I was sitting in Row A, Seat 10. Ice chips were flying — literally — as the skaters performed double Salchows. The decision to pay $60 more than a seat directly behind me was easy … we were there to see David Archuleta and the ticket purchase was supporting cancer survivorship for women. But in the end — as is the case with all things David — I got more than I expected. Much more.
Our seats were located stage right, which was where all the skaters first stepped on the ice to warm up or while waiting for TV staging to occur. Some of the greatest Olympians — including Kristi Yamaguchi, Nancy Kerrigan, Dorothy Hamill, and Scott Hamilton — were warming up just a couple of feet in front of me.
What surprised me most about the whole evening was my reaction to watching Scott Hamilton skate. I was touched by his performance. As Scott started his routine, I remembered his triumphs: winning four U.S. Championships, four World Championships and Olympic Gold. I also thought back to his struggles — a childhood disease that stunted his growth, testicular cancer and, most recently, a benign brain tumour. At age 51, his skating boldly defied all the struggles and celebrated the triumphs. More importantly, through his skating, he invited you to do the same thing.
Scott’s performance was so compelling that I wanted to learn more. I went home and did some research and, in the process, discovered something quite remarkable:
“Scott decided to become a world champion and succeeded despite the resistance of skating judges who believed he was too small to compete at the international level,” said Mimi Elliott.
“You know, I’ve always doubted myself about my talent. I always thought everyone was kinda tone-deaf, and they’re just trying to be nice to me ’cause I’m little.”
“You know, it’s funny … skating has always given me life.”
“Music is such a powerful thing because it allows you to communicate with other people. To do that with so many people makes you feel really good…I always thought I guess that’s why I have music in my life and singing because that’s the only way I know how to communicate to people.”
“At the height of his career, though, Hamilton faced the greatest threat to his dominance when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his abdomen.”
“They scoped my throat and we found out that I had a paralyzed vocal cord. I was like well, what does that mean? I was like well, is that the end of music for me? I don’t know what that means. I was really distraught to hear that. I was feeling really down during that time because I didn’t know what to do….I was like well how long will the voice therapy take, and they were like a year or two years or more than that, we don’t know, before you will see any results. I was feeling so down.”
On making a connection
“I just try to touch people’s hearts in a way through skating, so they’re not just witnessing a performance, they’re feeling a performance and they’re a part of it.”
“…I’ve just been loving music for so long. It’s been-music’s pretty much my life and just the power that’s in music, it can do so much like it can change how I feel and just how everyone I’m singing to feels and how everyone just appreciates the music…”
Drive and commitment
“Scott doesn’t know ‘no,’ ” said Francis Fessler. “If you tell him, ‘You can’t do that,’ he knows he can, and he will; and he pushes it that way with everything that he does.”
“But I’ve never let a losing start discourage me from trying to have a winning finish. It just takes committing to the task and being willing to fall down a lot.”
“As I stand before all of you here today, you’re my witnesses; I’m taking that step forward and improving my speaking skills. It really is a difficult step sometimes because it’s almost like we’re fighting this current of fear that’s pushing us back. As we face those fears more and get over that first little hurdle, we can make those weaknesses become our strengths.
“It’s like if you really have the desire and you feel like, no, I want to do that, sometimes even if it is a hard path to take, even if it has those big hills and climbs and all those scary trees and you can get scratches, and you can get hurt sometimes. But I think that’s what makes us grow. That’s what makes us learn in our lives. So when we get to that end of the path we have all those bruises and cuts and you can see that we had a difficult time getting to where we were; but at the same time, you can say, you know what, this is proof that I went and I took that path, and this is proof that I did all I could and that I was willing to take that path even if it wasn’t the easiest path to take.”
“You get philosophical … There’s always a bigger fish, you know? And it’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when you know other people are going through things much worse than you are. With my brain tumour I’m hoping that I can really find what I can do with this to really help others. Because every day is what you make it, and every day is a gift,”
“Always try to maintain complete tolerance and always make an effort to give people more than they expect.”
“I would just encourage all of you to think each day how can I help someone with their day today. How can I help them feel better today and just reach out to them and just be of service in any way I can. I would just say just try and make that a goal, even if it just a smile or a hello or a call to someone. It won’t just help that person who you reached out to, it will help you. It will help because it’s like there’s something about helping out people that makes you feel so much better. I really think that when you start thinking less about yourself and thinking more about other people you will feel better about yourself. It’s just really interesting how that works.”
