Lessons from The Bieber

Am feeling like pious good mom.  Am going with Noelle to see "Never Say Never" - the Justin Bieber movie.  She's seen it once but wants me to see it with her.

We drive to Jimmy Johns.  She gets tuna. I get veggie wrapped in a lettuce leaf.  They make them both in two minutes flat.  I give them a tip.  They try to give it back because apparently they aren't allowed to have tips - why not who knows.  Noelle sticks the wrapped tasty morsels in her purse.  Has to crunch them up a little.  Movie theater doesn't like healthy food.

Drive to Bella Bottega theater.  Get tickets, popcorn (admit am addicted though gave up crude oil butter), expensive drinks and find seats since only about a dozen other girls (with their moms) are there on a Tuesday at 5:15 pm.

Did I mention it is 3D.  We have big glasses on.  I take a dramamine.

Movie starts with Youtube clips.  Home movies.  Photos.  It is Bieber Fever time.  And I catch it!  Eat secret sandwich.  Munch some popcorn.  Movie is very jerky.  Have to take second dramamine about half way through it.  This means become somewhat drugged and begin dozing just a little.  It is involuntary I assure you as am mesmerized.

The crying screaming girls.  The cute boy.  All his crew and friends.  He's on stage.  Always picks out a girl from the audience to sing "Lonely Girl" to during concerts.  They are crying.  I am too.  Noelle is laughing at me.  So typical.

Am now a convert.  A true believer.  I have the Bieber Fever!

But aside from how adorable he is, there are some lessons to be learned.  Signs of the times.  Things that we should take note of.

  • He arose from nowhere.  A boy raised by single teenage mom and her parents.  No music lessons.  Nothing but a love of playing instruments, singing, dancing and playing sports.
  • The family had no financial resources.
  • He did not go through the traditional kid star singer/dancer route of being discovered by Disney.  He didn't make it onto American Idol, the other option.
  • His mom made a poor quality youtube clip with him singing either acapella or with a simple acoustic guitar.  These were posted for friends and family.  They forwarded them to their friends.  People would make requests.  He would then sing, video  and post them.  Ultimately these went viral.
  • A young no-name agent/manager in his twenties saw a youtube clip.  Then another and another and went to meet Bieber and his mom.  This guy had no real resources and very limited contacts.  But he and Bieber had a vision.
  • They made contacts.  But the record executives expected Bieber to "be developed."  This could take years.  This wasn't in the vision.
  • They recorded a song.  Took Bieber on the road where he met radio DJs in person and sang his song with the guitar on the air, even if they weren't playing his record.
  • The personalized approach was magnified when Bieber began texting on Twitter.  His fan base began to explode.
  • Within a span of 1.5 years from the date he moved to Atlanta to begin his record career, Bieber went from singing to groups of under 100 people, to selling out giant stadiums.  He has 22 Million followers on Facebook.  7.5 million followers on Twitter.

The phenomenum of Bieber is a testament to his own charisma and talent.  But social media and networking have made it possible.

For those of us who dismiss the "whole internet thing" as a big time waster, here are two important words:  wake up!