After our discussion about the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, I couldn't let last week's "Glee" episode not get at least a brief mention here. For those of you who didn't read the earlier post, I basically complained that too many singers today are affecting certain poses and styles as a false signal of emotion. My particular pet peeve is singers with closed eyes, but in general I worry that singing has moved away from a genuine experience to artificial affects.
In last week's episode of "Glee," several character parodied this same thing when they discussed what it means to be a diva. Rachel said, "Being a diva is all about emotion. In fact, you feel so much emotion that it cannot be physically contained. Sometimes you have to close your eyes and turn your head and push your feelings away - they're that big!" (Of course, the diva par excellence demonstrated what that meant, and it looked pretty much like Christina Aguilera singing the National Anthem). While Mercedes offers this advice: "It's all about sassy fingers"
But sometimes we communicate best when we set aside convention and just act simply as ourselves. Isn't that at least one reason Susan Boyle became a music celebrity? Biblically, I liken it to the instruction not to pray too loudly in church, putting on airs to demonstrate holiness. Just come as yourself, pray and sing sincerely. There shouldn't be divas in church, just congregations engaged in worship together. That's why everyone should sing the hymns loud and proud - and all are welcome in choir!