The Audition

Is it March already?  Jeeze.   Time is a flyin' for sure.  My husband saw the first blue bonnetts of the season on his drive yesterday.  We had a good storm last night.  Baseball season is upon us.   Everyone is good and healthy and oh yeah..I tried out for "The Voice".

Wha?  Yup.  I tried out for the TV Show, "The Voice".  February 9th, in Houston.  My friend Laurie encouraged me to do it.  I refused.  I have been in a lot of talent shows etc.  I did not want to do one more.  Especially at 48 years old.  There have been a lot of you who have so kindly told me that I should try out for "The Voice".  I thank you and really, I am so honored that you would think that I have what it takes to be on a show like that.   I do not take this job lightly.  Any time I am gifted with the opportunity to sing/perform,  I am grateful.

So basically, Laurie dragged me to the audition, kicking and screaming.  No, not really.  But she kind of has a way of making one think that one can and should do what she believes they should do.  She has a persuasive spirit and a mean stare.  Ok..she doesn't have a mean stare, but she (and I am sure you all have a friend like this) has this ability to make you feel like you could conquer  the world.  So, after a few months of making me believe that I should do it..I did it.

I did research, I practiced, I visualized, I meditated, I sang.  I got my hair done, nails done, eyebrows waxed.  Bought an awesome leather skirt.  Wore my lucky Bill Worrell and Marti Perkins jewelry.   I had something that was dear to me from my mom, dad, Walt and Luke in my purse.  I bought new makeup, new tights, a lucky bra and fake eyelashes (I still can not figure out how to put them on).  I studied the U Tube videos of people's experiences and song choices.  I ate healthy, drank water, exercised and prayed for God's highest good.  I had a blind audition with 3 wonderful friends and Laurie to help me decide which song moved them the most.  I stayed very calm throughout the process of preparation (3 months) and told maybe 3 people.  I did not even tell my mom until about a week before I went to Houston.  I got Laurie and I a hotel room, close to the Reliant Center, so we wouldn't have to drive 3 hours,  the morning of the audition.  We did not stay out late and drink bottles of wine, like we would have liked to.  We talked about faith, love, gifts and grace.  We went to sleep at a decent hour and woke up refreshed.  We had a great breakfast.

I payed attention to the moments.  I know that that is important.  I also wanted to tell Ellen, when I got on her show, that I payed attention to the moments.   Ellen would have agreed that it's the moments that count, not the big prize.  

SO.  We got to the stadium early.  I checked in (you had to have signed up a month or so ahead of time)  We were given a time (all 3000 of us) and a date to be there for the open audition.  Laurie decided to wait for me in the lobby.  Only people who were auditioning could go past a certain point.   The whole process was handled really well.

My audition time was 2pm.  I stood in line for an hour then we started moving.  We had to go through a security check.  Then we had to wait in line for another 40 minutes to show our ID's.  We then had to sit and wait until our group of 100 could go upstairs.  There were approximately 1000 people waiting in groups of 100.  The rest were either ahead of us or waiting in line behind us.  We waited for an hour and change..sitting really close..and were told to stand up and follow the leader.  People were really nice.  All different ages, ethnicities and various colors of hair.  The production company did a fantastic job of keeping us entertained.

We followed the production assistant up the escalator to....another waiting room.  Here we filed in with approximately 500 other people.   We were told that we could not use our cell phones or computers for anything.  No facebook.  No Twitter.  No Texting.  No Calls.  They would take our devices away.  They needed this part of the process to stay as secret as they could keep it.  We could use the bathroom,  if we asked permission.  The staff, again, was great.  They were funny, engaging yet pretty dang strict.  Like funny nuns.  They did trivia to keep our nervousness at bay.  Again..I was paying attention to the moments..and no, I was not nervous.  I was excited.  By this time, I have been there for 4 hours.  I was kind of starting to melt.  I had a little makeup and some water in my purse, so I went to the restroom to freshen up.  It was high school all over again.  Suddenly I was thrown back to the days when I couldn't fit into my Jordache jeans and felt completely out of place.  I tried to block the singing, the chatting, the secret smoking, the insecurities that permeated the bathroom stalls, the stares..from piercing my soul.  OK..that sounded kind of dramatic.  I really just felt like I should have held it and put on some lipstick secretly at my seat.  It was a sight. Backstage at  pageants, talent shows, green rooms..sometimes do not have the allure that you would think they have.. and this one did not.  I quickly exited the housewives of talent hell and went back to my designated area.

