A LETTER TO THE DIVINE MS MIDLER

I know you have heard these words a lot over the last few months, but thank you.

 

I have seen the amazing connections you have made with the exceptionally lucky fans who have been a part of your meet and greet sessions, the touching stories that have come out about how you and your music have changed people’s lives, and the general joy that has been expressed at your embracing this tour.

 

Buying the tickets to your show was a momentous moment for me, but I did not realise quite how much of an impact the show – and you – were going to make on me until I was at the O2 tonight (July 18th) and you stood up from your opening reveal and took the stage for two stunning hours that were a masterclass in showcraft, talent, and a little bit of smut.  

 

As someone who has immersed herself in your career, I thought I knew what I was in for. I knew the music, had seen all the videos of your past concerts, and have even crafted two shows of my own that are dedicated to you and your career. Whilst creating and performing my ‘Bette’ shows, I have learned so much about myself as a performer and about myself in general. I have loved every (sometimes terrifying, occasionally demoralising, but more often than not exhilarating) moment of it. Without those shows, I would be a very different performer – and, I think, even a different person. So when the tears began to prick at my eyes for no understandable reason during the first two numbers (I managed to keep the waterworks at bay until The Rose… since then, I have been like a leaky faucet), I figured it was just the excitement that I was feeling at finally being able to see you perform live. But I was wrong.

I’d thought I understood just how good you are… but in that I was wrong too. And thank you so much for that.

 

What you showed me tonight has re-framed the performer I aspire to be. You were class, vivacity, sass, and an emotional wallop all rolled into one. I could easily wax lyrical about how amazing you were (and actually did, but deleted it for sake of brevity – why repeat what everyone who has seen your tour is saying?) but I want to go back to that thank you. Tonight you made me remember what it was like to feel completely and utterly in awe of someone’s raw (and so very polished) talent. You were a slap in my face… in the best possible way. I now remember, more than I have in a long time, why I love what I have devoted my life to and how much harder I have to work to stick with it and continue to grow, why I can’t let something stop me from at least trying to follow my dreams as far as they will take me.

 

There is so much more that I would love to be able to say to you… and even more that I would love to hear you talk about… but I hope that somehow, you see this, and know that there is one more life out there that you have changed intrinsically. And that I am so very, very grateful for that.

 

Kim Sheard

(aka Divinely Bette)