The Voice

DAVID ARCHULETA

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David Archuleta ~ Grace Under Pressure & Arizona

Posted by paulafod on Monday, August 22, 2011


I have heard of Type A personalities and Type B personalities, extroverts and introverts, the Myers Briggs personality test, the four temperaments theory, and tests that tell me I’m a turtle. Actually, I’m a turtle-monkey, at least according to one test that I took. I don’t have any real theories of what type personality I may be, or if one is better than another, but I once heard someone ask the question “What do you get when you squeeze an orange?” The correct answer: Whatever is in an orange is what will come out of it when pressure is applied.

I came to think about what I am like under pressure last week. As usual, I was pretty hard on myself, always thinking I could do more, I could have done better, that I have so much to do and I don’t want to let anyone down. I feel as though I have been AWOL from The Voice and from other fan sites and people who have become very special to me. My responsibilities at work, at church, in artwork commissions, with family responsibilities and deadlines all put pressure on me but in fact, no one puts as much pressure on me as I put on myself.  This has not made me unhappy, just reflective.  Life under pressure is normal and life under pressure reveals what is inside a person.  Whatever is in me is what comes out when pressure is applied.

David is amazing under pressure. I cannot begin to fathom what it is like to have 729,938 people (at this writing) hang on your every tweet.  He was thrown from a quiet existence in Murray, Utah into a world of decisions and expectations at the age of 16, and at the ripe old age of 17, he was signed into the business world of music. He carries a lot of weight on his shoulders, because, as he said in an interview with Ryan Seacrest, many of his decisions affect a lot of people.  He refuses to take his family or his faith for granted regardless of  the pressure for him to do so. One radio interview (not worthy of recognition) tested David’s integrity in every way, but he never allowed someone else’s behavior to determine his own. He handled it with dignity and grace and I was so proud of that young man! I was also “madder than a wet hen” (as we say in the south), but I decided to follow David’s example and let it go.

 David has the generosity of heart to always see the worth of a person, to respect people for who they are without changing who he is. He never seems to harbor a grudge or carry the weight of anger. He cares about people. All of these amazing qualities come through that smile of his.

Occasionally, we get a glimpse into the fact that he feels the pressure like when he tweeted this face :/ when he was running late, or when we see the sleepy David trying to answer questions during an interview. “Who I Am” from TOSOD allowed us to see the side of David that feels the pressure. He may or may not have known about the upcoming release of Jive and management when he wrote this it, but the song was prophetic and gave us a glimpse of the traits I love about him. He has a quiet confidence in who he is, yet he knows he still has a lot to learn. He is grounded, yet capable of flying. Fresh from his tour in Asia, a huge undertaking, we witnessed again by tweets, videos and fan accounts, the way he handled the pressure of schedules, expectations, responsibilities and fan frenzy with astonishing composure.

I know it sounds as though I have put David on a pedestal. I haven’t really. I know he is not perfect nor do I expect him to be. I am grateful for him, for the truths that he has reminded me of, for the people he has brought into my life, and even for the pressure that being a fan has placed in my own life.  Some people don’t understand…and I’m OK with that.

Thank you David Archuleta, for staying true to who you are, even under pressure. You have been an inspiration and an encouragement to all of us who stand behind you as fans. Thank you for reminding me to say hello or good morning to at least five people with the same enthusiasm as when singing in front of thousands while on tour in Asia. Thank you for being willing to take on the pressure of sharing yourself in a skeptical world. Wherever there is pressure, there is grace. We’re ready for the next step….when you are.

Posted in David Archuleta, role models | Tagged: , , , | 137 Comments »

David Archuleta ~ Little Things Matter Most

Posted by bebereader on Wednesday, August 3, 2011

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~Maya Angelou~

There was no mistake made when David was named. The name David means “beloved.” It’s the little things David does that make him so endearing to us. He points at a lucky someone in the audience when he sings “I’m just a little too not over you” and we all squeal. Then he waves at her because it’s not polite to point. He makes a concerted effort to acknowledge us, to let us know that we’re important to him. The little things he does do not go unnoticed.

When he’s at a mall appearance, he looks up and waves to those at the top level, and at his concerts, he always asks, “How’re you guys doing in the back?” In Ho Chi Minh City, he allowed fans onstage at the end of the show to give him flowers. Worried about pushing in the mosh, he often gestures with his hand to move back. Who does this? These are some of the little things David does. He genuinely cares about us.

