Conchita Wurst on Markus Lanz shows an astounding level of focus
Conchita Wurst was one of five guests on last night’s episode of the Markus Lanz talk show on German TV station ZDF. Yes, I watched the entire 1 hour and 20 minute show, even though my understanding of much of what was being said was minimal at best. Not speaking much German and all.
I watched Conchita on Markus Lanz, however, for one big reason, and it wasn’t what was being said. It was to study a characteristic she already had before Eurovision but, since her epic win and magnificent year after it, has grown in magnitude.
That characteristic is focus. Something Conchita Wurst seems to have in such quantities, she blows anyone away that’s anywhere near her vicinity.
And why am I so intrigued by her focus that I’m willing to sit through a TV show I don’t understand? Because the difference between someone who gets to the level of superstardom as say Lady Gaga, Madonna, Beyoncé or Taylor Swift, and someone who doesn’t, is often not just talent, it’s focus.
It’s the ability to push everything else aside, no matter how much it is pulling on their being, and to focus on the job at hand.
And Conchita Wurst? She has a power of focus you do not see often.
On Markus Lanz, watch how she sits. While some of the other guests are slouched in their seat, or have legs splayed or look slightly stiff, Conchita is completely centered and rock solid in the way she sits. She’s relaxed, but sitting up straight, legs crossed in a lady-like manner, and with body language that makes her seem warm and approachable but still seriously focused. So much so, that focus? It comes off her in waves.
She listens intently and focuses on the person
If you watch most people on talkshows, they’re all over the place. Focused one minute, but the next? Off planning in their head what their next response will be. Or thinking about dinner, if they’ve done thousands of these things, and are not the one being spoken to.
Now watch Conchita. She listens intently to everything that is being said, whether it is a question being directed at her or something another guest is saying.
What’s interesting here, other than that she appears to be absolutely in the moment, is she’s not only listening she’s also soaking in everything that they say, while giving them her full attention. Watch her eye contact. She rarely pulls away.
Not only is that a sign of someone learning from every circumstance that comes her way, it’s a sign of respect.
Because she pays every person with 100 percent of her attention. And I see this with her no matter where she is, or who she is interacting with.
An ability to immerse herself in the other person’s story
Conchita’s ability to focus also causes her to immerse herself in the other person’s story. So when Kevin McElvaney is talking about taking photographs at the toxic dumpsites in Agbogbloshie, Ghana, watch her face. You can see the sadness and horror at how the people live who work at these dumpsites flickering across it.
It makes her hugely empathetic and, because her heart seems so open, it draws other people to her.
When football manager Holger Osieck is telling a funny story about making sure players on his team had their wives with them, so they didn’t go off having sex with random girls, Conchita is so visibly delighted with the story (see sequence of three photos below), she giggles and then later puts her hand to her mouth to cover it. The gesture is delightful and sweet, and shows how much she is captivated by other people’s stories because she takes the time to listen.
She has an ability to switch focus astoundingly fast
During the Eurovision 2014 final voting segment, when Conchita’s name is announced as the winner, there’s a split second of time where she goes from hand across mouth stifling sobs to instant realization she needs to be moving to get up on stage. And her ability to switch focus is astounding. From floods of tears to concentrating on the task at hand. In about as much time as you can snap your fingers.
She did the same on Markus Lanz. One second she’s telling a joke and laughing. And the next? Face supremely serious, so she can answer a new question.
It is rare to be able to do that. Conchita does it without even thinking. It’s automatic, and characterizes such enormous focus I can only think of a few others who have that strong of an ability to control themselves.
And, yes, I’m aware I harp on about how sure I am Conchita Wurst will eventually get to international superstardom at the level of a Bassey or a Dion. Her ability to focus is only one of the things that makes me sure. But, believe me, it’s a big one.
As for Conchita on the Markus Lanz show, you can watch her in the video below or on the ZDF video here (it’s higher quality and, of course, completely legit).
And, yes, she’s gorgeous to look at, and delightful to watch, and charming, and funny, and sweet, and smart. But look for that focus. It’s killer.