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23 Dec 2009

Ellen ten Damme, in-store promotion

This is just my 2nd blog item, but it's time to do a non-recumbent item. Today I went to an in-store promotion for Ellen ten Damme's newest album. The English speaking world probably doesn't know her, so I'll give a very short introduction. She's a Dutch multi-talent that is most known for 3 things, singing, acting and an insurance commercial. She can also play the piano, the violin and guitar. She's was born in 1967 and grew up in nearby Roden. Untill today, I knew even less than that.

edit 2009-12-24: a friend of mine wrote this comment on my facebook page:
Mar Krts
She also does gymnastic pretty well. She can be very physical on stage. And yes, she's an alround good performer with a voice straight into your heart. Seems to me she' s a genuine nice person, and that shows in her performances.

Now she has made an album in her own language, Dutch. That something new for her. Her previous albums where in English. I heard some songs of that album on the radio and liked those. And I recently spoke a colleague of mine who went to a theatre concert of her. So when I saw in a local paper that she'd come to Assen, I just had to go.

The in-store was originally meant to be held on Sunday but was re-scheduled because of the weather. Instead of what was originally planned, she had to do it without her band. Didn't really matter, it was worth the waiting. Like all famous people also Ellen is shorter than I'd imagined.

After a little problem with the amplifier/speakers she did a small, but overwhelming performance. Maybe it's just me, but hearing her powerful, tender, loud, sweet, crystal clear voice whilst being within 3 meters of her made me feel tiny, wobbly and squishy. In short, I was flabbergasted. Her voice has an amazing range. One moment she sounds like a school girl, the next moment she could sound like a huge angry woman. Even when she speaks her voice is utterly beautiful.

Luckily, I a few brain cells left to shoot some photo's. The other billions where running around frantically like a group of lemmings. I had bought her album just for the mini-concert and had it signed right after it. Afterwards I watched other people do the same thing. In the end when most of the audience had left, 2 or 3 shop employees posed for a photo together with her. So, this was my chance. Not taking this chance was something I'd regret for a long time. I gave my camera to an employee I know and waited until she'd finished talking to someone else. I asked for the photo as if I where a 8yo scout asking someone to buy homemade cookies.


I had my photo, a signed album and a story to tell. There used to be girls/woman who I sort of had allowed to call me 'Petertje' (little Peter). The last one was my favourite colleague from my 6 month trainee ship at Cordis. I'm pretty sure it will never happen, but the rare privilege to call me Petertje, has been given to Ellen.

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