He talks to fans during soundcheck and smiles as he listens to them sing his songs to him; he walks through a chaotic airport with a smile on his face, while hundreds are screaming, anxiously waiting to catch a glimpse of him. He tells us that he is no better than us, that if we have a dream we should go for it. He makes us want to emulate him, to be more like him.

When on tour, he stays up late until he opens every one of our gifts and often, when given a return addressed envelope, sends back a hand-written thank you note. He high-fives a line of fans who have waited in the heat to see him, even though he is pressed for time. When asked to take a picture, he says ‘Why not?’ while his handlers urge him that it’s time to go. He makes us feel important. In Hanoi he gestured with his hand to let the guard know it was okay, that he didn’t have to remove the fan who came onstage to wipe his brow.  A gentle leader, who inspires gentle acts of kindness in others.

And the list goes on…at home, the elderly woman whose leaves he raked, the stealth performances he gives at nursing homes, the countless hospitals he visits. On the road, the elderly fans he gets up from his seat at busy autograph signings to give a hug to, the humble thanks for gifts, the embracing of traditional garb, and all the impromptu serenades of Happy Birthday.  Always, the vlogs, the twitter parties, the penetrating eye contact and the way he lets us hold his hand or give him a hug when we meet him. The unfailing empathy and compassion he shows to one and all.  Is this guy for realz?

Big things are important but more often it’s the little things that have the greatest impact.

“It is not the size of our actions but the amount of love and care that is put into them that matters.”  
~Mother Teresa~

It’s these little things David repeatedly does that reveal his character and how much he cares about his fans.  Little wonder the feeling is so mutual.

Posted in Appreciation, David Archuleta, fandom, Respect, role models | Tagged: , , | 135 Comments »

Supporting Eternal Excellence

Posted by SandyBeaches on Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Helping Hand

We all need a helping hand sometimes, as we travel through life.
So take the hand I willingly extend and I’ll guide you.
Because when I look at you I see myself, living one of my many lives.
People say the older we get the wiser we become, this is not necessarily so.
We all need a helping hand sometimes.
So with a little help I’ll guide you away from the path which I took, that lead
me away from the truth.
Don’t ever feel that I am lost to you.
I only await your call, when together we will find a clearer path to follow,
through the twists and turns of life.
Because we all need a helping hand sometimes as we travel through life.
So take the hand I willingly extend and I’ll guide you.

~Loretta Worthington

Photo credit peacelovedavid

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

In the midst of decision making and while wondering about anyone’s future, it is hard to stand by and do absolutely nothing to help alleviate a difficult situation.  I have stopped traffic for a mother pheasant and her young as they tried to cross a busy highway, and I have jumped out of my car to help a confused and lost dog cross over four lanes of road to safety and on to a new home. I have even done the same for a slow-moving but awesome turtle who only wanted to make it to the river.  But it is not always easy to give a friend the helping hand that is needed.
The most well-known, accomplished and successful artists can identify people in their lives who acted as mentors.  The term “mentor” has its origin in Homer’s Odyssey when a man named Mentor was entrusted with the education of the son of Odysseus.  It is a fact that mentoring balances your heart, mind and spirit. Success comes from persistence. Persistence often comes from the support and encouragement of a mentor.

David Archuleta with Olivia Newton-John, David Foster and Katherine McPhee

I have the following interesting partial list of mentor pairs as compiled by Rey Carr:

Jerry Wexler (music journalist, record producer, chairman of Atlantic Records) mentor to Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Solomon Burke, Dusty Springfield, Linda Ronstadt, and Willie Nelson.

Mitch Miller (1911-2010) was a mentor to Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Marty Robbins, Jerry Vale, and Mahalia Jackson

Don Henley mentors Sheryl Crow, Amy Sky is mentor to Olivia Newton-John

George Burns was mentor to Bobby Darin, Bobby Darin has been mentor to Wayne Newton

Gloria Estefan mentored by her grandmother, Consuela Garcia

Duke Ellington mentor to Tony Bennett, Abdullah Ibrahim (jazz pianist) and Lena Horne

Tina Turner mentor to Mick Jagger, Hank Snow mentor to Elvis Presley

Woody Guthrie, Dave Van Ronk and Joan Baez mentors to Bob Dylan

Huey Lewis mentor to Bruce Hornsby, Stevie Wonder mentored Ray Charles

More recently I have read that Shania Twain has met with Gladys Knight, Lionel Ritchie and David Foster who have been providing guidance and inspiration to her as she attempts to reclaim her voice.