Integrity and authenticity
“The high road is always respected. Honesty and integrity are always rewarded.”
“The best thing you can do to set yourself apart is just be yourself. If you’re fake, you know people find out who you are later, it’s like ‘Well that’s not who we thought you were.’ Being yourself is where you feel most comfortable and people get, you know, they feel that connection the best. That’s the best way to go. You always have to be yourself.”
“I hope that people think good things about me in the future and that I left a good name for myself and for my family and posterity…”
“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”
“Adversity, and perseverance and all these things can shape you. They can give you a value and a self-esteem that is priceless.”
“That’s another one of the things that is so important is to just stay positive about your future. We can look at plenty of things that can make it a scary, hard, bad future; but I could probably think of all the bad things that could happen this week and see how horrible the week could be, but I can take that and flip that around and say wow I’ve so many opportunities to grow and learn this week. I’m sure by the end of the week if I keep that up I will look back and say wow, what a great week I had! I just encourage you all to keep being positive and keep being optimistic about your future. Even if you did have a hard past, a hard life to look back to, you could say wow not all people have gone through what I’ve gone through, and I’ve learned so much from it.
“Who knows, it’s neat to be able to have something that was difficult in your life and then meet someone later on who’s going through a similar thing. It’s like wow! I think I realize why I needed to go through what I went through before because I know I need to help this person right now. It is just really interesting how things work even if you don’t see it right now, it’s amazing how things will work out in the long run as long as you keep your faith and keep looking positive in the future.”
“My faith plays an incredible role in being grounded, being able to let go of all the things that have held me back. With all I’ve faced, I’ve had to let go and move forward. My relationship with God helps me with that.”
“My faith in God was always lifting me to new heights I never could have reached on my own.”
“There is so much that I want to give back to the One who has blessed me with this gift, I feel that there must be a reason why I’m here doing what I’m doing. And I want to make sure that I do what is expected of me before it all ends.”
“I just asked God and said ‘Lord, I keep feeling like I need to go do this and I don’t know why but I just thought I would bring it to you.’ I was, like, why would He care about some kid kneeling down in his room who doesn’t even know what to do with himself in the 10th Grade. But I decided to ask Him. After that I felt so strong and I knew that I had to go audition. I don’t even know why. I was, like, I’m not sure because it’s not like I’m going to get very far in it or anything but I know I just learned something.
“I think what was amazing for me to feel was, like, wow you are small, David, and you are by yourself here in your room, but you do matter and you don’t know what your potential is. You don’t understand fully what someone does. That’s what I kept in mind and that’s what I still keep in mind. It’s like even though I get frustrated with myself sometimes and I feel like oh I can’t do that, I’m not going to be very good, or I won’t be able to get very far from this point, it’s like, David, just remember that even if you feel discouraged remember that someone else always has hope in you.”
On the same page
Yes, at 51 years of age, Scott Hamilton is a testament to reaching one’s potential professionally and personally while maintaining dignity, grace and humour. His life experiences are being channeled toward helping others.
And then there’s David … There is nothing more to say.
He is only 18, yet his music truly speaks for itself. We are his witnesses.
The First Noël
Beautiful analogies KT. I’m so happy you were there to find that inspiration to discover them.
I’m with you, beautiful comparison, KT! Thanks for your words … and those VIDEOS!!! I’m going to go back and spend more time with both!
I used to follow skating quite closely (rooting for Canada’s Kurt Browning, of course), but I didn’t know a lot about Scott … what a guy!
I’m curious about the crowd’s reaction after David sang?
And didn’t you tweet that he sat in your row and was taking pics? (Or was that another “tweeter”? lol)
So my excitement to see David on TV is palaatble . and the nervous butterflies are fluttering . Same question I am asking, Why Imagine again??? Why not something new?? grrr, David would say things happen for a reason> there must be people out there that need to hear his voice singing this song, and if AI is the vehicle for that, so be it.I really think he will wear the beanie..(*cough*cuzit’satoque*cough*)> No way we can handle his texturized hair.
