Ever think to yourself, “I wonder what would happen if I auditioned for the ‘The Voice’?” I asked myself that question and as luck would have it, I found out that auditions were being held in NYC for season 3. I got to thinking about what I would be demonstrating to my kids if I let my life pass without ever having really tried to do something with the gift I was given. I use it to make a modest living, but never really chased a dream. Then I reevaluated my dream… Did I really even have one? What is it, exactly? It made me chuckle to think that maybe I didn’t really know yet.
I spend a great deal of time involved in music, one way or another, and it’s more second nature then something I consider “working at”. So here I was trying to pin down exactly what I was striving to achieve, and I realize that all I want out of life in general is to set an example of strength, endurance and perseverance for my family. I want to work hard for what I have, and more importantly, let my children see that hard work pays off. It dawned on me how I’d feel if they followed in my footsteps, and hey, no parent wants to see their kids not pursue their talents in a big way…
So, off I go to NYC with a fierce curiosity, and an even stronger determination to show my kids that you can’t win if you don’t play. By time we got there, I was a total nervous wreck. (Seriously.) Not having any idea of what the audition process was going to be like, I walked in there shaking. My group waited for what seemed an eternity, so we all had time to do ourselves in mentally. By time we were called into the room I was able to keep my nerves somewhat in check and thought to myself, “I got this”.
Then I saw my name near the top of the stack and my heart sank. My blood pressure soared and I could hear my heart banging in my ears. It was “go-time”, and I was scared senseless. I took my place in front of the judge, held my shaking hands together and closed my eyes. ”At last, my love has come along…”. It was as if I have never uttered a word in public before. I could hardly breathe. A million different thoughts went through my mind in a matter of nano-seconds. Out of the chaos my inner voice was clear and it was screaming at me: “What are you doing? You do this for a living, get it together!” I opened my eyes and sang for my life. ”That was great! “Where’d that big ‘ole voice come from?”, uttered the judge with a smile on his face. In my heart I felt that I had represented myself well, and this just might be “my turn”.
I returned to my seat, confident and proud. The process repeated for all the other contestants, and then we waited for what could be life-changing news. ”I’m so sorry, but I don’t believe what I’m looking for is in this group. Please don’t give up, come back again…yada yada yada”. What a bummer. Our names will not be known by anyone, who doesn’t already know it. We will not be opening up that Swiss bank account anytime soon.
The next thing that happened shocked me. I walked out of the room, ahead of everyone else, with an ear-to-ear smile on my face. Though I won’t be making headlines on a reality-TV show this year, I gave it a shot. I will never again sit by the side-lines and wonder, “What if…?”
While I’m not sure that winning a contest is the avenue for me, I am certain that just by giving it a try, I came out a better person for it. My sister so poignantly reminded me, that none of my music heroes are known from winning a competition. They are where they are because they worked for it. Countless gigs, lack of sleep, time away from family are just some of the sacrifices made by musicians who love what they do and are committed to sharing their song with anyone who will listen. So, that being said–I’ll keep on keeping on.
My kids will hopefully see my experience as a motivation to climb their own “mountain” no matter how great the odds, and that’s all I ever wanted.