Teen Busker Reduced To Tears After Heckler Tells Her 'Some Have It, You Don't'
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An 18-year-old busker was left in tears after a stranger approached her on the street and apparently told her: "Some people have it... you don't."
Mia Kirkland had been performing covers of songs in St Helen's Square in York, North Yorkshire, for about two hours when she was approached by the man on 6 July.
Footage captured by the singer shows he came right up to the microphone to share his opinion of her talent, claiming his comments came after having worked with artists including Motown legend Diana Ross.
During the first two hours of her performance, Mia had been praised by the audience and even gifted a bunch of flowers by one appreciative member of the crowd.
Things turned sour when she was preparing to sing Lady Gaga's track 'Million Reasons', at which time the white-haired man approached her.
According to Mia, the man commented: "There are some people who have it… you don't. You need to add variations, you're on the same plane all the time... I don't know what you sang on the way but I used to work with Diana Ross."
The singer, from York, claimed the man was 'trying to mumble' so other people couldn't hear his comments, and said he started naming artists he'd worked with when she tried to walk away.
"He kept following me and then as soon as my mum stood up and came over he left. So the only reason he was doing it was because he thought I was on my own," Mia continued.
"Then as soon as he'd spoken to me I said to my mum, 'my day's just ruined now. I don't want to keep going.' It was only earlier that I'd had flowers and loads of kind words, but it's hard not to let people like that ruin your day.
Mia believes the man felt he could 'get away' with his comments because he thought she was a 'young woman on [her] own'.
Despite being left shaken by the encounter, it wasn't long before the 18-year-old picked up her microphone and started singing again. Her experience in busking has taught her to anticipate the occasional critic, but she stressed she won't tolerate 'intimidating' behaviour.
The teen explained: "I've had so many experiences of people being weird with me – I had to report a woman to the police for sending me hate mail – so this is normal for me.
"When I started I didn't think busking would be like that at all. But now that I've been doing it quite a while, every time I go out I have to prepare myself for someone who doesn't enjoy it coming up to me.
"I'm quite a shy person, and I've had to learn to not be. If someone had said that to me before I'd have probably said, 'oh okay, I'll stop then', but people can't just walk over me."
In the wake of her experience Mia said she's received a lot of support from listeners, with many suggesting the closest the man has really got to working with Diana Ross is 'listening to her in the shower'.
"Most of the time people aren't mean but even when it's that one time it gets you all worried, it makes you anxious and on edge. I've only been busking once after it and I was so nervous about coming across him again or someone else saying something, but it was so lovely," Mia said.
The positive and supportive response she's had to the encounter has helped reassure Mia that people like her music, giving her a boost as she prepares to begin studying at the London Centre of Contemporary Music next year.