Oh my KT – no words right now, I have to let it all settle. Thank you for sharing that profound experience and using the comparison to wonderful effect. My new motto: ““The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”
KT that was so beautiful. You were inspired! The parallels!
You know what made me tear up? Thi:
“I’ve just been loving music for so long”
I can hear him saying it.
One other thing.
I always loved that Scott Hamilton defied all odds and skated through sever asthma as a child. Inspiring then and now.
I read a few sections of your article and had to STOP. I ran over to twitter and posted this:
One of the most INSPIRATIONAL articles I have ever read. GO read now! http://bit.ly/8MCE5w KT you rock!
Seriously, I knew there was gold in that talk David gave and you found a way to mine it to it’s fullest advantage. Way to GO!
KT – Beautifully drawn parallels between Scott and David’s remarkably positive attitudes towards life. I listened to and loved the speech David gave, but somehow the written word is always more powerful for me. You could live your whole life on just the words spoken by them and recorded in this article, and not go far wrong. Thank you for sharing them with us.
best blog post ever.
KT: The comparisons you drew between Scott Hamilton and David were extremely inspirational! It baffles the mind sometimes to realize how an 18 year-old is so together that he can teach life lessons to a room of adults. What’s even more baffling is that he knew some of these lessons at 12 years old. The quote you used ‘on making a connection’ came from his Star Search days:
“…I’ve just been loving music for so long. It’s been-music’s pretty much my life and just the power that’s in music, it can do so much like it can change how I feel and just how everyone I’m singing to feels and how everyone just appreciates the music…”
Thank you for a truly beautiful article!
KT-thank you for a beautiful Sunday morning read. I think I needed to “hear” David’s words again – what a treat.
Thank you again – xo
KT – Thank you, my friend, for your many gifts from Kaleidoscope.
All 3 videos are gorgeous and The First Noel was worth the wait. Its clarity is like watching TV.
Your blog ranks up there with my favorites. You describe the many facets of David that have captured my attention and imagination. Your words are poignant and inspirational. And, you have reminded me why I am on this David Fan Journey.
Hope to see you in Montclair or Mashantucket.
Pastel, TOfan, Awestruck, Betsy, Abrra, Angelica, Janey, Bebe, Josie and Kizzi:
Thanks so much for your comments…I appreciate them greatly.
I have been the lucky recipient of all of your inspired contributions and efforts and I am just honored to have the chance to return the favor.
I KNOW you know what it is like to leave a David concert and feel inspired…
Fantastic article, KT! You taught me a lot about Scott Hamilton, even though I was already a fan, and you had me teared up in several places. Love it.
If I can find Abbra’s tweet I’ll retweet. Otherwise I’ll just send people here, because I think a lot of people would love reading this blog post.
Benton Paul videos added to the mix . Get to know David Archuleta’s tour opener . http://bit.ly/1SH21e
I have added 10 videos in a set. Hope you get a chance to see my selections. This will run for the duration of the tour.
Yayyyyyy!!! Finally remembered my user name and password !!!! 🙂
Love your post, videos and analogies !!! Ha! I learned a new word toooo !!! 🙂 You are the best !!
KT, Wow beautiful article, I’d not known much about Scott, but the parallels are amazing. David as an inspiration far beyond his singing ablilitiy is something that seems to grow each day. I am about to embark on some positive changes in my personal life and routines, and David is the reason!!! I know you all can understand that> friends and family will find out eventually!
(((KT))) the vids are superb too!! Thanks for this!!
KT, beautiful article. What chills & thrills you must have experienced! So happy you were one of the lucky fans who were there!
Hope to see you again very soon! 😉
refnaf..I am checking into Ann Arbor…you are a “temptress”..ie, your comment on The Voice. There are still good single seats available. Where are your seats? And if I do go, I’ll be driving. It’s a five hour drive…no big deal for me. Still thinking hard about it…oh dear me!
KT – What a beautifully written article. It was a very special evening and I’m so glad I was able to be included at the last minute. Very interesting to read over their quotes and see the comparison in their positive outlook on life, how they both want a connection to their audience, have a strong faith and gain a better understanding of the adversity they’ve faced and overcome. Both are quite inspirational. Thanks so much for sharing.
Found even more to love on second reading!
