Coming of Christ. In song, she carries the Gravitas of Morgan Freeman, The World-Wise qualities of Nelson Mandela and the resonance of Kate Smith. She is equally at ease in duets with Barbra Streisand or Susan Boyle.

Like I said, fabulous. But with an odd hitch. Watching her sing weirded me out. Not just me, a couple of other people mentioned the same thing. Why should excellence be weird?

My guess is that it had to do with her child like nature. A kid is not supposed to know all about the emotional depths of intense life and death romantic love that is needed to understand Bernstein’s “There’s a Place for Us.” But this kid conveyed that emotion perfectly.

Close your eyes, you would swear that this soul had swam in hormone hurricane churned seas — slammed against the sad rocks of society’s expectations — and finally accepts the doom of Romeo and Juliet.

Open your eyes, and you see a body that should be singing “I love Barney,” or “Sharing is Fun.”

In the same way that “Little Miss Sunshine” pointed out the creepy nature of Pre-pubescent Beauty Queens, this young lady has poked a similar button. But she has done nothing wrong, and is just expressing her gifts as a performer and a human being. Like “Little Miss Sunshine” herself — simply a little girl with a dream and some inspired coaching, she is reaching for a goal that inspires her. The abreaction is mine alone, It is me.

It’s MY expectation of human development that gets punched in the nose by the “fist of perhaps.” — either children have a greater emotional capacity than I know, or that she is simply a capable performer who can “fake” the emotions with expert ease. An actor does that for breakfast, lunch and dinner, why not a little girl? After all, it’s just a performance.

Obviously, the answer is both.

But if she sings The Kink’s “Lola” with equal passion, I am running for cover! Lord save us all.

that's all--