An hour and a half later it was my row's turn to go through the mystery doors.  The doors that would lead us to fame and riches.  All of our problems will be gone, after we sing to the powers that be.  They counted 10 of us to go and stand against the wall and wait.  We waited for the doors to swing open.  Once opened, we then walked down a hallway filled with more groups of 10 standing in line to go into yet another door.  There were probably 12 doors.  The staff was organized, light hearted and jeeze..probably so tired.   We stood against another wall and listened the people inside the rooms,  singing their hearts out for the casting directors.  Chorus' of Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys, Mariah Kerry, Patsy Cline.  All muffled and mixing together.  The nervousness from the 120 people standing outside the doors was palpable.  People wondering if they have the right song..and right look...and right clothes..and right style.  Me?  Well this wasn't my first rodeo.  I was ready to mildly rock.

The door opens.  The staff member tells the people exiting, "Thank you, good job and try out again next time".  These were the people that were excused.  The people that get a "call back" exit through another door.  This was the loser exit.  Harsh. we walked.  I was first to enter.  I expected at least a few casting directors, but was prepared for just one..because I did my research.  I said "Hi" enthusiastically to the woman behind the desk, with the Mac lap top and the empty yogurt containers beside her notes.  She was probably about 35 years old and really kind of Austin/funky looking.  I liked her energy.  She was light and friendly.  Kind of like that folks who come out to hear Walt and The Mystiqueros.   We sat in our semi-circle and she said, "Thank you everyone for trying out today".  " When I call your name, please stand on the tape mark and state the name of the song you will be singing today."  "Please sing just a verse and a chorus".  "Acappella"

The auditions went pretty fast.  No one really blew me away except one young lady that sang stone country.  She was kind of big, had black hair with bangs and sang like a country Adelle. She was number 5.   I was number 9.

"Kristine Wilkins".  I got up and said.."Thank you.  Kristine is my formal name.  I go by Tina"  She said,
"Cool, Tina..what are you going to sing for us?"  I said..I'm going to sing, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For",  Then I sang.  My ass off.  I did.  I sang that song, because I love it, I sing it at our gigs and I knew that  it showed me as an artist..not someone trying to copy someone famous.  (we could not do original songs)  Then, like Ralphy on "A Christmas Story", I stood there.  Like when he gave the teacher his "theme"...and was lost in a foggy dream..finally had to be invited to sit down..yea..that was me.  I am used to singing more than a minute and a half.

Then the moment came.  She said.."You all did great".  "This is who I would like to stay..and the rest of you are all excused."  She said.."Mary Peterson, please see me.  Thank you all again"

It was not my name.  It was not the awesome country girl's name either.  Who was Mary Peterson??  It was the African American woman, impeccably dressed, who sang "I can't live..if livin' is without you"...Mariah Kerry's version.  The one where she yells.  And Miss Mary yelled.  It was really pitchy and not great.  It was pretty good.  It was not better than little alternative country girl.  I was stunned.  I honestly thought, after hearing the level of talent, that I might actually move on to the next level.  Nope.  Exit out the loser door.  Mary Peterson got to exit to the fame and fortune door.

So I walked the long walk, down the corridor, down the escalator and on my way, texted Laurie to tell her that I did not get a call back.  She met me at the bottom of the escalator with a Starbucks.  She waited 5 and a half hours, in the lobby..  I felt bad for her for wasting her Saturday.  I did not feel bad for me.  I did all that I could and wouldn't change a thing.  Then we walked out to the car.  I was so grateful for Laurie being my friend.  She was pure delight and positive.   I was also grateful  that I decided to wear my Chippewa Boots and not high heels that day.  I slid into the passenger seat and we drove back to Austin.  My head was buzzing a bit..and started thinking too much..maybe it was my age.  Holy shit.  My age.  It never occurred to me that I might be too old.  WOW.  dang.  Expletive.  Too Old.

Well..what can I say.  Am I grateful that I tried out?  Sure.  Would I do it again?  Nah.  It was a good experience.  The production company really was great to work with.  I am a little bummed that I will not be on the show and maybe somewhere down the line get to meet Ellen, because I defied the odds and became a top 5 contestant at 48.  Might have been cool for the the other moms who are in the same boat..with careers put on hold to raise their children.  Maybe they will have some real person over 26 on the show.  It could happen.  It just might.  I hope I see Mary Peterson on the show.  She was really classy.  She had on heels for 5 and half hours.  That alone was worthy of a call back.

I think that they were casting for the season after the one that is expected to show in March.  I will watch to see if there is anyone that looks familiar.  Then I will crack open a book.  Perhaps poetry.  Rumi is always a good read.   Truthful, passionate and really old.

Monday, March 10 2013 12:12 am


  1. dear kristine,
    methinks you a ballsy, tender, funky, sophisticated chippewa-sportin' helluva talented angel.
    with a totally ageless spirit!
    and i, tho' your elder, can only aspire to grow up to be just like you!

    1. I must agree with every word my little Cheryl DeeDee wrote! You are tops in my book Sweet T!


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