And then one of Scott Hamilton’s quotes — “always make an effort to give people more than they expect” — came to mind when I read the page on David from “M” magazine (posted on Snarky’s), where they asked if he ever gets scared before stepping onstage:
“I do get a little nervous. It just depends on what you feel the crowd is expecting from you. The more I feel they expect from me, the more nervous I get.”
Probably because he too wants to give people more than they expect. 🙂
Here’s an interesting interview with AnnArbor.com (did not know the symphony was partnering for Radio Disney for the concert!):
SF, yessss, run don’t walk to Ann Arbor! Our seats are Main 4 B405 & 406! We’re braving “Black Friday” border lineups to get there! (Trying to explain coming back with no shopping bags should be the most fun of all! 😆 )
TOfan..you are as bad as refnaf, & I love you both! 😆
You have GREAT seats! But row 6 on the opposite side isn’t too bad either, right? Wish me luck!
If I can get the day off, I will see you there!
Kait, Trish!!!!, Refnaf, Crusherlvr and SF,
Thanks so much for your comments…I appreciate it. I must admit that I was surprised by the recurring themes that were presenting themselves to me as I researched Scott’s career. At that point the post pretty much wrote itself!
I hope you all have a great week and that all of you from the US have peaceful Thanksgiving with family and friends.
SF, excellent seat!! May the force be with you!!!
stenocruiser, quick question, pls. email me at Deb416@gmail.com when you get a chance 🙂
Interview today (Mon.) with Mix 104.9 at 11:40 PT (2:40 p.m. ET) — you can listen live at:
Update: Our lovely Gengen tweeted that there’s an SLC cellcast tomorrow (Tues.) night at:
SLC cellcast Tues. night at:
((((SF))), hope you get the tic and the day off work. Sorry to make it so hard for you to resist but it’s David’s fault not mine!!
Interesting interview from AA symphony, I did not know that radio Disney was invloved?? This does seem like a great idea to get peeps out to hear a live orchestra.
Here is an interview that they did with David, again he says that CFTH is his christmas gift to his fans… very good choice in gifting David.
Not sure if this has been posted…
Ref, “it’s David’s fault not mine!!” bahaha, that’s what you always say! LOL
Random aside: I spent most of yesterday on a road trip to Peterborough, Ont., with my sister and her 19-year-old daughter. I’d given them CFTH the day it came out, of course, lol, but they told me they hadn’t listened to it yet. “Too early!” they said.
So yesterday (for my benefit, I’m sure), my sister popped it into the car stereo … and left it there … not just for the two-hour trip in, but all around town doing errands for my niece, who’s at university there … AND for the whole ride home. I lost count of how many times it replayed. In fact, I was almost ready to put on something else, when they started SINGING ALONG!
Sorry, just had to share, guys. Good, good day.
And Happy Thanksgiving to all our American ArchuCousins!! 🙂
Winning over new fans is so sweet! Winning over 2 new fans at once is INCREDIBLE. 🙂
Angelica, not sure where I read that, maybe Dean Kaelin’s e-book, but D & Cook had a choice to reapet one of their songs from the season or do a new one and the new one David wanted to do (could have been One maybe?), they wouldn’t approve.Yes, if his new single is released before the end of the AI season, they’d better have him back for that *shifty eyes* but I ain’t holdin’ my breath.
TOfan – What a sweet ride that was! That is so cool that the voice was such a hit with your sister and neice!
Can’t wait to see you and Refnaf, the “Temptress” in Cleveland, since she convinced me to go. I see she’s still claiming, “the David made her do it.”
That works for me!
Yay TOfan, still working on my sisters and niece and friends, hahah.
Angelica> “Who, me”??? TOfan is not complaining that I dragged her to SLC last March, are you TOfan??? I wish I was there now. David does make me do all kinds of unusual (for me) stuff, in the very best possible way!
Let the Christmas Tour begin!
refnaf, TOfan, got it..got the day off (seems I was already scheduled off that day & didn’t know it! Ha!), so I called & got my ticket! Yes! So I will see you there!
ps..Front Row A..center, seat 302, how could I not go??
SF, front row centre???? David will be so happy to see you! 🙂 As will we!!! … you’d already scheduled that day off? Sounds like fate to me (or that dang magnet again, lol).
