The balls of my feet felt like they were on fire after mostly standing in line for almost 6 hours waiting for my turn to sing at The Voice Auditions in New York City. My spouse, Christine, and I arrived at the site an hour before the scheduled time in my pass. I did not realize that thousands more had the same time stamped in their passes. And the line wrapped around a massive structure like Jacob Javits Convention Center, extending as far as 6 more blocks past the center. Winter was kind. It wasn’t horribly cold outside. At first, the line moved so slowly. More people arrived. Mostly young, so diverse in looks. I was surprised not to see any Asians. I seemed to be the oldest. We stood next in line to a young, talented lady who has performed at Carnegie Hall several times. She kept doing her vocal exercises. The line started to move faster and then, only the people auditioning were allowed the area where the auditions were being held. Parents of minors were allowed in. IDs and bags were checked and we were led to a big room where we were scanned in and given wristbands. It was very organized. Then we all sat and waited in a huge room. Some people were singing together, just having fun. Other people stood by their chairs and started singing their hearts out. Those who had the same audition pieces were trying to openly outsing each other. There were people who already have recording contracts. Most people were nervous. I quietly watched everyone. I sat next to a 38 year old guy who couldn’t stop talking about all his accomplishments…that he already has 3 CDs, and has performed in front of thousands, and said he is just auditioning because people he knows think he should, and it’s another way to pass the day. To my left was a pretty 22 year old who keep telling me she needs to brush her hair. I assured her that her hair looks fine, and that it will not affect her voice.
Visits to the restrooms were organized well too. The restrooms seem the only place where the was peace and quiet. A red sign that reads “NO SINGING IN THE BATHROOM PLEASE” was taped by the door. In that big room, the staff gave instructions without a PA system. It was hard to hear what they were saying. At one point they announced that Maroon 5 was having at show at Madison Square Garden and they recorded the whole group wishing them a great show! Then, in groups of 10, we were lead to a long hallway where we stood and waited. People were animated and were talking to one another, some were doing vocal exercises nonstop. I only shared my message with people who expressed interest in listening. I was just so grateful to be alive and singing at an audition after a devastating illness that left me with permanent lung damage, breathless, debilitated, and almost dead 5 years ago.
I found myself mostly watching people try to draw attention to themselves. Some people did not even smile back when I smiled at them. I barely heard people wish each other good luck. Those who I said “good luck” to did not wish me back the same. It’s almost like they want to keep the luck to themselves. The ones I connected the most was the sweetest 15 year old I met and her mom. Emily was always smiling…vocalizing…she sounds amazing. Her mom was not like a usual stage mother. She quietly showed support. At first I thought she was also auditioning. I said to myself, “Nice! someone my age”. When she got to know me and my story, she said with so much pride “Good for you!” She looked like she meant it. By another group of 10, we reached the audition rooms. We can hear, but not see people audition. Everyone sounded terrific! Wow!!! I only saw one after waiting so long walk out with a red piece of paper (which means you get a call back). A staff member collected our passes and signed press release forms. 10 of us get to audition together in a small room. No camera inside. A man welcomed us, and gave instructions. No interview. He just said you say your name and your song, and sing a verse or two, then he raised his hand to motion us to stop. He barely looked up. He was writing lots of notes. Almost everyone in my group sounded absolutely mind blowing fantastic! Like Christina Aguilera and Melissa Etheridge on steroids. The 15 year old girl was terrific. She sang flawlessly. Perfect tone and control. I felt so bad for the guy who sounded amazing but forgot the second verse to his song. He slumped in his seat after, very disappointed at himself. I sang fourth. I sang “This is the Moment”. I was not nervous. Gave my best shot, the guy looked up a couple of times and smiled at me.
After listening to the rest of my group, he said ” You are all great. You should congratulate yourselves for coming here. The bar has been raised on The Voice, and I am sorry, I am not letting anyone through. Thank you.” No one cried like in American Idol…I was fine. I actually found comfort knowing that much younger people with powerhouse voices compared to mine, did not go through either. We saw 3 people of the thousands that auditioned walked out with a red paper by 6:30pm. I felt truly grateful, not resentful of the experience. Christine saw me right away. I told her I did not make it. She looked more disappointed for me. She knew I wanted to get through to share my movement. I introduced her to my new friends. This lovely 15 year old took the rejection so gracefully, too. No tears. I said to her, you’re 15, I’m 51. Same dream, same outcome, same positive attitude! We took a picture looking like we’ve won! Yes, we did. We just gained a very enriching experience and met each other. I gave them my card. They came back to where Christine and I stood, and introduced us to the rest of the family. We promised to stay in touch and not to forget each other as our brilliant destiny awaits elsewhere. The “NO” we got means “Next Opportunity.” My prayer before auditioning was for God to take the wheel and guide me where I need to be. God’s answer was clear…”I have something better in mind for you”
While waiting, Christine met the CEO of an inspirational company that owns retreat venues next to golf courses in Mexico and other exotic locations. She also ran into an old friend whose daughter, a singer and songwriter, was also auditioning. She loved our RESILIENCE by Ferlie inspirational jewelry & apparel! She ended up ordering from us a few t-shirts, 2 bracelets and a custom made “Allergic to Drama” bracelet set with stones. She trusted us with a blank check. She agreed to help us promote our business in Long Island.
It was a really lovely experience. Will I do it again? No. It was enough that I found my answer. I truly believe my finest day is yet to come. A reality show is not what God planned for me. I am always grateful, never resentful.
So, my dear friends, you won’t see me at The Voice on TV. You may see me at my own Ferlilicious show one day 🙂
I am so thankful for all your kind thoughts, prayers, well wishes and loving support. I truly, deeply appreciate it.
With love and gratitude,