Thursday, July 28, 2011

These Dreams ... by Liimu

Last week, I told you guys how excited I was to audition for the Voice on NBC. What an experience that was. On my way up to NJ, I heard Alicia Keys ballad version of “New York State of Mind” and got chills –this was really my time. I was going to be the one to make it! I got to Jersey City about 7 pm the night before and picked up my friend, Gabbi, who would be hosting me for the night. We went by the stadium to see if people were already lined up. They were, but for the Rihanna concert rather than the auditions. The security guy said we couldn’t line up for auditions before 3:30 the next morning. I was thrilled that I wouldn’t have to get in line at midnight.

Before turning in for the night, I sang my audition song for my friend and she said I’d never sounded better. I slept only a couple hours, I was so excited that my dreams were finally going to come true.

My friend and I met at the stadium at 4 am and were told that we couldn’t line up for the auditions until 5. We parked in a nearby hotel parking lot and I applied my makeup and redid my braids (it was going to be 102 degrees later that day so I wasn’t taking any chances with curls). As it turned out, we were near the front of the line so we were in the stadium by 7:30 am. The guy in front of me in line asked me if I had ever auditioned for anything before and I told him no, I hadn’t. “But hey, it only takes one time,” I said with confidence, truly believing that this was the only time I would ever have to stand on line to audition.

When we got inside the stadium, I had to go to the bathroom, but everything moved pretty quickly. We stood in corrals waiting for our registration bracelets and were told that we would be auditioning in groups of ten. I remembered to put my high heels on while we stood in line and danced to Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” along with a friendly child psychiatrist in a wheelchair in the line next to me who had driven down from New England and was auditioning for the first time.

When we were finally shuttled up to our audition room, I could feel the adrenaline begin to rush through my veins. The assistant producer was counting to ten to determine who would be in the first group and thanks to the fact that the girl in front of me was a minor and her mom wouldn’t be counted, I was lucky number ten. Because I was the last to be welcomed into the audition room, I was the first to audition.

The assistant producer asked me my name and age. When I told her I was 41, she said I didn’t look it. “Great,” I said. “Then can we say I’m 26?” Polite laughter. I sang my song as I had practiced it, and the room erupted in applause when I finished. “Nice,” she said. “Do you have anything else?” I told her I could sing a faster song, either old school or new school. At this, she turned to face the room. “We want contemporary songs. We want to be able to picture you as an artist performing a song that would be on the radio today, so don’t just pick a song that allows you to sing the big notes. Pick a song that shows who you are as an artist.” So why, reader, did I then choose to sing “Forget You,” by Cee-Lo? Any of you who have checked out my reverbnation page ( know that I am nothing like Cee-Lo. The reason I sang it is that every other current song I know jumped right out of my head at that moment. Of course, driving home I remembered I could have sung “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus or “Jesus Take the Wheel” by Carrie Underwood or “Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson. But in that moment, I didn’t know any contemporary songs at all.

Still, I have to admit that I was stunned silent with surprise when we got to the end of the auditions and she said, “Thanks to all of you for coming, we’re not going to ask any of you to come back. Hope to see you for Season 3.”

I was devastated. I called my friend Kelly, who is an absolute guru with regard to employing the law of attraction to manifest the reality of your dreams. She had called me the night before to say she had goosebumps and that meant I was going to get it. When she heard I had been rejected, she was truly shocked, she said. I told her I was feeling like giving singing up for good, and I was mad that it’s so deeply in my blood that I knew I’d never be able to do that. It’s like someone who has come to such a low point in their life that they want to kill themselves, but they have been raised to truly believe it’s a sin and so they know they must go on.

She said it was good for me to honor my feelings and be sad, but that she wanted me to work on getting back to positivity and hope in the coming days. That she wanted me to google how many people got famous after 40 (not many, I’ve since come to learn). She said she believed in me. I started to feel better, and hopeful again. Then I got a text from my husband, saying he was genuinely surprised, and even more surprised by how disappointed he also was. Considering the fact that passing the auditions was going to mean many weeks away from home for me and many weeks managing all four kids for him, this was a big deal. He said, “Next year, Max will be better able to travel, anyway.” It was decided. I would audition again. I still cried for about 20 minutes before hitting the road to make my way home.

When I got home and told my children, they cried nearly as hard as I had. This was a family dream, not just mine. We were all convinced it was going to come true. None of us is ready to give up on it. I just have some work to do between now and next year, and I am prepared to do it. I will take voice lessons, I will lose the rest of the baby weight, I will have more songs prepared, I will have a better handle on our finances. This dream is far from over.

When I was helping my sister manifest the job of her dreams, she interviewed for what she thought was her dream job about a year into the process. When she didn’t get it, she was devastated. She pressed on, and I reminded her daily that if her plan was not being realized it’s because an even better one was in the works. How could God’s plan be worse than ours? Sure enough, 6 months later, she landed an even better job that continues to challenge and amaze her. For the first time in her life, she can imagine staying in this job for the rest of her life. If she’d given up on her dreams and taken a safe job at that point, she would have turned off the path right before she happened upon the oasis she’d been promised. I have enough experience with the Law of Attraction and manifesting my desires to know that the only way I can fail is if I give up on my dreams. I’ve come too far to give up now.

A couple days ago, my 8 year old daughter found out she did not make elite championships in swimming. She swam hard and well this season, coming in at the front of the pack in all her events. She was sure she would be in A champs this year. Finding out she was at the top of the pack in B champs gave her little consolation. What did console her was when I reminded her of my experience with the Voice audition, and that in the same way, I had worked hard and was surprised and devastated to find that all my hard work wasn’t quite enough. “Honor your disappointment,” I told her. “You have every right to be sad. For a period. Then it’s time to start focusing on what you have to do between now and next year to be in A champs next year.” She smiled. She had seen me go through that disappointment and come out the other side optimistic and determined. Plus, she always likes to think that she’s just like me. I feel honored to think that she thinks that highly of me. Truthfully, I feel the same way about her.

And we are just alike. We’ve got dreams and we are determined to make them come true.
In the past, I have gone after my dreams half-heartedly and then when they didn’t come true, I would blame it on the fact that I didn’t give it my all. It’s really painful and sad when I give it my all and they still don’t immediately come to fruition, but I hold on to my belief that if I continue to believe and continue to pursue my dreams with passion and heart, the will one day come to pass. And that’s not just my dream, that’s the family dream.

To hear my audition song, click here. Please leave a comment and subscribe to my YouTube channel!

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