I’ve been at my parents’ house in the United States for the last few weeks and, while there, have had a running argument with my mother about Conchita Wurst. Nothing serious, you understand, just a discussion about the longevity of the lovely Ms. Wurst and whether she’ll be on the world’s stage for decades (my viewpoint) or be a flash in the pan (my mother’s – although she is moving more towards my side of the argument as time goes on).
So today, I’m talking about Conchita Wurst and how I know she will ultimately be a world superstar. Because me, while I don’t pretend to have psychic abilities, I do know true talent when I see it, and I have the ability to tell when someone has that indefinable ‘something’ that will make them a superstar. And, yes, Conchita Wurst does.
Strength of character
Within the first few days of discovering Conchita Wurst, I knew she was going to be one of the biggest superstars in the world in the next few years. At the time, if someone had asked me how I knew, I couldn’t have told them why — I just sensed it — but now I do.
Conchita Wurst has that strength of character few people have. The absolute single-mindedness that causes her to push herself towards her ultimate goal to the absolute disregard of almost everything else. And if she stumbles, falls or is pushed, it doesn’t matter. She’ll get up and she’ll try again. Because that girl. She’s never giving up.
There is something Lady Gaga, Madonna and Conchita Wurst have in common. They are all masters of reinvention. They have the ability to create a persona, make her beautiful, interesting and captivating, and absolutely real. And make fans fall in love with her. And then……………when we’ve all got comfortable with who she is……………. they change her.
That’s because they are all artists who need to be continually challenging themselves, constantly defining and redefining that person up on the stage, and making her perfect. For now. Until tomorrow or next week, when she’ll change again, and what she’ll become is another facet of their fascinating and complex personalities.
For fans, it can be one of the most disconcerting experiences around. After all, you’ve finally fallen in love with Gothic Glam Lady Gaga and now she’s wearing a meat dress. Or you adore Conchita Wurst during that final Eurovision press conference in that amazing black dress, and then, all of a sudden, she’s posing for Lagerfeld and she’s, well……………….Tom.
Reinvention. It’s one of the things that will keep an artist like Conchita Wurst always at the top of her game, and fans continually fascinated by her. After all, if you’ve no idea what’s coming next, you’re always paying attention.
One thing you’ll notice about most of the world’s superstars is, to some extent, there’s a vulnerability that exudes from all of them. The feeling that, as strong as they appear, as perfect, as beautiful, as in control, as powerful, there’s still part of their soul that can be hurt beyond knowing.
Marilyn Monroe had it. And Grace Kelly. So does Sophia Loren. Lady Gaga? Yep. Barbra Streisand has always had it. Edith Piaf was drowning in it, and Conchita Wurst has it in such huge quantities most people I know who adore her spend half their time wanting to hug her, and the rest of the time determined to kick the ass of anyone who hurts her.
Which is why my advice to you, Ms. Wurst, is no matter how much you reinvent yourself, never lose that vulnerability. Because it causes people to hold you in their hearts, and never let you fall.
If you’ve watched Conchita Wurst as much as I have over the last few months, there’s something you have probably noticed. The amazing way she has changed from a young drag artist who was good enough to win Eurovision, to someone who is bordering on superstar.
It’s in the way she walks, and moves, and carries herself. The way she dresses, and acts, and speaks. It’s in her voice when she sings, and how that is becoming richer, and stronger and bolder. And it’s in her ever-improving stage presence.
But where I saw it the most was this week. At the EU Parliament, where Conchita Wurst gave a press conference, an autograph session, a concert, and a speech.
And it was the speech. The speech that bowled me over.
Because in that speech, she was everything she needed to be to captivate your attention from the first second she spoke. Self-confident, intelligent, funny, sweet, interesting, and with a stage presence I’d never seen up until then.
Every line was paced superbly, every word was spoken clearly, every funny comment was beautifully delivered, and it all left you thinking “That’s someone who wasn’t here three months ago”, as she’s changed so much since then.
So, Conchita, let me just end today’s thoughts by saying — all of this fabulous stuff that’s going on now — this is just the beginning for you. Push out of your head the thought that it may all end because, I’m promising you, it won’t.
You’re beautiful and smart and strong and driven and talented and brave (and would you please stop arguing about that last one), and you have what it takes to be a superstar. That’s how I know, you’re here for the long haul.