So, it's been a couple of days since auditions for the new season of NBC's The Voice came through Baltimore, and I had announced on Facebook that I would be auditioning. My plan was to come home from my gig at Stan & Joe's South in Edgewater and stay up all night long since I had picked the 7 AM slot (what was I thinking?!) then take the Light Rail into the city to avoid the pain-in-the-ass act of finding parking near the Baltimore Convention Center.
Mind you, I had auditioned for the reality TV show twice before (2015 in New York, 2016 in Philly), so I knew what I was getting into: I'd stand in a long line for about 2 hours, hand my TV release form to a person working there, be taken into a waiting area to wait for another 2 hours, then be taken in a group of 10 to a private room with an NBC representative, we'd be called one at a time to stand up, since a verse & a chorus of a song, then sit back down and let another person go. Both times, we all were told that we "weren't what would make me turn my chair around" and were sent home, no real feedback, not even gas money.
All that week leading up to the weekend, the memories of the two previous auditions had been bubbling in my head. Half of me thought I should go do it because I had told you all that I was going to do it, and didn't wanna disappoint you all. The other half of me thought I shouldn't because judging by the first 2 times, it would be a big waste of time.
Lucky for me, my choice was very clear based off of my circumstances: For one, I had completely worn out my voice after singing for about 4 hours despite a 15 minute break and the fact that my loop station helps me rest my voice while I play some guitar over my loops. And two, I couldn't print out my TV release form since Tracey and I had just gotten new set top boxes and a new router from Verizon, and our wireless printer was taking forever to connect to the new WiFi.
So instead of wrestling with that, I decided to simply go to bed and forget about The Voice.
Even if I hadn't had those two things happen to me, I'm pretty sure I would've backed out of auditioning anyway. This is because I now realize that performers who audition for shows like The Voice, American Idol, America's Got Talent and the like don't do it because they want to make a living doing their art.
They do it only to be, guess what?! FAMOUS!!!
That's right, I said it. All they want, whether they realize it or not, is their 15 minutes of fame. And guess what, even if you make it all the way and win one of these competition shows, odds are that you'll only get 15 minutes of fame in the context of music history. I can count on one hand the amount of relevant artists that are products of these competition shows (Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Adam Lambert, Daughtry, and Phillip Phillips pop to mind). The rest of them are often forgotten about within a couple of months and are relegated to playing shopping malls, casinos, hotels, and Oprah's "Where Are They Now?" segments.
This is not what I want out of music or my life.
Even if I never get to what I like to call "Green M&M's Famous" with music, I will be perfectly content if I am able to pay my bills and live comfortably by recording and performing music ALONE and not have to drive a school bus or bag groceries to make ends meet. I want to be able to record all the songs I wrote directly from my heart and soul about all the experiences I've had in my 24.5 years on this planet, and present them to the world hoping somebody will like what they hear and relate to it in some way, shape, or form. And I want to be able to meet all these people by going on tour, seeing my country and my planet along the way. I know that won't be easy, and I know it'll take a long time and lots of work to make that happen, but I'm more motivated than ever to make it happen for myself.
And I know for damn sure that one of the ways to make that happen is not auditioning for The Voice.