The following is a quote from the Master Class Lady whose critiques on David and his music are highly respected and thoroughly enjoyed.

Excellence is eternal and David Archuleta certainly embodies all the qualities I look for in an artist. His enthusiasm and passion for the music is so apparent in this video but the bottom line is this: David is one of the finest young singers to come along in a very, very long time.
My hope and my dream is that he finds someone truly great and sublimely gifted in the music industry who will move his career to an international level.  How did Jive ever let this young man go?  How?
Hang in there, David. It took David Foster a long time to achieve success with Michael Buble and look at him now.  Michael was ready to give up his musical dreams in his early twenties but he was fortunate to have a wise manager who kept him focused on the prize.
Time for the two Davids (Foster and Archuleta) to meet and begin the magical process of transforming David into a superstar”.

Posted in Art, David Archuleta, David Foster, Master Class Lady, Mentors, Michael Buble, role models | Tagged: , , | 181 Comments »

A Study in Performance

Posted by MT on Tuesday, May 3, 2011

tumblr-mykindofperfectda

On Saturday, April 23, 2011, we got a tweet from David that he was at the Prince concert at the Forum. Now, we all know that David has a very broad range of musical interests, from Gospel, to Jazz, to R&B, and more. We all know that Michael Jackson is one of David’s favorite performers. But somehow I didn’t expect this one. I’ve never really been a Prince fan and couldn’t have named one song that he sang. So I watched a video of his encore from the concert David attended and did a little research. To my surprise, I was actually familiar with some of his songs. I remember hearing them on the radio. I just never bothered to find out who was singing them. I never really worried about who sang what, until David.

But I digress. What I want to discuss is Prince’s showmanship and David’s presence at this concert. Although I may never actually attend one of Prince’s concerts, I was impressed with his stage presence and certain elements of his performance. When playing the encore for this particular concert, he stood at the piano, he moved around while he sang, and encouraged audience participation, getting the audience to sing along. I was particularly impressed with his grace of movement and the expressiveness of his hands.

The David connection: In watching this, I couldn’t help but think about David’s evolving stage presence. It brought to mind songs like “Crush” or “My Hands,” where he too gets the audience involved by encouraging them to sing along or “Your Eyes Don’t Lie,” where he gets the audience to whistle. (That last one is a favorite of mine.) Even on some of the songs on The Other Side of Down, he’s been choosing places where fans can sing. There are also some more subtle moves he’s been making. I am of course, referring to the jump in TOSOD that he did during the NYE performance and the MJ move in the performance of TOSOD in Dallas. I also find that his movements are becoming more subdued and fluid, including his more relaxed and confident strides across the stage during a break in a song.

This made me wonder, was David at this concert just to enjoy it? Or could he have been there to study the performance elements of yet another established, successful singer, just as an artist would go to Paris to study with the masters of their craft? Perhaps it’s a little of both. But it follows that if you want to be the best, you need to learn from the best. I think perhaps this may be what David has been doing all along.

While we all realize that David is experimenting with his own sound in order to decide who he really is as an artist, let us not underestimate his desire to do well in his chosen field. No matter how naturally gifted he is vocally, he must surely realize that the performance aspect is a critical part of what makes or breaks an artist.

Most of us have watched David since the beginning of American Idol, Season 7. We have watched David grow as an artist, have been here as his voice deepened and became richer as he grew older. We have also seen his performances evolve. We’ve watched as he went from standing at a microphone during his first solo show, to walking away from the mic stand, and then moving around on stage during that first tour. We watched as David began to slowly incorporate a bit of rhythm and movement into his performances and we’ve seen him surprise fans by going down into the audience to sing.

Bit by bit, this young man who was once so shy that he didn’t know if he’d ever be able to move on stage has been overcoming his extreme shyness and developing his performance skills. With each year that passes and each new tour, David continues to surprise and amaze us with his growth as an artist and performer.  And it’s only the beginning.

Recently, David Archuleta gave an oral report on some of what he has learned thus far to Truth About Music’s Harris Decker at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Expo.

So while he may not be enrolled at Julliard, I do believe David is attending school, just not in the established manner. He’s learning what works for him and what doesn’t and how to adjust his course. He’s learning that sometimes you have to cut your engines and let the wind fill your sails. To trust himself.

If you think back to the concerts he has attended over the last few years, he has gotten quite a broad education in what makes for a successful concert and I think he’s been trying to slowly incorporate what he has learned into his shows. If you want to know how to put on a show that will bring in thousands, what better education than to watch in real-time a pro in action, observing the audience’s reaction to each element of performance?