Angelica, Cleveland & Temptresses FTW!!! Looking so forward to meeting you finally!
(no complaints here, Ref … I can picture that SLC snow all too well … wishing we were there again. sigh)
Quote from today’s Mix 104.9 radio interview (courtesy of Snarkies):
Q: How is superstardom treating you?
A: “You know what’s funny is that lately people have been saying I look like David Archuleta and they’ll just keep going. ‘Cause you know, I’m not dressed up or anything when I’m out and about ….”
Brilliant disguise, D., losing your trademark tails and top hat! bahahahaha
So glad you are coming, Anticipation to the max….it is meant to be!!
David isn’t dressed up when he’s out & about and I have always loved that about David. That he never felt the need to “Dress like a star”. He’s always just himself and always looks great. IMO!
refnaf aka The Temptress, are you staying overnight in Ann Arbor, and if so, which hotel?
You’re right, SF, that is one of the wonderful down-to-earth things about him. I just thought it was funny because even when he’s on stage, he’s never overly “dressed up” … but for him, I guess he is. lol
New voice message:
SF, Check your email, woot!
I am a little excited…..
CFTH review snippet from Wichita Eagle (Kansas):
What’s on it: A collection of 13 Christmas classics that feature a surprising sophistication and an even more surprising lack of cheese factor.
Joyful noise: Archuleta’s range shines — and the classical arrangements are gorgeous — on songs such as “Joy to the World,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “O Holy Night.”
Bah, humbug: No complaints, except that Archie’s “O Holy Night” high note is not quite as soaring as you might expect.
Perfect for: Quality Christmas music that you and your teen/tween can agree on.
Refnaf, Thanks for theA2SO commercial! I feel so guilty about wanting to skip the whole Thanksgiving family get-together and wake up to Friday already. I need to work on my priorities. lol
BTW, according to a marketing person at A2SO, as of yesterday they only sold 1300 of about 3500 available seats. I am a bit sad about it, but I guess timing — day after Thanksgiving — is a factor.
Ave Maria – probably my most favorite song. renaf, TOfan, SF and all others going to Ann Arbor please soak this one up for me as well. So wish I could be there. YJ – yes sad that it is far from being sold out. Maybe, like he is doing with pop music, David will change minds after this performance – he will lead the way to opening up doors to a new way of music.
Awestruck, “David will change minds after this performance – he will lead the way to opening up doors to a new way of music.”
I know you were referring to Ann Arbor, but looks like his Kaleidoscope songs are already having the same effect:
From Ladies Home Journal online:
“Breast-cancer survivor Olivia Newton-John … also sings and shares hosting duties (she looks fabulous!). And American Idol stars David Archuleta and Katharine McPhee belt out songs that will put you in the holiday mood. … I met Archuleta briefly in the makeup room, and he was as adorable as you would imagine. What impressed me most, though, was that voice. When he sang a simple, elegant and powerful rendition of “Silent Night,” he made this cynical old journalist tear up a bit.
LOVED this comment over at LHJ:
“My husband and I were at the Kaleidoscope taping and it was such a great and worthy event. Can’t wait to watch it on TV.
“It was so emotional watching Scott Hamilton perform again and the reaction of the crowd… goosebumps! Olivia and Dorothy are so inspirational.
“Have to admit, kinda fell in love with David Archuleta and his amazing voice….. had to go and buy his CDs the next day. LOVE THEM!”
And ties in so beautifully with your post, KT!
Hey TOfan, missed that particular comment. But I am lovin’ it as another one bites the dust!
Another comment from the Ladies Home Journal article was “…i hope david archuleta’s pat a pan and the first noel also make it on the broadcast because they were amazing.” I just assumed that all that was taped would appear on the TV show. Anyone know more about how this works?
Interview with LiveDaily.com:
Relaxing after recently taping an appearance on the Spanish-language TV channel Univision, “American Idol” runner-up David Archuleta is giggly.
“It was my first Spanish network performance, so it’s cool,” Archuleta said between giggles during an interview with LiveDaily. “It was really fun. It was at a school in Harlem [NY]. So I had a bunch of kids as the audience.”
Kids will be packing theaters this month and next when Archuleta embarks on a holiday tour in support of his debut Christmas album, “Christmas From the Heart.”
