Monday, July 11, 2011

The Chooka Parker Effect

When I first met Chooka Parker, I noticed his name, his hat, and the funny way he walked.  When I saw him on TV a year later, not much had changed.

Especially not the way he played the piano.

Funnily enough, the way he played the piano didn't startle me too much.  I'm obviously completely blind to talent.

*Me walking past the piano in the YTC dining room*
*Chooka thundering up and down the keys*
*He stops*
*I stop*
Me: "That was cool.  Did you make it up?"
Chooka: "Yep."
Me.  "Cool."

And now he's on TV.  The world will never be a safe place.

I repeat.  The world will never be a safe place.  Everything could be about to change.

You may think you are just tapping away at the piano to pass the time when you're not shearing sheep, but next thing you know you are being Googled, being mobbed on the streets of country towns, and being tracked by the press.

Websites, Facebook pages... 1.2 million views on YouTube and now even a listing in Wikipedia.

Back to the idiot box television...  Chooka has moved through the finals of Australia's Got Talent.

Fame and fortune.  Is that what it's all about?  I'd have to ask Chooka but I don't exactly live in the country town next to his country town.  And he doesn't have Facebook so I can't post my deep and meaningful question on his wall.  Oh well.

Maybe I can produce an answer by using that press which is hounding him.  According to The Age newspaper online, our virtuoso pianist finds all the sudden interest hard to believe.

''Maybe it's just because I'm totally being myself,'' he said. ''I'm not really trying to please anyone, I'm just doing what I'm doing. It's amazing, to be honest. I didn't think I was anything special. I just thought I was another average act, so to be held up so high by so many people is incredible.

[I like the part about totally being yourself, Chooka.]  

''I just thought it was a little show. I didn't realise I'd become that popular.''

[Oops, bit late now!]

It's weird seeing Chooka on TV on Tuesday nights.  And even weirder bumping into him at a wedding on the weekend.

But hey, he plays the piano like a manic genius, Australia loves him because he's obviously Australian, and he's still my favourite act on the show.  Even though I still am completely blind to extreme talent.

Video clips from the Australia's Got Talent official website:

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