Lindsey Stirling Knows How to Take Criticism

/ May 26, 2014


One of the more resilient YouTubers we know, Lindsey Stirling has overcome some substantial criticism to find herself at the top of the iTunes electronic chart with over 4 million YouTube subscribers attesting to her talent. She spoke about getting past the harsh reviews on the recent “Ear Biscuits with Rhett & Link.”

One of Stirling’s first major hopes at fame she actually aimed at Ellen DeGeneres. In fact, Stirling came up with her whole act because she knew Ellen loved dancing, thus figuring she could do that while she played her violin and maybe just make it on the show. Though the only criticism she got there came in the form of silence from the talk show host, Stirling’s video went viral (“for 2007,” she said) on YouTube, putting it in the view of talent scouts from “America’s Got Talent.”

Imagining this to be her big break, Stirling hit the road for Vegas, where she took the “America’s Got Talent” stage filled with hope. Unfortunately for her, this hope drained pretty quickly. After getting X-ed by the judges, the group followed it up with some not-so-kind criticism. Though Sharon Osbourne reportedly tried her hand at encouragement, Piers Morgan doled out this critical gem: “[You sound like] drowned rats being strangled.”

Having faced this and other insults, Stirling managed to hold herself together just in time to make it out of the camera’s view. She admittedly cried “a lot,” but ultimately came to learn some valuable lessons from the disappointment. She realized, “I love doing this, and I just started, and I’m still trying to learn to dance…I shouldn’t give up. I should try to get better so that no one ever says anything like that to me again.”

This extremely positive outlook culminated in Stirling’s most crucial learned lesson. “You can’t let other people tell you who are you,” she said, reflecting her contempt for getting boxed into any one role or characterization.

Having learned this lesson, Stirling was well prepared for the recent New York Times “basher” piece on her. In it, two critics, one pop and the other classical, summed up their feelings on Stirling by denying her any talent. Stirling, being real about the criticism, told Rhett & Link, “I don’t know how you cannot be kind of hurt when you read that stuff.”

As the guys pointed out, you only garner that kind of criticism once you’ve truly “arrived.” Even more recently, Stirling got some closure on her “America’s Got Talent” experience. So while new critics set out to tear her down, her former critic, Piers Morgan, recently tweeted, “Okay Lindsey Stirling, you proved me wrong.”

To find out more about the artist’s stellar technique at handling the downsides of gaining fame, tune into this week’s “Ear Biscuits with Rhett & Link.”

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