My America’s Got Talent Audition
Last night I spent the night at my mom’s apt. in Brooklyn so I could get up at 6am, haul myself and guitar on the Subway to 34th St. to audition for America’s Got Talent (Season 7) at the Javits Center in NYC. I had trouble sleeping and actually only slept for about 5 hours, but managed to get up and catch the Subway to 34th St.
When I arrived, the line was around the block. All contestants were handed red wrist bands and a number. The line to get inside went very quickly and I was glad that the weather was warm and sunny. It only took about a half hour to get inside, but once we got inside, we all had to stand around and do endless “crowd shots” with a nice English lady coaching us to wave and smile at the camera, on cue. After what seemed like forever, they finally started calling out groups of 50 people at a time. I was number 538, so I had to sit around on the floor for awhile until my number was called. It was about 11am by this time. When my number was called along with the others in my group, we were marched to another large room with gray cement floors and big fire hoses and sprinkler stands in the middle of the room. I guess they set this up for conventions and put down carpeting etc. but it was stripped down for the AGT auditions. We then had to wait on another long line that stretched around the walls of the room. After waiting on this for another half hour, I was almost to the sign-in table to hand in my paperwork when Nick Cannon arrived.
We were all asked to come over for more crowd shots with Nick, but the people still waiting on line didn’t want to lose their place. After much reassurance that they were going in order of our numbers and that we wouldn’t lose our place in the line, most of us went over to join the crowd. At this point, I got to see a glimpse of Nick Cannon (mostly the back of his head), but he did turn around and glance at me for a few seconds. Whoo hoo! I really like Nick because he makes a great show host. He is warm and personable. He makes the contestants feel more at ease with his sense of humor and down-to-earth personality. I also love the fact that he rolls his sleeves up and joins some of the contestants on stage to help them with their act. He is very brave, but I’m sure has great insurance and is getting paid well! It was also his birthday, so we all sang him the Happy Birthday song.
In any case, after more crowd filming, I got back on the line at the place were I was before and handed in my registration papers. After this, contestants are free to sit down in the chairs provided and practice for their audition. The problem is that it is almost impossible to practice because the hall is very large and with all of the other people practicing and talking, you can’t hear a thing with all of the reverberations from the high ceilings etc. Not to mention the fact that a marching band complete with dancers was demonstrating their act in the hall along with other variety acts. I even thought of leaving for awhile, but was afraid that they would call my number, so I sat around for another 3 hours getting very tired and bored. If I had to hear one more contestant singing Adele’s “Someone Like You” or “Rolling In The Deep” I thought I would go nuts. I love Adele’s music, but this was too much. Luckily there was a vendor selling Starbucks coffee and other food items, so I had a coffee to keep from falling asleep.
At about 4:30pm, they finally called my group of 50 to go downstairs to another smaller holding room where they were interviewing various contestants on film. I was only there for a short time, maybe another 20 minutes when they called my group back out to wait in the hallway. At this point I got to talk with some of the other musicians and started getting very nervous. I made the mistake of wearing these very high-heeled black leather boots that I had never wore before and by this point, they were starting to hurt my feet very badly. Being nervous and in pain doesn’t make for a good audition, but I ignored the constant urge to run away, and finally myself and about ten other contestants were called into the judging room. The judge was a young woman, probably in her twenties. She called each of us up to stand on an X taped to the floor, introduce ourselves and do our 90 second performance. There were contestants in the room ranging from the age of 8 to the age of 59, so I wasn’t the oldest in the room. That made me feel better. Unlike The Voice show audition I did back in July, the AGT judge was more lenient about time constraints. It seemed like most of the contestants were able to finish their songs before being stopped. I guess they are used to giving people a little more time because there aren’t just singers auditioning, but people playing instruments, using props, performing in groups etc.
I think my rendition of the Billy Idol song, White Wedding went well considering that I had to wait for 10 hours to perform for 90 seconds I played acoustic guitar and sang. Callbacks aren’t until March, so I won’t know anything until then, but of course there’s The Voice and X-Factor to get ready for as well! The judge was rocking back and forth to the music, so I think she liked my playing. It’s a “crap shoot” but what else would I be doing on a typical Saturday afternoon? Food shopping, laundry? You’ve got to be “in it to win it” and at least I can say that I had the guts and stamina to go through the audition process and put myself out there.