Tuesday, March 18, 2008

She looks like Madonna, she sounds like Madonna, she is not Madonna

Evelyne Brink tells us about life in the groove, confidence and the Queen of Pop

You have been chosen to be the “one and only Madonna” on a recent BBC programme. How was that for you?
It was great fun, amazing to be chosen and a fantastic spring board for me.

Why Madonna?
I just don’t look nor sound like Tina Turner.

Do people on the street turn their heads when you walk by?
I hope so!

When did you decide you were Madonna?
I am not Madonna. I am Evelyne. I play tribute to Madonna and that started 2002 when I applied at a look-alike agency after so many people kept telling me I reminded them of the queen of Pop. What was I to do? Actually when someone suggested I should do a tribute act I said : nooo way would I do that. I write my own songs. Why would I sing someone else’s?
And the lady said: you see, you even have the attitude of Madonna!

Does Madonna know about you?
She is a woman in the know.

What does she think about you?
That would be for her to say- and I am curious to know. I have only talked to her in my dreams and I guess that’s not the same.

You left the competition quite early- were you disappointed to loose?
I have never met anyone who likes to be voted out but I am good at loosing, I have done it before. As I said on BBC breakfast: In my eyes I have won. Never in my life have so many people voted for me and never before did I have this opportunity. I am UK’s “One and Only Madonna”. Celebrate!

Madonna is the queen of Pop and the queen of reinvention. Are you a Queen?
You bet. I am the Queen of Confidence. I am the Queen of my castle. Other than that I am a Diva.

You say you are a Diva. Does that mean you have a huge voice and throw tantrums?
It means I am a delightfully indulgent verbal acrobat or a deeply inspirational vocal ambassador. You choose.
Tantrums optional. I charge extra for those.

Do you like commanding people around?

You are not Madonna, what have you got to show for yourself?
I have a lot to show for myself, I have shown too much for myself, I’d like to show it to the world now. I am a songwriter and a trainer. I teach confidence and creativity as well as walking my talk by creating music and writing.

What makes you special?
I guess my energy and confidence is unique and what people recognize the most. It is said that once you met Evelyne you know you met Evelyne. That used to be the tag line when I was in the licensing business. Evelyne is the one you will always remember.

Are you as confident as Madonna?
I haven’t met Madonna as a person yet. What I know of her is that she is a deeply confident woman. To me confidence has 2 parts. Inner confidence- what a person really believes about themselves and outer confidence- the beliefs and feedback they take on from the outside.
Madonna always comes across as very much in the know about her greatness. In the last years, she has softened which to me shows even more confidence. It takes great strength to show weakness. The more open you can be in public, the stronger you have to be inside- it’s crucial for your sanity. Open by the way doesn’t mean to spill your beans and dish the dirt. Open is a quality of being. How much you dare to show your honest feelings.

Madonna has a very strong front, she is very clear in her persona.

I don’t think I am like that. I am softer and my priorities have been more inward than outward. Though I wanted to be successful, I have looked after my health first. I had my challenges. I always admired Madonna for her stamina and physical fitness. I am working on mine and have improved so much over the years. I am someone who has been told she couldn’t be a singer because of voice problems and she wouldn’t be dancing because of physical problems.

Madonna is a mentally healthy person considering her life- that is amazing. It takes a lot to create mental stability if you are a sensitive person. Confidence has its part in that, too.

How do you compare confidence?

I am probably better at doubting myself than Madonna. I spent years learning in the spirit of “ am I good enough?” and “ will I ever…”

What can we expect of you?
Only the best.
You can expect a lot of creativity from me. In the sense that I will always be doing something that inspires me and hopefully others. I find the most gratifying way to live by following what I love doing. As fluffy as this may sound, it’s the best way to live for me. I have tried to do what makes sense and how I thought it should be done. I have tried discipline and forcing myself in the name of professionalism.
It hasn’t gotten me particularly far and it promotes struggle. I am done struggling. I mean that from the inside out. I am all for finding your flow.

What does that mean specifically?
You will hear my music.
You will see me on TV in presenting roles, ideally in the well-being/comedy/music sector.
You will find seminars/workshops/lectures on confidence and inspiration
You will see me become a mum in the next years (how exiting would that be?)
You can find me and my latest materials online as I love promoting life in the flow and empower others to find theirs. For example, check out my inspiration experiment where I explore what happens if you surrender your life to inspiration for 1 month. www.inspirationexperiment.blogspot.com

Does that leave a lot of time for your Madonna tribute act?
I think the Madonna show is a good launch pad. People know who Madonna is and appreciate I can do her stuff. I am open for bookings.

As someone backstage of the BBC said: you do a really good Madonna. And I am a huge Madonna fan. I love Madonna.
But I like Evelyne even better.

Following my flow means taking each day with gratitude and letting my gifts unfold. It’s not fair on anyone to hold back on your gifts.
Marianne Willamson said it beautifully: we are meant to shine. We were born to manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some of us. It is in each and every one of us.

Are you religious? Do you do Kabbalah?
I consider myself spiritual. I am aware of energy. To me there is source energy and I believe it is Love. I call it God- it means love/source. It’s not a person but it’s a very personal experience. I am looking into Kabbalah, funny enough I am actually of Jewish origin so I might as well check it out. On the spiritual level, all religions come together to teach the path of love. So which ever works best, is good to learn from. There are many teachers on this earth. You don’t need Kabbalah, but if it makes you a happier, lighter, more fulfilled person, please go for it. It definitely did Madonna some good as far as I can see.

Where can we find your music?
Look up Diva Eve on itunes or amazon and you will find material. My new stuff isn’t released yet but I am looking for a good record company to work with.
My latest tracks aren’t released yet but you can hear them on www.myspace.com/divaevemusic

How is your music different from Madonna?
My songs are lyrical pop- very melodic, quite quirky I guess. I am bit more niche. My target audience is probably women 25plus. People who are going through changes in life. My songs are about values and the meaning of life. Well…I guess “ smelly armpits” and “ the song to sing along when everything goes wrong” – hang on. They too give an insight into the meaning of life. Doesn’t every song in a way?

What would you like to tell Madonna if you met her?
Thank you.
For helping me move forward when I felt low- I didn’t want to go for a run but because of you, I did. I had bookings and that gave me the kick.

Thank you for having great songs in your repertoire. It really helps. Thank you for being such an interesting person to impersonate.

Thank you for being honest to yourself. I find that inspiring. Thank you for not holding back.
Thank you for proving that a healthy life style pays off. Thank you for keeping yourself well. Thank you for inspiring me to be me. I have learned so much from you and I don’t even know you.

What do you think she’d say to you?
Hmm. Best case: Thank you for shining your light. We should do something together, I think we got a few things in common. Wouldn’t it be cool if we launched a project together to empower and inspire children here and in Africa? Would you be up for that?
Also I love your songs, can I sing some? Or would you want to perform them with me?
Worst case:
Shut the f*** up. I am not interested in you.

Thank you for your time.
I thank YOU for the opportunity. It’s been delightful.
Stop it.
I don’t want to! I mean it

Madonna-sort of at Crystal Palace

Last Saturday saw me spreading my wings for the eagles...
Read all about it here: