FORUM: AMAZON CUSTOMER FORUMS
DATE: October 25, 2012
One measure of the impact Jackie Evancho has on listeners is how often she inspires a creative response. Already on Best of Jackie on the Web we’ve published original poetry, fiction, plays, and prose. Here, straight from the pen of its author, is our first Jackie-focused short story, in which DoctorMusic imagines Jackie at age eighteen.
In the words of DoctorMusic, “This is a fictional account of what a day in the life of Jackie Evancho might be like some day in the future…”
JACKIE HEARS VOICES
Finally Jackie turned 18. And she was really excited. She had been waiting to do this for a long, long time. She understood why her parents didn’t want her to read everything written about her by fans and all the critics when she was younger. But she could not understand why she had to wait until she was 18. Why not let her read it when she was 16? Sometimes mom and dad are so old fashioned she thought to herself! Well, no matter what the reason was for their over protectiveness, tonight was the night she would see things for herself. Jackie made a cup of tea and settled in on the couch with her 3D air tablet. No one would be home until tomorrow so she had the house to herself. And she was ready to start exploring.
Jackie thought about where to start. Then she typed her own name in a Google search. And off she went exploring different online forums, fan sites, discussion pages, articles and reviews. One thing that caught her attention immediately was that people had said she was an angel when she was younger. She wondered if they were serious. They seemed to be. Did they mean a real angel like from Heaven? Yes, some of them did indeed think she was just that. She laughed as she thought about some of the stupid things her and her siblings had done over the years. If only her fans knew! I wish I had been an angel she thought to herself. So do mom and dad. And she laughed out loud. She came across an old article that talked about America’s Got Talent. She winced just thinking about the fact that some people thought she was lip synching. She shook her head from side to side. Jackie decided to try something different.
She went back to Google and typed in the following words: Jackie, Evancho, fans, discussions and forums. She clicked enter. She had never heard of one particular site called JME.com. She clicked on it just out of curiosity. It was a fan site with different forum topics. She browsed through the topics but nothing really piqued her interest. She started to close the page when suddenly a topic did catch her eye. It was titled “The Jackie Effect”. She was intrigued. She clicked on the topic. There were over 1200 posts from fans telling how Jackie had affected their lives. Mostly it was about how her voice affected them. She started reading.
One post had a link inside it for another forum topic entitled “When Jackie Sings I Cry” but it was on a totally different site. Jackie wondered why someone would cry when she sang. She had heard of this before. Maybe the topic was just created to be mean to her. Were they saying her voice was so bad they cried? No wonder her parents shielded her from this stuff. She had to read it though. She clicked on the topic and went to the first post there. The post was about a man who said that the first time he heard Jackie’s voice he cried. Cried? Jackie was intrigued. The man went on to say he really didn’t understand it himself. He said that it must be because her voice was so beautiful. Jackie beamed inside. She scrolled down to the next post. It was written by a woman who reported that she had often heard about people crying when they hear Jackie sing. She said it was common knowledge in Jackieville. Jackieville? Jackie wasn’t exactly sure what that meant. She ignored it and read the next post. It was written by a man named Seth. Seth was married to his wife Lorraine for 47 years. When she died she requested that Jackie’s song Nella Fantasia be played at her funeral service. Seth recounted how they had the service at the cemetery and then someone played the song on a portable CD player. He said that everyone cried. People cry at funerals but not like this. Every single person had been moved to tears. Many had commented to him afterwards that they had no idea what the words were and that they couldn’t understand why they started to cry during the song. Seth knew what they were talking about. He cried a lot when listening to her sing also. Jackie still did not understand this crying reaction to her voice. But she was fascinated.
She glanced up at her Oscar on the piano and her mind wandered. She wondered if she would ever get a Grammy. She was proud of her Oscar but the Grammy was something she really wanted. Dad always reminded her to be patient. Her thoughts drifted again to her family and she hoped they were all safe in their travels.
She turned her attentions back to her 3D air tablet. She did a Google search trying to find discussions about her and the Grammy awards. But after a few minutes she started thinking about the crying topic again and went back to it. She read about a boy who had no arms. His parents had written to say they the boy always perks up when Jackie sings. He attends every concert when Jackie appears in his city no matter what and he cries whenever Jackie sings his two favorite songs. Jackie remembered seeing this boy! She felt a little sadness for him. She kept reading.
Eventually she read over 300 posts from different people telling their stories about how Jackie’s voice moved them to tears. She read about a man who said he was suicidal before hearing her voice but now he wanted to live. There was a story about a couple who had separated but came together again when they both discovered a common interest in Jackie’s music. They too had cried when listening to Jackie’s voice. She read about a woman who lost her family in a plane crash. She was dying of liver disease and she was going blind. The only thing that consoled her was Jackie’s voice. There was even a story about a murderer that turned himself in after hearing Jackie sing at the Academy Awards. He too had cried when he heard her sing. Wow, this is incredible Jackie thought to herself. But again she wondered why.
Jackie hated listening to her own voice. She knew she was a good singer but it just seemed weird to her if she listened to herself. But she put on her new CD and thought about what it was that others were hearing when she sang. She listened intently. She was so relaxed and it felt almost like she was in a trance. She had heard herself sing many times before. But this time seemed different. Suddenly she started hearing something. It was different than her singing voice yet it was inside of her voice. It was like a voice but unspoken. Suddenly she realized it was the voice of the boy with no arms. Then she heard the voice of the woman who almost lost her daughter to drugs before she shared a CD of Jackie’s music with her. She heard the voice of the disfigured man who cried tears of joy every time he heard Jackie sing. She heard the voice of the 10 child year orphaned child who sobbed uncontrollably the first time she heard Jackie in concert. She heard many voices now, all unspoken. Jackie’s voice seemed to magically carry these voices with it. It was as if her voice gave wings to their struggles, dreams and stories. Jackie suddenly felt all the pain, anger and loneliness of all the fans that she had ever moved to tears with her music. And she also felt the joy, beauty, hope and healing that her voice had brought to their lives.
These fans had all heard Jackie’s voice many times before but for the first time in her life she was really hearing their voice. And Jackie cried.
© 2012 Carl Keller