That’s So Jacob Presents: Masterpiece YouTube
Episode 5: “For Good,” Kristin Chenoweth & Sarah Horn, 2013.
I’ve heard it said, that people come into our lives for a reason.
Not only is that the opening line to the song “For Good” from the musical Wicked, but aptly sums up my feelings about tonight’s episode of Masterpiece YouTube.
I first saw this upon moving to Madison a few months ago, and I was just as amazed as the rest of the world at this completely fortuitous pairing of professional singer/actress Kristin Chenoweth (who originated the role of Glinda and sang this song as a duet with Idina Menzel as Elphaba) and a random woman at one of Chenoweth’s Hollywood Bowl concerts in August 2013. It turns out that not only is the woman a huge fan of Chenoweth, the show, and the song, but she knows all the words. And on top of that, she’s a vocal coach for a living. And not only that, but this girl can sing.
The video starts with Chenoweth meeting the completely starstruck young woman, who introduces herself with a brief fangirl moment before the music starts. Chenoweth sings, it’s kind of usual, and then it’s her turn. And BAM. The pipes not only hit the viewer, but Kristin Chenoweth, who looks on in shock, saying “oh, sing it.” After the solo, they take a beautiful, and according to Kristin Chenoweth, a harmony worth a “holy crap,” before concluding the song (but not before Chenoweth takes a glance at the audience like “really, now?” when the woman hits Elphaba’s high notes) and wrapping up in a big hug. Bows, the woman is led offstage, and Chenoweth’s all “what just happened,” saying “note to self: never bring up anyone better than me,” adding a dose of humor and humility to her character. Good PR move, Kristin. She goes on about how wonderful this woman was (well, duh, we all just heard it) and how she’s “teaching our young people.” Either way, I love how this professional is just completely brought to her knees and reacts in an appropriate and witty way.
Who is this mystery woman, you ask? Her name is Sarah Horn, and she’s a voice teacher at California Baptist University, from Riverside, California. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she quashes any doubt that she was plant, saying that it had been a coincidence and a lifelong dream. Previous to this video, she was known for absolutely nothing, and now, she’s somewhat of a something but still your average 26-year-old. She calls herself introverted, which I can totally believe, given her initial timidness on stage, and probably got some buzz out of it, but it will only help her career as a teacher or a singer (or both) – whatever she wants to be. She seems nice and approachable and very sweet and cool. But what’s so special about this unassuming video, then?
I call it the “Susan Boyle” effect. An unassuming random nobody takes the stage, a bit nervous and out-of-place, and goes on to shock the world and show their incredible talent. This one, I believe, is even more special as it features not only an amazing singer but one that can hold her own in a once-in-a-lifetime duet with her idol, rather than freaking out, getting stage fright, or messing up the words or the tune. It inspires me to keep on practicing and doing what I do because someday I might meet one of my idols, just like she did, and that dreams can come true from the places you least expect them to. From start to finish, this video is pure magic. Right place + right time + right girl = a six-minute rush of talent and pizzazz, with nary an AutoTune to be heard.
This episode of Masterpiece YouTube was brought to you by Daylight Savings Time and possibly a bit too much caffeine for this time of night.
Abramovitch, Seth. “YouTube Singing Sensation Sarah Horn on Fame, Fans and Those Stubborn Skeptics (Q&A).” The Hollywood Reporter. 29 August 2013. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/youtube-singing-sensation-sarah-horn-616870.