“It was really great to do,” Archuleta said of the collection. “It was a lot of fun. It was a lot of work because it was during the summer tour that I was on. It was good and it all worked out in the end.”
Juggling a tour and the recording of a new album was tough for Archuleta, he admitted.
“‘O Holy Night’ and ‘Ave Maria’ were both pretty hard to record,” he said. “They were right after the end of tour. My voice was pretty worn out from the tour. So, having to go in the studio and record all day wasn’t the easiest thing. It was a challenge.”
To get into the spirit during the warm summer months, Archuleta said the studio hung Christmas lights and producers wore Santa hats. But all he had to do to get in the right frame of mind was think about the message of the songs themselves.
“Those songs have such powerful emotions in them and really make you feel some powerful things,” Archuleta said. “I’m just trying to think about that, what the song was about, the time of year, and celebrating what those stories are all about.”
Rest of interview here.
The time for tour kickoff is getting here!!!
Thanks TOfan for all the reviews and interviews, David seems to have worn out his voice a bit, hope he has ablast tonight. I know we will.
YJF, 3 more sleeps. I feel so sad that it is not a sell out, ??? why ???
Awestruck, I will try to soak it all up for you… soon it will be your turn. I hope the Kalidescope show airs all the songs David did. I have no idea how that all works. People need to see him perform!
Yes, Ref, Tour kickoff cellcast from Archuleta Avenue begins at 9:45 p.m. ET: Listen here.
*waves to SB and Gengen and Janey … and David*
Let the Tour begin! Wooooooot!
ohmystarzzz, hot off the TweetPresses:
@iparsum: @nareejo Saw the setlist. Prayer of the Children!!
Cellcast spoiler alert:
Here’s the setlist for SLC (love “Riu Riu Chewbacca” :lol:):
lol, at the set list!!! and woot!
Twitpics from John_AF: Ave Maria with Kurt Bestor on piano
Duet with Lupe (HYAMLC)
The TDC chat room has changed its look. I do not like it. To get back to our old place use this URL and BOOKMARK it so you can find it again.
Its the same url with /old added in the end.
Thank you to Marlie at TDC for figuring this out. I seriously doubt I could handle the new set up.
O.M.G….. from SLC
Fields Of Gold~
Prayer of the Children~ he is LOVE…
I may not survive this tour..
Good Morning Snow Angelz – Last night’s concert was, yet again another quantum leap for David fans. Some of the new elements & style of last night’s performance have always been a part of what I felt & visualized when I listened and watched David sing in the past. Dreams do come true!
From the obvious growing confidence during his performances of some of his album songs…
to the two new covers “The Riddle” (and David at the baby grand–what a brilliant combination)
and “Fields of Gold” (can’t even begin to describe this one–needs multiple listening to fully appreciate), and throwing in “Prayer of the Children” as icing…
to the tuxedo, black tie and purple shirt…
to Mom & Son duet (Hugs & Kisses & Dancing 🙂 )…
to all the Christmas songs from the upbeat Melodies of Christmas and my personal favorite, Ave Maria (the choir and Kurt at the piano), Pad Thai-A-Pan, and Riu Riu Chewbacca, ending with a simply stunning rendition of O Holy Night.
A gift to his fans…and WHAT a gift. Appears to me, Mr. David Archuleta is finding his groove…Pop, soulful, folksy, reverent…I am beyond amazed at all the elements and style of his first Christmas concert.
This exceeded all expectations and I had some pretty high ones.
Have a wonderful day everyone. Can’t wait to hear more from the 1st concert goers and can’t wait to hear about Ann Arbor, TOfan and Refnaf—you must, must, must, must, must give a recap after the show on Friday…*crosses fingers, toes and eyes* <—– yeah, I know, not a pretty picture 😉
hey Kizzi, everything you said is spot on… this is one spectacular performer, being able to watch him work gives me goosebumps.
Kizzi – “… crosses fingers, toes and eyes* <—– yeah, I know, not a pretty picture " Do you remember the game called Twister???
Sorry, humor from the grave – I am dead.
Listened to HYAVMC, Riu Riu Chewbacca, Pat-Thai-Pan, then Ave Maria…
This beautiful close-up version of Ave Maria has me insane this morning. SB said he went into a trance – like he was praying. It is very evident here.
There are no words for this.