Living Out of the box

Making My Voice Heard

As I mentioned earlier today, I tried out for the Voice. This is the most out-of-the-box experience so far, even more so than the Millionaire tryouts and nothing like I imagined it would be.

Here’s what I imagined. I got the audition ticket that said I should show up at 2pm. I imagined I would show up around 1:30, be in at 2 and maybe out by 3, 4 at the latest. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I left the house with what I figured would be enough time to get to the Royal Pacific hotel. The first hiccup was the sign outside the hotel entrance that all Voice auditioners were to park at the nearby Universal Studios and a shuttle would transport us to the hotel.

By now it was 1:45. It was going to be tight but I figured I could still make it by two. Enter hiccup number two.

I pulled into the entrance to Universal only to find traffic backed up. Not only that, but I realized I would have to pay the parking fee of $15 only to try out. At that point, I almost decided to just go home. I’m glad I didn’t give in to that impulse.

After many, many minutes of waiting I finally got up to the parking attendant and got my first bit of good news. Parking was free for all who were auditioning for the Voice. I managed to park and head for the shuttle by ten after 2. Not too bad.

On the shuttle, I received quite the wakeup call. The girl sitting next to me had auditioned in the morning (she was now accompanying her mother) and had waited five hours before finally auditioning. Not only that, but out of 4,000 who had auditioned a total of 4 had gotten callbacks. When I got to the hotel and saw the amount of people outside waiting to get in, I realized I might be in for a long wait too.

Although the wait was long, the process was efficient. Once I got in the hotel, I was directed to a room that had about a dozen lines. While waiting in this line I got to talk to others around me. Everyone was very nice and friendly. When I got to the end of the line, I was given a wristband and led to the next room. This room sat probably close to 500 at a time. I got to sit in this room for a while, watching as those before me were led out in groups of 10. This room was mostly quiet. Again, not at all what I expected. Watching all those singing competition shows, I expected a lot of noise and energy, but, except for the occasional outburst, it was mostly quiet and uneventful.

Then it was time for my group of ten. We were led out of that room and into a smaller room that held around 200 or so. This would be the last room before the audition. The energy in this room was more like what I expected. People were taking turns singing and there were some amazing voices! Others would clap or sing along. It was a lot of fun. We waited in that room for a long time as well.

Finally, it was time for the audition. We were taken in groups of ten again, and brought outside another room, where we were briefed on what to expect. The ten of us would audition together, a minute for each of us, a cappella. We entered the room and sat in a row. Our judge was Romeo, the vocal coach for the show. Each of us, in turn, got up, gave some info about ourselves, then sang. I sang “Your Song” by Elton John. Then, when we were all done, it was judgment time.

Romeo explained to all of us that the bar had been raised so much higher this year than last because so many more were auditioning, and he’d heard some really good voices from us and suggested one to three months of vocal training to improve them. Sadly, no one in our group made it through.

By the time I headed out, it was 7:30, five and a half hours after I arrived. But, you know what? I enjoyed every moment of it and I’m glad I did it. Here’s to living out of the box.

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