The silly season is upon us. The X-Factor USA – the most potent argument ever for gun control – hit our screens last week. Lord, I hope these people are put through a metal detector before they are put before the judges. They are insane. Even most of the talented ones are insane; they’re just talented loons. Few ever smile when being told they are good. The favourite reaction is to sob ever more gustily as though they’ve just been given a terminal prognosis. Yes, I know they are tears of joy, but, really, anyone would think they’d already banked the $5 million.
Of note was the silver-suited moron who called himself a composer/songwriter/singer but was actually just a flasher. He badly sang one of his own crappy compositions which inappropriately had “Stud” somewhere in the title, as he shed first his jacket, and then his trousers, only to reveal he had forgotten to don any underwear that morning. The judges looked disgusted/bemused/amused, and World-Class Drama Queen Paula Abdul seized the opportunity to diva it up and waltz off followed by her minions. Back-stage, she disappeared into a bathroom and made fake gagging and retching noises as though she was throwing up. Like the woman’s never seen a prick before – she sits next to Simon Cowell, for goodness sake. Actually, I like Simon a lot. He’s one of the very few people who tells it like it is and is nearly always right. She then returned to no sympathy whatsoever from the other judges, and a berating from Simon who thanked her for leaving them to deal with the cock (literally) on their own.
Then there was the mother and daughter combo, both the size of three regular people (perhaps because that comprised their breakfasts), who were bloody awful and were informed of said fact. In the wings was the expectant family, and the son/brother (I assume, although his not-thought-through facial hair made it clear a DNA test was in order to rule out the probability that his little brother was also his son). There he was, bouncing around furiously, growling “Oh man, Oh man, I can’t believe it, they’re amazing!”, and even angrier for the fact that he had been relieved of his grandpappy’s Remington and both baseball caps (one for each of his malformed heads) upon entry to the building. Honestly, I don’t know how Simon Cowell gets life insurance these days.
This was in Miami, and, as the auditions there continued, the judges could put no one through to Boot Camp, so mad and bad were the auditonees.
What struck me was how thoroughly desperate the judges were for someone good to show up. I’ve watched the UK show for years, and I’ve never seen such dejection among them.
It made me think … as much I have complained in the past about the pretenders and the piss-poor who populate our freelance writing profession, there is an upside to it.
There are people out there right now who require the services of a freelance writer who are desperate to find a good one. Of course, some clients don’t care and only want to pay a few cents per trillion words, but many do value quality work because they have the sense to realise your writing is the public face of their reputation.
So don’t despair, dear hearts, your ideal client is out there waiting for you, and desperate to meet you.
If you’re good.