If somebody came up to me in early December telling me that I’d be watching an inspirational documentary on the Spice Girls during the festive period, I would have laughed! But, it happened, and I was gripped by every minute of it!
We were sitting down on the sofa recovering from the day before that was Christmas day. That’s right, peeps. It was boxing day; day of the boxes! We put the TV on to watch The Spice Girls Story: Viva Forever! – a documentary charting the creation of Viva Forever! The West End stage musical!
Now, I wouldn’t describe myself as a die-hard Spice Girls fan – their music is OK but I’m not like a “Oh my goodness – it’s the Spiced Girls!” type-person! I’m quite nonchalant about the whole Spice Girls phenomena – well, I was before I saw this film. For me, this was refreshing TV as it was actually inspirational as opposed to encouraging fear or guilt amongst audiences.
I was able to relate to their journey towards eventual fame with my journey ahead of me in becoming a successful composer and conductor; dominating the world with my music! Well, yeah, OK…I am working in a completely different genre to pop, so making “classical” music attractive to the mass is a big ask, but I’ve a plan!
Now, before I continue, it is worth noting that the music industry today is different to how it was seventeen years ago. Back then, the music industry was more accessible to new artists to get into. That was before the talent TV show era in the UK which started in 2000 with the broadcast of Popstars on ITV. Although, technically, the TV Talent show era was warming up in the 1950s, if not earlier – please see Stuart Vallantine’s post at http://mancunian1001.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/uk-television-talent-shows-through-the-ages-the-not-so-perfect-ten/ for further reading on the history of TV talent shows.
Due to the further commercialisation of the music industry driven by the likes of The X Factor, Fame Academy, and Britain’s Got Talent (to name a few!), it is even more challenging for new artists (who may not fit the mould) to make a breakthrough. Entry to these industries is usually controlled by big corporations who have their own perceptions of what is good, and what is not.
But, according to the film, this was turned upside down by the girl group. Mel B, Mel C, Emma, Geri and Victoria used any means necessary to achieve their dreams.
Also, there is a possible irony surrounding this film and the musical. The film was Executive Produced by Judy Craymer, the Producer of stage musical. Therefore, The Spice Girls Story- Viva Forever! might have been made as a marketing tool with the aim of increasing ticket sales for the stage musical.
Whatever the purpose of the film, it is an incredible piece of work exploring the human side of success. I thought I’d extrapolate a few key points I took from watching this fantastic documentary:
Make your own success!
Our world is a competitive place where some people make huge efforts to succeed, whilst others decide to fit into a zone of comfort.
The Spice Girls were originally put together by a small independent label (run by Bob & Chris Herbert). The incredible thing is that the girls took it upon themselves to find a new manager after firing their old one. Throughout the film, you keep hearing words like “fearless”, “determined”, and “unstoppable.” Basically, they ignored the conventions and made their own path to success. For example, they tracked down Elliot Kennedy (Producer/Songwriter) whilst only knowing his name and the fact that he lived in Sheffield. They eventually found him by calling up every Elliot Kennedy in the phone book for the Sheffield area. Being creative in how they moved forward under their own steam paved the way for their success. I find this inspiring; proving that anything can happen as long as you have the commitment and passion to achieve your goals. This has spurred me on further to keep at it with my music project.
Believe in Yourself as an Individual!
This point is key. For anything to happen, you need to believe in yourself. I was going to add “and in your team (if applicable).” However, I didn’t because I want to focus on the fact that self-belief come first to believing in your team or group. What do I mean by that? Well, for you to be a team member, you need to operate on a level playing field with the other team members. If your self-belief is lacking, you may tend to emotionally and theoretically “lean” and rely on others which is likely to cause an unbalance to the group dynamics. Now, I will stop writing about the effects of low self-belief in favour of writing about how to develop it.
Geri (Ginger spice) talks about how she wrote a card to herself depicting a teddy bear peering up to a microphone situated above. Inside the card, she wrote “Look out world, here I come!” Geri used this to keep her mind focussed on her passion to become successful singer. She ensured that she always reminded herself of her ambition and of her success and self-worth; justifying every effort she was making. Multiply this line of thinking by five, and you can imagine that there was a lot of determination in the group!
Whatever your ambition is, keep reminding yourself of where you are going, and why you are doing it. Whatever anybody tells you and whatever your background is, you have the potential to do anything you want. And in doing this, you will continue to develop your sense of responsibility for yourself – this will result in a self-perpetuating of progress, happiness, and self-worth.
Once you believe in yourself and in others you work/ play with, get out there and do everything in your power to make your ambitions happen. Emma (Baby spice) recounts the time where they were looking for a new manager. They did everything to attract attention to themselves and to have peeps take them seriously. This included the girls literally dancing on the desks of offices of management companies.
Now, the reason why this worked would have been because they convinced peeps that they were passionate about their cause. I can relate to this as it has taken me over a year to get people to take me seriously in relation to my conducting. When I first started talking about conducting with my head, I didn’t know how it would happen, but I kept talking about it and kept deflecting doubt from others. Eventually, peeps realised that I wouldn’t give my conducting ambition up and started listening to me.
So, whatever your ambitions are, take it upon yourself to make them happen. Your ambitions are new ideas or concepts which have never been carried-out before, so there won’t be a proforma for how you should implement them.
I hope you have found this interesting and I fully recommend that you watch the film The Spice Girls Story: Viva Forever!