Trying out for “American Idol” was a dream come true.
Ever since the first season of “American Idol” appeared on television I have promised myself that as soon as I am 16 I must audition for this show.
I always thought, you know, it can’t be that hard to make it through to Hollywood. Boy, was I in for a rude awakening!
It was quite an experience and one that I will never regret. There were 10,000 people in Milwaukee that day and 9,900 of them were amazing singers. We were to be lined up at 5 that morning.
Once inside the Bradley Center, after a couple of hours of standing, smiling for the cameras and group singalongs, they brought in Danny Gokey and Ryan Seacrest. We did several group TV takes for the show with the entire crowd cheering “Milwaukee” or “Cheese.”
I’m not sure if the process is a secret, but it went like this. Twelve tables were lined up across the floor of the Bradley Center divided by curtains. Each table had one or two producers for judges. The actual “celebrity” judges aren’t going to be involved until late August or early September.
Four people approached the table at a time. The judge pointed at you and it was your turn to give it all you’ve got. Once they believe they’ve heard enough, they cut you off and point to the next person in your clan, allowing them their turn. There was a group of four people right behind us for their shot, and another four lined up behind them.
I ended up auditioning at about 7 p.m., 14 hours after arrival, and there were still hundreds after me. I was flip-flopping between songs all day long, but I ended up singing a current hip-hop and rhythm and blues song “Halo” by Beyoncè that my mother insisted sounded lovely.
I was the first one in my quad to perform and I probably had around 30 seconds to strut my stuff. I did not make the cut to the next round, but I was very proud of myself for accomplishing the goal I had set 10 years ago.
I have had great encouragement from the school music program and friends and family. Music and singing have always been a part of my life and I plan on keeping them there forever more.
I hope to possibly pursue a career where I can put my God-given talents to good use.