I can't recall how many times someone has said to me: "You should be on American Idol!" or "Have you ever thought about trying out for American Idol?"
Well, sure. I think it's likely at least crossed the mind of most singers. Even if you didn't win a reality show like that, it would certainly be an interesting experience and offer good exposure. I haven't watched American Idol in a while, and I've heard the vibe of it has improved, but I mostly felt like it was too cut-throat for me. I prefer to be in environments where people are encouraged to develop their gift and voice without being unneccessarily insulted and it seemed to me that good sportsmanship was lacking in the competative nature of it all.
Last November, we received an email from the casting company working with NBC on a brand new singing show called The Voice. You might have seen it premier tonight. It's based off the highly successful Holland's Voice and we thought the vibe and sound of it was more up our alley. I could play my guitar to accompany myself and we liked the idea of blind auditions and the celebrity judges becoming actual mentors of the competitors rather than mere spectating judges.
I accepted the invitation to audition, with some excitement and some nervousness. My audition was on the same day as everyone else's shot in Minneapolis, but I didn't have to arrive before dawn and wait all day to sing for the casting company and share my story. Honestly, I'm not sure I would've auditioned otherwise. I'm committed to music as my path, however it "works out".
I was in and out fairly quickly and it was a cool experience. I did a couple songs I love and many of you have enjoyed in our 2011 cover song video series: Redemption Song by Bob Marley and my version of People Get Ready by Curtis Mayfield. I enjoyed the whole experience and meeting the folks working for the casting company. They were great.
They asked me to come back to callbacks the next day and wondered if I could bring more "upbeat" songs. I didn't entirely know what that meant: more happy? more rocking? They, for sure, wanted more current hit songs since that's what the producers of the show would be more interested in.
I busted my butt that afternoon and evening to learn Sara Bareilles' King of Everything and Adele's Rolling in the Deep. The ONE thing I wanted was to present my very best and leave knowing I had authentically, freely and fearlessly shined, which is what I always desire to do for the benefit and blessing of those impacted. My ONE desire seemed defeated. I felt thrown off by a couple things, which don't really matter at this point...but the wait was much longer that day and i was exausted and hungry and I felt awful leaving the callback.
Our new friends from the casting company were cool and apparently, I was one of their favorites from our city. I'm grateful for their work and their belief in me. We moved along in the process with a phone interview from one of the segment producers and, while we were in Bethel, AK, I was filling out extensive background check papers. It was seeming like a real possibility! At some point, though, it wasn't a good fit. The executives decided to not send me on to the casting finals in L.A. Naturally, I felt a tinged of rejection at that news, but I'm content to have not had to leave my partner and love for 6 weeks to tape the show in L.A. and I'm happy to focus on the many wonderful things we have in the works for 2011.
I happily congratulate those who made the show, those you are currently enjoying on it now. We met Tim Mahoney during callbacks and appreciated his open, sincere and natural-to-talk with kind of way about him.
Happy watching and listening and now you know my answer to everybody's question: "Have you ever thought of being on...."