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Monday, April 6, 2015

"E" is for "Endurance"

It's calendar Day 6 of the A-Z Challenge but it's only letter #5... eeee, I'm so confused.

My theme revolves around the soon-to-be published memoir I wrote for opera singer, Donald Braswell.

"E" is for "Endurance."


When Donald was involved in a hit-and-run accident, his life was all smooth-sailing and his career was on an upward motion that would have made an Apollo rocket blush with inadequacy.

Then, in the moment that it took for the hit-and-run driver to lose control and sideswipe Donald, the world according to Braswell changed forever.

Donald lost his voice, his career, his drive to succeed and languished at home while his wife, Julie became the sole breadwinner.

More than a year later, as he finally pulled himself out of a severe depression, Donald regained his speaking voice, but with no singing career, he had to do something. He tried his hand at many trades and over time worked for different businesses, selling new cars, insurance and even swimming pools in his efforts to keep his growing family afloat.

Then, one day, he sang for Julie... and later for his congregation.

Soon, Julie realized her high school sweetheart had never quit on his dream.
She applied, without him knowing, to America's Got Talent.

If you missed my C post, I shared a six-minute NBC video, which shows Donald's first audience audition on AGT. Click HERE to watch, and wait until you see what happens at 2:00 when Donald begins to sing...

Last week, I called that audition courageous - and it so was - but it also serves as a testament to Donald's endurance.

Donald said his parents (both former Broadway performers) taught him early on that when he started a performance, he needed to finish, no matter what happened, no matter what went wrong.

He says, "Dad told me, 'The true mark of a professional is that you never, ever stop and start again.' Continue until the last note, and then you leave the stage. That's when you stop."
On a personal note, writing Donald's story became a journey of endurance for me.
It's not that the memoir was hard to write - it wasn't - and his story is so inspiring that REVIVAL: The Donald Braswell Story easily turned into a labor of love.
Through all the rewrites, the reedits of edits, the nearly yes's, the no's, the hell no's, and the self-doubt that tried to permeate through my thick skull, I wouldn't give up on REVIVAL. It's taken six years, but thanks to Pen-L Publishing (and God's timing) the book comes out this November 3.
I truly believe Donald's no-quit attitude will have a positive, inspiring impact on thousands of people who struggle today with a Life Issue. REVIVAL was a honor to write and it's a privilege to share some background with you this entire month.

Tomorrow: "F" is for "Friends"


Elephant's Child said...

Love his tenacity - and that it rubbed off on you. And both of you benefited.

Tammy Theriault said...

Losing your voice sucks! But for me that comes with yelling at my ankle biters. Kidding!!

Nick Wilford said...

With hard work you can make it no matter what setbacks you have. Both of you have a great attitude!

Unknown said...

Amazing--I love stories like that: real and raw and heartfelt.

Pat Hatt said...

Very true, we all need to finish no matter how long it may take

Anonymous said...

It was truly a mark of endurance.

I actually thought of an overly-emotional American Idol contestant (the year David Cook won) who messed up while she was playing the piano and asked if she could start again. SHE DID IT TWICE THAT YEAR. I can't believe she had gotten away with it the first time and had the gall to do it again.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You both endured and neither quit!
It is in the timing. God's timing.
And that was a sneaky good idea on his wife's part.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mark - so pleased you've got a date and the book will be out - that's wonderful. You've learnt from your journey .. as I bet Donald did from his .. Wonderful you can share some of your times along the way - we all need to endure at times and can't give up .. cheers Hilary

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

That video is amazing. He is a very strong person emotionally and his voice is lovely.

Annalisa Crawford said...

It's scary that just being in the wrong place at the wrong time can have such a devastating impact. He's a strong person to overcome it.

Lisa said...

And this one is even better! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWUGssIq-50 Wow, now I understand why you wanted to tell his story! Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

Jo said...

That must have been awful for him when they jeered him at the beginning.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Like the new look of the blog and I bet there are days you sure wish you could head to a warm beach and sunshine. Lot to miss from Hawaii to Virginia. Just wait, spring will be flowering everywhere.

Congratulations on your contract and seeing this inspiring tale finally reach an audience, as it deserves.

Endurance is a tough lesson but when you look back at all you have endured it gives you the strength to move foward.

Sia McKye Over Coffee

quietspirit said...

I am catching up here. It does take courage, determination, and endurance to come back to some activity after a traumatic accident. I look forward to hearing more about Donald Braswell in the near future,
Thank you for introducing him to me.

Bevimus said...

You can totally see that attitude in every single note of that first audition- I'm still floored he was able to sing through all that booing.

And I can't believe his WIFE signed him up for the show!

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