This past spring/early summer, I received an email from a producer on The Voice.
Yes, for real.
She invited me to their private auditions in a nearby city. I was in total disbelief at first, and so were all the people I called screaming through the phone, “GUESS WHAT?!” I remember thinking to myself, this could be actual destiny happening to me right now! It was wild, seriously. The idea. Complete insanity.
I remember taking the two hour drive down weeks later. I’d selected three songs like the instructions had said and had a FaceTime rehearsal with my accompanist at the hotel the night before the big day.
Driving up to the warehouse where the auditions were held I saw artists outside rehearsing their songs, playing their instruments and getting look-overs and make-up fixes from their friends. I was solo, did a last look in the mirror. Said a lil prayer, hopped out and walked in just SO confidently.
Sitting in the waiting room, a couple of singers were doing voice warm ups, and I honestly felt like everyone was just doing the most. I don’t know, I just felt like what was meant to be would surely be…
Fast forward: The girl who was warming up and rehearsing outside before she walked in auditioned right before me. She went through to the next round.
I walked in next, still feeling like I had it in the bag. Sang my first song all the way through. Good sign. And then the producer spoke:
“We appreciate you coming out, but it’s just not the sound we’re looking for today.”
The world stopped for about twenty-seven seconds.
I attempted to process this rejection. Somehow I managed to say, “Thank you so much for the opportunity.” (instead of) “Excuse me, come again?”
It sucked so badly to make all those phone calls telling everyone the journey was over after just one song. I had a long ride home to figure out what all this meant. Why God? Why even create opportunity if it was gonna turn into nothing? And I wasn’t asking in a bitter manner; rather a sincere one. Like, okay. I am humbled enough to listen now, God. What are you trying to tell me?
And this is what came to me:
One: All the opportunity in the world can be given to you, but if you are if you are not willing to prepare, you will miss it every time.
Two: People may see you and recognize who you are, but if you don’t know, it won’t matter.
You see, I didn’t prepare for that audition. I selected the songs the day before. Rehearsed them on the drive down to the audition. I could’ve done a simple Google search: best songs to audition. I didn’t even do that. I was lazy, in all honesty, because I thought my voice would be enough. My gift. My mere showing up.
Wrong. I was so wrong.
And. I learned that day that I didn’t know who I was as an artist. The other people auditioning knew their genre, look, sound, voice, strengths, plus all of it was cohesive, made sense, and could be articulated if asked about. If I would’ve been asked on that day, I would have stumbled over random words and guesses.
I had so much work to do. OMGeee! What an eye opener! I needed that audition, and not for the chance to be on a national television show, but to make me realize that no matter how amazing my gift, or who sees me, it will never matter if I am not doing the work.
It sucked so badly, but oh how that rejection made me work so hard to be better
and be prepared
for the next time that
falls in my lap.