In February of 2009 I attended my first weekend blogging conference, Blissdom, where I spoke about social media marketing. One evening we were told we were going to enjoy a very special performance from an up and coming artist named Chris Mann. Having played the piano since I was three and accompanied many singers and musical productions, I have met more than my share of the guy-who-plays-the-piano-and-sings variety of pompous jerks. And this particular “up and coming artist”? Beautiful. I mean gorgeous. Can I just tell you that he was stunning? My prediction was that he was going to just be another pretty boy with a microphone.
But then he performed.
It wasn’t just that his voice is this amazing combination of soothing and sexy, that his songs were quirky and fun, or that his piano playing was actually great that grabbed my attention. It was that he had his smart phone propped on his keyboard while he was performing and occasionally stopped mid-song to reply via his mic to the bloggers tweeting him from the audience. He had a natural, relaxed talent with both music and people that I had not seen before, and by the end of the show he had us all eating out of the palm of his hand. While I wasn’t so completely blown away that I was willing to stand in line for his autograph like an eleven year old at a Bieber mall appearance, I did end up meeting him later while helping a friend clean up. It turns out that he was genuinely nice and grateful for the chance to have performed for us. He was grateful for and gracious to us.
That’s it, I was sold.
Since then Chris has gone on to do amazing things like play the role of a Warbler on Glee and perform in my living room for my birthday. Wait, what? Yes, that was quite a story… Through it all he’s stayed in touch with all of the little mom bloggers like myself who joined Team Chris that day in Nashville and much like we pull for our own kids to make the school musical or get asked out by the cute boy, we’re all waiting for the whole world to see what we saw that day in that conference room.
Well, tonight may be the night. Chris Mann has auditioned for The Voice.
I don’t know when he will appear and how things will turn out for him, but I do know that when I saw him in this preview – with both Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera turned around! – I couldn’t help but cry, so proud of this amazingly talented, truly good and deserving young man, getting this new opportunity that will hopefully be the right opportunity that takes him to where he deserves to be.
Check out the preview here and then tweet with me immediately following the Super Bowl with the tag #MannFans. I hope to see him on that stage and I hope to see that tag trending on the trending topics board. See you there? Maybe tonight’s the night that you, too, will fall in love with Chris Mann…