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Going Out on a Limb–“The Voice” Audition

September 14, 2011

I’m not sure if anyone of you out in the WP world watch reality t.v., but this particular show caught my ear and I LOVED it.  “The Voice” is leagues ahead of “A.I.” by virtue of the concept behind the show of the blind audition, no age limit & the opportunity to hone musical skills with professional musicians.

By the prompting of some good friends, I went ahead and entered to audition for the show’s 2nd season.

The audition took place in Los Angeles the last week of August 2011 at the Forum.  My dear friends, Anita & Pam, came along for moral support as well as for the ride.

The day began super early, being on the road by 4:30 a.m., arriving in Inglewood around 7:00 a.m.  We went to Mass up at St. John Chrysostom to start the day.  What a BLESSED time to hang out!

Afterwards, we decided to make sure we got some breakfast.  Having no familiarity with the area, I searched by way of my handy dandy GPS & found this place:

Where you could find something like this to eat:

The attempt to finish this German pancake was a partial fail (most of it was consumed)…then we went on to find the Forum, but not before we found this place…

but much to our chagrin, we couldn’t stop for donuts…we were too full!  Onto the place where I was called to be…the Forum.  I’d never been there before, but thankfully, we found it.

So, I was super early for my audition (it was around 11:15 a.m. when we arrived) & we couldn’t find the entrance to the audition.  We went around and around the place until we found the entrance by the end of the parking lot.  I wasn’t super nervous, but I wanted to know about how long this was going to take.  So, I go through the process of getting checked in.

The long tunnel down into the belly of the Forum kinda made me feel like I was back in my heyday of college…getting into places through the back door…wait, that’s NORMAL for musicians!  😉  Pam thought it would be comical to take this shot.

After my bag had been searched, I went to the official check in with the production team & was invited to go right in, even though it was not time yet.  I had a slight moment of panic & walked out to touch bases with Pam & Anita as well as John, who was on his way to meet us.  Not to mention that my hair was still up “Chun Li” style…ok, I admit it.  I wasn’t mentally ready to go that soon.  In hindsight, I totally should have done it & gotten it over with, but then that would have been a completely different experience.

I came back out to hunt down my posse and explained what was going on.  They encouraged me to get back down there, but not before we did some final things.  I spiffied myself up (took down the “Chun Li” hairstyle), got prayed over with water from Lourdes & carried a medal of St. Cecilia with me (Thanks, Pam!).  I called John to let him know what was up & that I was running out of juice on my phone, so made sure he had Pam’s number to contact her once he arrived.  One final check & I was ready to go.

I marched myself back through the very process I took 20 minutes before and found myself waiting 4th in in line out of a total of 8 lines.  They weren’t letting folks in, but holding all of the artists.  I WISH I had my camera for this moment.  About 300 other artists lined up & waited for our audition time, which all happened to be at 2 p.m.  I got to meet some really cool people and listen to their stories.  One girl in particular was behind me & we got to talking.  She used to sing a lot in college & then stepped away from it.  She was at the audition because she saw the show and loved it, much like myself.  Her boyfriend had encouraged her to try out and that’s how she ended up there.  The funny part was, her boyfriend was getting to know my posse outside!  🙂  Talk about a bit of a small world!  It was good to hear other artist’s stories & their road to the audition.  I met a girl from Montana.  I met 2 country singers who had auditioned for “A.I.”. I met another girl from D.C., who was going to music school in L.A.

The producer came out and he thanked each of us for the time and funds we spent to get there.  He was totally upbeat and positive as well as encouraging.  He advised us to get rid of the nervousness and do our very best by way of one verse and one chorus.  They only wanted to hear the real us…not what we thought they’d want to hear.  If we do not make it this round, it does not mean that we are not talented.  He encouraged us to try again next year.  By way of his speech, one of the cowboys commented, “THAT was different (from “A.I.”)”.  I could just feel the positive energy emanating from the crowd swelling to about 500 by the time the speech came around.  We wished each other the very best and to HAVE FUN.  I was so at peace during the entire process.  They shuffled us into groups of 10 and sent us off into 3 different rooms at the same time.

As we were waiting, we could hear people singing through the concrete walls.  We tried to keep our voices down as we laughed and shared jokes and smiled at one another.  While my group was waiting, I saw another go in….and everyone come out.  Not a single person was chosen for a call back.  The eyes of the lady next to me widened in panic.  Eyebrows were raised.  This group had a couple of folks smiling, but others were visibly disappointed.  Oh boy.  The competition is pretty stiff.  We all took notice and immediately thought about how to up our chances of being called back.  In my quiet prayers, I took solace in knowing that no matter what happens, I have come a LONG way to feel this confident and at peace with myself.  Just by going out there, I have proven to myself that I know who I am and what I have to offer.  No matter what happens, I’m going to have a GOOD time and rock the house.  🙂

One other lady in my group chose to sing the same song as me and I decided at the last minute to go with my first choice.  We filed into the concrete room & sat around waiting to be called up.  Each person was called up by name and had their one verse & one chorus to give their very best.   I was completely at peace as my name was called to do my audition.  Taking a deep breath, I sang the first verse & chorus of Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke” and got the room to clap along.  The words applied to us all: “Music is a world within itself with a language we all understand…with an equal opportunity for all to sing, dance and clap their hands…”  I had a GOOD time and gave my very best.  Everyone was affected by the song and I could see the smiles on their faces.  As quickly as it started, it was over.  By the time we got done, I was ready for whatever the outcome.  Thankfully, one person was chosen for a call back and the lovely lady’s name is Tori.  She sang an Amy Winehouse song and it was apparent that her voice could be easily distinguished from any of ours.  Her sense of control was amazing and her playful personality could be heard.  I was so happy for her.  I hope she makes it to the blind audition…I’d definitely be able to recognize her again.

I came away from the experience extremely happy with myself, the process and the chance to be inspired to keep on singing.  I’d never been more proud of myself in my musical history than at this moment.  I know I did my best and I gave my all and the answer is: not yet.  🙂  John caught up with us and gave me a big bear hug after Anita and Pam.  They told me that they met the girl I was chatting with while we were waiting.  We went for a victory lunch & dessert and THAT is what I remember the most of this day.

Killer lunch by the Forum.  I wish I could remember the name of this place, but originally the name was something like, “Mr. Bates’ fish market”  according to my GPS.  However, it’s not always correct.  We hit up this delicious ice cream sandwich place by UCLA.  I’d post photos, but I think I ran out of space.  You can always see the photos on my FB (if we’re friends, that is) page.

My deepest thanks to everyone who prayed for me and this audition.  I will not forget what an awesome time I had and I hope that EVERYONE who can sing goes for an audition with “The Voice”, because it’s such an awesome way to be encouraged in your gift and you never know: your voice might be the one that will stand out in the crowd.  As for me, I’ll be happy to tune into Season 2 when it airs.  Best of luck to all who are on the show!  My thoughts & prayers go out to you.  Sing on, singers…sing on…


5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2011 1:32 pm

    You did good. 😉
    And you know what…I know without a doubt, something fantabulous is coming your way.

  2. Morgan permalink
    September 15, 2011 10:06 am

    So awesome, VJ! Thanks for sharing!

    • September 15, 2011 10:54 am

      Thank you for reading my blog, Morgan! 🙂 And not to mention the prayers & well-wishes. They helped to bring forth good fruit. Praise God!

  3. linda mcdowell permalink
    September 15, 2011 1:43 pm

    VJ! WOW! you are soooo AMAZING!! Although, I knew that from the first time i met you! Jesus Rocks! You Rock! keep it up! We all love you! Never stop praising HIM

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