When I was 10 years old, I wanted to audition for American Idol. American Idol was THE show to make your dream of being a singer come true. I always believed that I would be able to make it to the finale one day. I remember sitting at my desk in my room planning out the years, even down to the days until I turned 16 so I could finally audition for my dream show.
My first audition was in Charleston, South Carolina. This audition was back in 2011, where I stood in line for six hours, wearing cowboy boots, dressed in a floral and brown dress, and believed I was the next Taylor Swift. I didn’t realize I was going to be so intimidated that I would forget my words. The audition was set up like my third audition in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Arena – rows of curtains, tables, and producers waiting to hear you sing.
The first audition, I was devastated by the rejection. I was told, “I was good but not at the level the season was at.” I stayed behind after the three other hopeful singers left and the man told me that I was good and to come back next year. I never did.
Last year, I audition for my second time. It was the first time I had sang in public for 5 years. Other than my occasional bar or karaoke with my friends, I had not “performed” in years. My second audition in Disney Springs felt like I finally was able to relive that I could sing and that I wanted to pursue this dream again. If you want to read more about my second audition, click here because I have a whole blog on the process, why, how long and what song I sang.
The Disney Springs audition was completely different than the ESPN Wide World of Sports Arena on the Disney property. It was more organized and this time I felt it was more magical. When I found out American Idol was renewed for their second season on ABC, I knew this could be my time. I knew that I could do it and I believed that I could make it to the next round. I knew I wanted to sing “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus.
This year was different and I could feel it. I wanted to be able to share my story through my song choice and my paper story that you turn into the producers once you go up to sing. So, I wanted to share this with you…
Why did I choose The Climb?
I chose the song because it reminds me of the battle I went through when I was younger. When I was in middle school, I was bullied, full of self-doubt, lacked confidence and didn’t believe in myself. I had no self-esteem. I found throughout the dark times that I could sing. I would sing to myself all the time. This helped me realize that I have a talent and when I was able to sing, I performed on a stage for 5 years, singing to tracks and dancing. When I was on stage, I was the person I wanted to be and the person I wanted people to talk to and like.
I would sit at the foot of my bed crying every day because I didn’t understand why I was being excluded. I didn’t understand why I didn’t look like everyone else. I was confused as to why people would say I didn’t need to eat that big of a sandwich or tell me I would never have a boyfriend because I had too much cellulite. Those are some of the reasons why I wanted to sing and escape the reality I was in.
If you think about the lyrics, it talks about the beginning of me dreaming. “I can almost see it…that dream I’m dreaming…there’s a voice inside my head saying you’ll never reach it.” I really was able to see that my dream of being a singer/artist would come true with this audition, but there was something always telling me that it’s okay if I don’t make it. “It’s okay if you don’t get the okay. You’ve done this two times already, what does it matter if you have another no?”
“I’ve gotta keep trying, gotta keep my head held high.” Days leading to this audition, I felt as though I already knew the answer I was going to receive. I feel like it was my conscious telling me to keep moving forward, keep my head up and keep going. I wanted to believe so badly that this was my chance to make it.
“always gonna be an uphill battle, sometimes I’m gonna have to lose.” Uphill battles were my favorite lyrics. When I sang that part, I was reminded of all the times I was bullied, I didn’t love myself, I wasn’t strong, I felt defeated and when I didn’t belong anymore. I knew I would lose those battles, but I came out stronger than ever.
“ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side…it’s the climb.” This is where I had the most power in my voice because of my past and everything I had been through. It was a long journey to self-confidence and self-love. It took a long time, but I got there. I overcame the bullies. I overcame the negativity and learned to be the best I can be – all thanks to singing.
I sang this song to prove that even though I knew I would be rejected, that I went back. I took the rejection and was able to move on and sing again within the same hour I was told no.
Unfortunately, this year I received a no. My third no. A no filled with the words “you have a strong voice, but not strong enough.” I do have a strong voice. A voice that can send a message out to the world.
I did this again to prove that when you keep getting knocked down, just stand right back up and keep fighting. I am typing this crying because of how happy and proud I am of myself for going out there and doing this again. I told myself any opportunity I can get to go and sing for the show, I will. I will never give up on this dream no matter how hard it is to get there or what practice I have to do. I will never give up on my dream that I’ve had for almost 13 years.
Why should I give up when it only takes $30.00 for a tank of gas, 64 miles to Disney World, and a dream?
I hope this blog gives you the motivation to get out there are try something you’ve been dreaming about for years. Figure out the steps it takes to get to that goal and reach for the stars.
If you want to hear me sing my audition song, check out my YouTube channel where I recorded a practice run of my audition!
Until the next blog,