The inspirational story of opera singer Paul Potts contains everything I love — humor, perseverance, heart, romance, beautiful music, and courage. Little did Potts know when he walked onto the stage of “Britain’s Got Talent” that he would end up winning the show — and that some day a movie would be made about his amazing life. The movie is called ‘One Chance’, and I was lucky enough to chat with Potts about his incredible adventure. ‘One Chance’ debuts for free on Yahoo! Screen September 29.
eHarmony: If someone said to you, “Dreams don’t come true.” What would your response be?
Paul Potts: Dreams don’t come true if you just wait for them to come true. Something being your fate doesn’t mean it’s inevitable. There are things that you do that can stop it happening, but there are things that you can do to make it happen. Fate gives you the opportunities, it’s up to you to make the most of them.
eH: What do you love most about your life today?
PP: I get to travel the world doing what I love. Right now, I’m in Seoul, one of the most vibrant cities in the world. I could never have dreamed that I would get to visit such great places doing what I love doing.
eH: What are you most excited about right now?
PP: The release of ‘One Chance‘ in the US. I’ve waited so long for my story to be shown to the US, and it’s a film I love – funny, charming, and moving – feels quite strange that it’s all about me!
eH: What would your advice be to a person really struggling to find their place in the world – and struggling to find great love in their life?
PP: Don’t look too hard for directions and listen to your inner voice. Take advice but balance it with your inner voice. Any advice that is louder than your inner voice may not be helpful. Just because you might not be able to find your way doesn’t necessarily mean that you are lost, you just don’t have the right directions yet. They will come in time.
eH: Love that. Where do you think your courage comes from?
PP: I’ve never ever thought of myself as being courageous. There are so many people that have stuck their necks out more than I, soldiers on the battlefield, fire fighters, police, and medical personnel that have risked life, limb, and reputation to do the right thing. Throughout my life, I’ve just tried to keep going. No more, no less. Sometimes it didn’t feel worth it, but you have to live with the bumps on the road – in a car you have the suspension to take this. In life, you have your close friends.
eH: How has your perception of life changed through the process of realizing your dream to be a singer?
PP: That life can take you by surprise sometimes so it’s best not to assume anything. I went into the audition thinking it would be the very last time I performed. I didn’t see it as an opportunity to take me to where I could do what I loved. Now I know that it’s important to never give up on your dreams. Indeed they may never truly come true, but in chasing the dream, you can learn a great deal about yourself and the people around you.
eH: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
PP: The best advice I have ever had is in a piece by Rudyard Kipling called “If”. It has many of life’s hard lessons in it. One of the most important:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
In other words, no matter what life throws at you – be YOU.