- Skyler Maxey-Wert: When You Truly Know Your Worth, No One Can Take It Away From You. Patrick Huey 36:53
For All We Know
Since American Idol premiered in 2002 and crowned Kelly Clarkson its first winner, the show has been an unstoppable juggernaut – Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey’s sometimes ridiculous, sometimes hilarious diva battles notwithstanding. Unlike many talent-shows, Idol’s contestants and winners have gone on to have major careers beyond the scope of its cameras – Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert, and Chris Daughtry to name a few. The producers struck gold with Simon’s acerbic tongue, Paula’s idiosyncrasies, and Randy’s good cop to Simon’s bad cop routine. And the kids could really sing, usually, and we the viewing audience got to pick the winner. All ratings gold. 20 years later, Skyler Maxey-Wert walked into the audition hall in Nashville, TN this past year as the last audition of the day. Imagine his surprise and delight when the now judges, Katy Perry, Lionel Ritchie and Luke Bryan gave him an enthusiastic and genuine standing ovation after his rendition of Donny Hathaway’s For All We Know. Like the kids in Willy Wonka, Skyler booked his golden ticket to Hollywood.
For All We Know in its own way was the perfect song for Skyler. Just by putting himself out there on social media crooning to us from his home in Dresden, Germany, during the pandemic, he was inviting and entertaining the possibility of something wonderful and unexpected happening in his life. A life that has already been filled with such wonder and magic. If you recall from our conversation in Season One, he left his home in Lancaster, PA to study ballet in New York City at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School the American Ballet Theater. Very heady stuff for a 13-year-old. Now in his mid-twenties he’s dancing professionally with the ballet in Dresden and developing himself and his voice as a singer.
In a life defined by such highs and superlatives and exclamation points, Skyler remains quite unaffected by it all. In fact, he’s quite contemplative about his life as an artist and creator. He draws profound parallels between his job as dancer and his civilian life as a young man within the context of the multifaceted world we are all living through today.
For all he knows? As Skyler will tell you, “You have everything you need.”
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