Below is a list of some of the performers whose concerts David has attended, many of whom he has met and spoken with. Quite an impressive group of instructors! What could be better than learning from performers with successful careers, some that have spanned decades?

Although David may not be in college, I think he’s still studying (whether consciously or unconsciously) and his education never stops. David knows that there are artists who have been in the business and been a success for many, many years without being vulgar or pulling crazy stunts to keep their fans interested. They are still here today by being good at what they do and by engaging their audiences.

These performers are David’s teachers.  And our Student Prince is learning fast.

Posted in Balance, David Archuleta, music, performance art, Personal freedom, role models | Tagged: , , | 114 Comments »

David Archuleta ~ the Man, the Music, the Mission

Posted by bluesky4home on Monday, March 7, 2011

Sundance Film Festival ~ January 2009

The Man (Or: DA ((aka: Christopher Robin)) visits my Hundred Acre Woods.)

Truthfully? My natural thought processes tend to be more like Eeyore than Winnie the Pooh. I have also been known to share a weekly cup of anxiety with Piglet. (Just sayin’: There are probably going to be thorns on that there rose. But, no stomping please. Good roses are hard to find!) Some people tell me that the words pragmatic and paranoid are just a little too close in my dictionary.  *sigh*

So when DA began his career following Idol with the outlook: “I could get hit by a car…”, part of me nodded in melancholy approval of his “seize the day” attitude. And I totally understood his occasional forays into: “If this doesn’t work out I might…” From my viewpoint this was no ‘starry-eyed puppy’. Although he may have been inexperienced, he was still a man who had done his homework and knew something about the odds.

So my own Pooh Bear (in search of ever more DA music), has always been accompanied by a very faithful Eeyore (ready to predict the inevitable lack). However DA, (with his inimitable way of upsetting my “Is it half full, or half empty?” apple cart), has come to the rescue once again, and like Christopher Robin who cures all ills, he has set right the affairs in my Hundred Acre Woods. He has answered the question of the ages: “Will there be enough music from you, DA?” He has penned ‘Happily Ever After’ into my story.

How? By answering the simple question: “Who would you like to sing with this year?” And DA, (who seems to always speak while offering a restful, mental branch on which any migrant thought may land) said: Tony Bennett.  “I think it would be so cool! He’s just… he’s been doing it for so long and he still sounds amazing.” (DA, you just kinda make my heart go pitter-patter when you say things like that.)

Thereupon my inner “Eeyore” sat down in shocked wonder and blissfully forgot that he had ever lost his tail. You could say, he “closed his eyes and saw the view”.

The Music (Or: Is there a ((classical)) genre that does NOT wait anxiously for DA to rebirth it?)

Cannons! Fireworks! Stadiums of cheers! Cue the 1812 Overture and Beethoven’s’ Ode to Joy! While DA can often confuse, entertain and delight us with seeming non-sequiturs, he is never random when it comes to music. (Exhibit “A”: Eva Cassidy.) So I knew he was perfectly serious. And. I. Rejoiced.

Tony Bennett. (Bless his unsuspecting heart!) This genre of music has not been on the top of my listening choices. But I do appreciate it. And I love what Michael Buble has done and is doing to bring that genius forward to a new audience.

My lack however, did not stop me from recognizing DAs’ own brilliance, appreciation, embodiment, and slam-dunk delivery of said genre whenever he got the chance.

So you can get the idea, here is Tony Bennett (generation jumping) with Michael Buble in 2010.

I can totally see how DA would look on stage with either of these lovely people. (Or both?! Yes, please?) And I would start saving my money….. now.

The Mission (Or: Even though the offer may self-destruct in 10 seconds, I believe DA has accepted his own Mission Impossible and will succeed.)

The historical perspective: Tony Bennetts’ first number one hit was in 1951. He was 25 years old. After several hits his run came to an end in the mid 60s and he seemed to disappear. He had a 15 year span when he was off the musical radar. In the 90s he came back stronger than ever, again putting out gold records. He has kept his musical style intact and “remains a popular and critically praised recording artist and concert performer.” Two things are credited with his comeback success:  1) a good manager (his brother) and 2) being true to his own music.

The New York Times said, “Tony Bennett has not just bridged the generation gap, he has demolished it. He has solidly connected with a younger crowd weaned on rock. And there have been no compromises.” At age 68 he had made it all the way back. He was 84 this last August and is still giving performances and concerts. (Added note: He was taught the “Bel canto” singing discipline, which was said to “keep his voice in good shape for his entire career.”)

Mr. Bennett also knows he has unique fans, especially the ones in the UK. He says how they “really take you in and treat you like family” (Sound like any fans you know?)

DA is a planner, a worker, a dreamer, an avid learner and constantly searches the heavens (both within and without) for guidance. He makes goals. He has vision. He has experience with challenges and how they can ultimately work in surprising ways for ones benefit. He also recognizes and appreciates these attributes when he finds them in others.

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE that he said he would like to sing with Tony Bennett. This year. Ahem. (Please take notice, Mr. Bennett!) I ABSOLUTELY LOVE that he dreams of singing until he is 84. Think of all the songs!!!! It. blows. my. mind. (Cause, (( love ya Mr. B.)) DA has more than one genre he can sing – actually.) (And, actually, he already copped the whole “demolishing generation gaps” thing when he was 17: “Shop Around”, “Imagine”, Christmas tour, anyone?)

DA, I love how you think and I trust you. Thank you so much for just being who you are. And for wanting to sing with Tony Bennett.

“You find it! You know it! Don’t make it wait! These are words I wanna say every hour of every day.” Wherever he is, DA makes it a “good place”. And my heart is comforted. My Hundred Acre Woods is lit with the eternal sunlight of contentment. And me? *sigh* I have been given the map to the honey tree.

“Silly old bear”.



Posted in David Archuleta, genres, Michael Buble, music, music genres, Musical icon, role models, Sundance Film Festival, The Voice, Tony Bennett, Winnie the Poo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 188 Comments »

The Power of Words

Posted by paulafod on Thursday, March 3, 2011

 

Composition in Words and TwitterCloud ~ Angelica


The day my daughter was born, right after her birth, the doctor held up a screaming, messy, little blob of pure joy so that I could see her.  I touched her hand and she continued to scream.  I spoke to her, and immediately she became quiet.  She opened her eyes and searched for the source of those words.  She recognized my voice.   I spoke to her with words that she could not understand, but they reached her anyway…. “Hey, there little one.”   Four words spoken with tenderness by a voice that was familiar were a comfort to her when everything around her was unfamiliar.

Ivy Green, the birthplace of Helen Keller, is not far from my home. At the age of six, having been blind and deaf since the age of nineteen months, Helen stood at a water pump and discovered the beauty of a word.  W-a-t-e-r.  That word changed everything for her.  Words rescued her from an existence that was dark and lonely and allowed her to inspire an entire world. Do you remember the afternoon of February 22, 2011?  @DavidArchie tweeted that he would have a vlog up soon.  We waited, almost patiently. After the uncertainty of the announcement of his release from the Jive roster and the release of his management, we needed to hear what he had to say.  We hung on his every word.  The David family huddled together for words of reassurance.

I came to love David through the words he sang.  I came to admire David because of the words he spoke and wrote.  I have grown to respect David not only because of the words he chooses to use, but because there are words that he refuses to use…words of negativity or gossip….words to retaliate or tear down.  I love his humorous words…tales of huge grapes, mistaken identities (Ricky Archuleta), giant bowls of guacamole, and whether or not fish have brains….all of these words endear him to me.

With David as my inspiration, I hope to be more careful with the words I choose, and I want my life to reinforce the optimism, hope, and encouragement that my words express.  I will not be perfect, but I want to think twice before I hurl words into the atmosphere.  Once a word has been received by another person, it is irretrievable.  As David recently quoted, the lack of words can be as harmful as harsh words, so I want to communicate with those so important to me   David once said that a smile can make someone’s day.  It’s true.  It’s also true that a kind word has the power to make a huge difference in the life of another person.

So now we wait for more words from David, more songs, more tweets, more news of tour or an appearance or a music label or new management.  While we wait, we’ll use words that make a difference….words like Music for Smiles, Rising Star Outreach, Children’s Miracle Network, Stand Up 2 Cancer.  We’ll use our words to remind David that we are his fans.  We’ll remind each other what a blessing it is to be an Archie. We’ll use our word power to make a difference.

After all, we never know who’s listening. 


Posted in Angels for a Cause, Children's Miracle Network, David Archuleta, Editorial, lyrics, Rising Star Outreach, role models, song writing, Stand Up 2 Cancer, Twitter cloud | Tagged: , | 96 Comments »

 
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