How do I describe this experience? I'm not quite sure how to classify it. So I'll start at the beginning and let you decide. . .
My audition time was 2:00 PM. Jason & I went and scoped out the venue at 11ish to make sure we knew where it was and to see what the lines looked like. There were a few people hanging around outside and the line we saw looked short. It wasn't intimidating at all. So we went to the nearest thing that was familiar, a Costco, and walked around for a while. I told Jason, even though the lines were short, I wanted to be at the venue in line at about 1:00 PM.
The scene was about the same at 1 o'clock as it was at 11. I let out a huge sigh of relief. Armed with my purse and my 8X10 before pictures I approached the entrance. There were two gentlemen standing there with security shirts on and walkee talkees clipped to their shoulders. They were asking for ID and the artist pass. Once they looked at my driver's license they instructed me to move forward and said, "Good luck." I walked around the corner to see two tables with two people checking purses, backpacks and bags for anything "sharp" and two men checking IDs and artist passes. The man on the left was like something out of a movie. He was a very large black man, bald, straight faced and a gun on his hip. Definitely the "body guard" type. His eyes would move back and forth from me to my Driver's License picture. All that came out was, "uh huh," in a grunting sort of way. I was concerned because my Driver's License picture is from my "big" days. He finally let me through and as I walked past him I let out a huge breath. I don't even think I realized I had been holding it that whole time. I walked up to a set of double doors. There a man was standing with a walkee talkee in hand, yes once again, checking artist passes and Driver's Licenses. Once he looked at my ID he directed me to line 2. As I stepped into the room I saw 7 lines. All roped off with numbers taped to the floor. The center line however, didn't have a number. Once I was up to the front there were two tables with 6 or 7 people sitting at them checking, yes, IDs and artist passes. From there I was instructed to go to the back of the line, only this time get in the center aisle that didn't have a number. Once I was at the front of that line I was instructed to go see the man in the green shirt. There he checked my ID and my artist pass. Only this time he scanned the bar code from my artist pass with his phone. He said, "Good luck" and pointed me down a hall way. I just knew this was it. I took a deep breath and walked around the corner to see a long line of people waiting. I let out the breath and with disappointment went and stood in line. The woman at the door with a very chipper attitude and a headset that made her seem very "important" told us it was our turn. She let us go through the doors and into a foyer. The foyer had a food table set up, rest rooms, and several "important" people standing around. We were instructed to go through the doors into "the" room and have a seat. As I walked through the doors my heart stopped. It was the holding tank. It was a large conference room. The original venue was The Cow Palace. I thought to myself, "That was a more appropriate name for what this was. We definitely looked like cattle." There were three sections of chairs. Each section had at least 25 rows of chairs and each row had 14 seats. There were hundreds of people in there waiting for their turn. I'll be honest, seeing this many people actually calmed me down. At that point I realized how much of a "number" I really was. I ended up sitting in that seat for nearly 2 hours. When they came to our row they counted out 10 people and told us to follow another "important" looking person to the back. He led us down a hall where we saw 3 or 4 other groups of 10 standing and waiting for their turn to sing. As we stood there waiting a woman that had been standing in front of one of the rooms came up to us and gave us instructions. She said that all 10 of us were going in the room and trying out together. She said the man in the room would give us more instruction, but if we didn't make it to come back out of the room together, they would take off our bracelets and we could leave. We watched several groups of people come out. Many were trying desperately not to cry, several seemed embarrassed. I saw one woman with a red piece of paper. As they were rushing her to another room we heard the "important" man tell her she had 45 minutes to get ready for the next try outs. Wow!! No pressure. When we entered the room I saw that the rooms were divided by those dividers you can hear everything through. We could hear everyone trying out. It was very distracting and caused some people to go off key to whatever the person in the next room was singing. There was one man sitting at the head of the room at a white folding table. He had a notebook, many papers and a white mac laptop. There were 10 black chairs lined up against the walls and a small piece of white tape on the floor in the middle of the room. The man started off by telling us the rules. He said that if he didn't look at us while we were singing it wasn't because he thought we were bad. He said remember what the show is called and that will bring it back into perspective. When it was my turn I blew into my pitch pipe for my note and set off singing. When I hit the high part my voice cracked. I shook it off and kept going like it never happened. Those darn nerves! I told myself that he still heard what I can do, it's okay. I tried to look at him the whole time and he never took his eyes off of me. It seemed as though he was studying me. I watched him closely when others were singing and he was shuffling through papers, playing on the computer, etc. I thought to myself, it must be a good thing that he watched me. When everyone was done, he picked up the stack of artist passes and straighted them. He then said, "While a heard a few voices in here that I liked, after the talent we had last year the bar has been raised and I didn't hear anybody today that hit the bar. Thank you for trying out and remember there's always next year," and we were ushered out. I was stunned. Not because I thought I should have made it through, but I would have loved a little feed back. Anything.
I've experience the whole gambit of emotions. From feeling like I've let everyone down, to saying well I'm done singing, to waking up mad this morning and saying how dare he. Ha! Before I went down to this try out I said I was facing a fear. Like the contestants on Biggest Loser go to New Zealand and jump off of bridges and tall buildings. I can tell you I think that would have been easier. When you finish doing something like that you are praised for conquering a fear and everyone thinks so highly of you. Doing this and having this outcome made me feel like I jumped off of one of those buildings and hit the ground. Splat. It hurt!! Where do you go from here? I didn't meet the bar. . . hmm.
I am so grateful for the support I had from everyone one of you!! I am humbled by your generosity and your encouraging words. I wouldn't have been able to go through with this "experience" with out your love and support. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
So now I move onto the half marathon that I run in two weeks. Jason runs the Hood to Coast this weekend and I still have to finish my weight loss goal. I will work through this and keep on singing because it's what I was created to do and I love it. Where and how will that all happen, I don't know. We'll just have to see where this crazy ride called "life" takes me next.