I am back to reality now since the auditions for “The Voice;” dropping and picking up kids from school, running errands, and doing housework. For the most part I’ve enjoyed being home with my family doing what I do best; being a mom and a wife. I really missed them when I was gone.
But since I had a great adventure down in LA, I wanted to blog about it. I couldn’t believe how much support I received from my family to go down there. It got me excited to prepare for something fun and different that might have had a crazy outcome if I made it onto “The Voice.” I worked on 7 or 8 songs so I was ready to sing in various styles if they asked me to. I brought down a few outfits to choose from since I change my mind frequently. We planned for me to stay til’ Tuesday just in case they gave me a call back, with the option of changing my flight if they didn’t.
It’s funny because I developed a fear of flying when I had my children. Before, I had flown around the world to different countries and loved the adventure of experiencing new places and cultures. However, since getting married and having our kids the reality of being thousands of feet up in the air away from my family hit me hard, and I didn’t want to do it. So, getting on a plane and flying to LA by myself was a big deal in my world. I really was facing a fear of mine. When I got on the plane it was open seating and I saw a little boy the same age as my son, Josh, sitting all by himself, and I knew I needed to sit next to him on the way down. He didn’t want to make eye contact with anyone and just stared out the window. I decided to at least try to introduce myself and let him know I was a safe person to talk to and count on. At first he didn’t want to say anything (which is great because little kids shouldn’t talk to strangers) so I just told him my name, let him know I had a son his age and had games on my IPhone if he wanted to play them at anytime. I think it helped him to know I was a mom and could relate to someone his age.
During the flight he told me how he loved flying and how he had flown by himself many times (I’m not sure what was true and what wasn’t, but that was okay). I told him he was so brave to fly alone at six years old. Then it struck me that this little boy was way more brave than me, but still showed signs of being scared to be alone. So I knew I needed to be that safe place for him to help him through the flight. My fears began to fade, and I had a purpose to stay brave in my own way. = ) I loved sharing my IPhone with him and watching him play. It reminded me how much I loved being a mom to my son. The boy asked me if I was continuing on to the next stop, and I said no. He said he wished he was stopping with me. I could tell he was scared, poor thing. I wanted to be there for him. I prayed for him in my heart and had to let him go. He will always hold a special place even though I won’t ever see him again.
My friend and songwriting buddy, Diana, picked me up from the airport, and we went to her place where she so graciously let me stay for a few days. I was exhausted from the anticipation of the next day auditions and from stopping and resting (which is rare when you are a mom). We didn’t do much except talk and enjoy each others company. She is a great songwriter/ musician in her own right, and I gleaned a lot from her.
The next day, I slowly got ready for my audition since it was scheduled for 2PM. I made sure I vocalized, went over my songs, picked out my outfit and packed all of the “what if I need these” items into my purse. It was so much fun to actually take the time to get ready. I usually rush in the mornings because I have two other little people to help. = ) This is what I looked like: I wanted to dress up to stand out, however after it was all said and done I probably would have been more “me” and comfortable if I just dressed like I normally would for something important. lol.
I had time to do a little shopping on the way to LA which my kids appreciated I’m sure. = ) When I got downtown and saw the Staple Center, I couldn’t help but be taken aback by the “normalcy” of homeless people at every street corner just “living” their lives. They weren’t really asking for money, they were where they lived on a regular basis. At first I was nervous, but then I had a real compassion for their situation. I was all dolled up getting ready for my shot at making it “big” (sarcasm inserted) and they were focused on meeting their real needs. That was my first wake up call.
I found a place to park and walked over to the large line that was beginning to assemble at around 1:30pm. That line eventually went around the building. The whole time I was standing outside people were walking to get in line. I saw a Celine Dion look a like, twin Diana Ross look a likes, a Michael McDonald look a like and many, many other amazingly creative people. I LOVED IT!!!!!! I loved being surrounded by so much creativity. It reminded me of college, ha!
We stayed in that line outside for about an hour and a half. During that time there were a couple of guitarists playing and singing their songs. One guy was almost yelling his song so that everyone in line would hear his voice. It was not the most comfortable situation, however I new most of us deep down also had the desire to share our voices. I met a gal who was auditioning for the second time. She looked pretty comfortable and ready. I got to hear her sing a little bit and she had a very nice voice. I also met a guy who had a choral background. He had a cool look and we actually sat next to each other all the way to our auditions. He recently moved to LA from New York and was getting use to it. I was sure he had a pretty interesting life for sure.
The line started to move quite quickly after we got inside the building. I saw a gal with a red ticket in her hand being surrounded by friends and family congradulating her on her win. I was beginning to get nervous. I still wasn’t sure which song I was going to sing. We were sectioned off into groups of 10 and sat in huge sections in a large convention room. Then each group was taken into another room to sit and wait. Finally they called our group to get up and wait in line in a hallway outside the audition rooms. They had guys there who were explaining the process and pumping us up for our audition. They were all very kind and encouraging. I stood next to a guy who had auditioned for the X-Factor and got to the third round. He was very interesting to talk to. It was time for us to walk into our room. We sat in a semi-circle and were randomly chosen to audition.
There were two casting directors at a table with their laptops open. I was the first chosen to sing. I was pretty close to the facing wall so I didn’t feel comfortable to look down at the directors so I just sang to the wall, really. After my minute was over they thanked me and I sat back down. I enjoyed hearing all of the different voices in my group. They only picked one to go forward to the call backs. She had a very unique country-ish voice. She also had a pleasant look about her. So that was it. In and out. I talk more about it on my youtube video.
When I drove home I was pretty upset to be honest with you. It was a bit of a blow to my ego. Should I have done a different song? Do people like to listen to me sing, or are they just being nice? So many random insecure questions popped up in my mind. I was also alone with them. Not a good thing. Now, the best thing that happened to me that far surpassed the audition experience came the next day. I truly believe this was a gift and a lesson from God.
My friend, Diana, wanted to bring me to this nursing home she sang at every week, to be her special guest and to sing for the elderly she visits regularly. It wasn’t very glamorous. There were no cameras, no famous people, no glam. There were smells, florescent lights, far off stares and over worked staff. BUT! God showed me a more lasting joy as I sang to each person with Diana accompanying me. The first lady had had a stroke and couldn’t move one of her arms and so to clap in appreciation she made a puppet movement with her right working hand. She also wiggled her toes to the groove. I had to try so hard not to break down crying. I sang some Elvis, Patsy Cline, Celine Dion, Elton John, Disney and some hymns. They were all so thankful and so beautiful. Another lady could only wave her arm as a clap. She didn’t have a speaking or singing voice, but Diana got her to “yell” out some of the words to the songs. My friend Diana was like an angel. I watched in amazement at how comfortable and loving she was to them. She has dedicated one day a week for two years to go visit these women. She is now an official volunteer and the staff members respect her. I could go on and on about my experience at the nursing home.
In the years to come which will I remember most? The Voice auditions, or singing at the nursing home? The nursing home by far!! Another wake up call! Jesus wants us to take care of the poor, the needy, the widows, etc. There is SOOOO much more fulfillment waiting to be found there then pursuing our own successes. I know the lime light is very tempting for sure, but going to a nursing home or visiting a widow or passing out food to the homeless are all hidden gems to be found. I hope this blog will inspire at least one other person to go and share their gifts with someone less fortunate. = )
Here is the link to my Youtube Video log of my audition experience in more detail and also me singing my audition song.
God bless ~