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It was an amazing experience auditioning for America’s Got Talent. For those who are interested here is what my tired brain cells retained. It was a 13 hour day with NBC after traveling 964 miles to audition for 90 seconds – a once in a lifetime opportunity. I arrived an hour late to register due to some housing challenges we experienced in LA.
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After making my way through security with Eve and my bags and getting through the registration process I headed to the big holding room to get set up and fill out more paperwork. I found a cool spot in front of a giant mirror to set up Eve.
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Minutes after I got set up they called hundreds of us to go outside for a photo shoot. My number was the last set called. And they added, “Bring your instruments.” Oh boy. The harp weighs 17 pounds. But I figured that it would get me to the front of the pack for the photo shoot so I took a big breath and lugged Eve the hundred yards or so to the front entrance of the convention center following the other 500 folks. (Thankfully I had decided on sneakers instead of high heels or I wouldn’t have made it through the next hour.)
When we arrived outside I put the harp down to take a breath (Mind you I was on day 6 of a cleanse/semi fast and traveled 1000) a producer approached me and asked me if she could take me to the front row. “Of course,” I said, “That is what I came here for.” I also told her that I had driven all night from Portland because I felt they needed to meet me in person. She said, “We love that!”
She parked me in the front row next to a really colorful clown/juggler – Richie the Barber. My son loved Richie and so did AGT apparently.
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On the other side of me was a rapper looking guy covered in shimmering gold from head to toe. Next to him was a drum corp full of darling kids and some adults that kept the rhythm for us. On the other side of Richie the Clown were a few other characters.
I thought they were going to start positioning us for a group photo shoot, but NO! They wanted me to lead this pack of 500 in a march to the auditions down a 100 yard drag that they had lined with cameras (In the heat carrying my 17 lb harp). “OK then. I can do this,” I said to myself. And I said it again the second and third time they had us hustle the 100 yards through the camera gauntlet with our instruments. The last lap I did with an accordion player. Thank God I gave up playing piano!
Finally, they stopped us in a place where I could find some shade. They came to me immediately wanting to interview me and then sent a really bizarre looking character over for me to chat with while the cameras were rolling. I won’t spoil anything by revealing the details of those interviews in the event those clips are chosen for the show.
We still weren’t done marching and standing in the heat. Now they wanted us to march back towards the convention center and surround the registration tables and chat it up so they could get footage of excited and interesting contestants registering for the event of their lives.
Low and behold a real harpist rolls up with a giant concert peddle harp and she is stunning – Lara I believe was her name. Her and I had a fun time exchanging information and got photographed together with our harps. She is not my competition thankfully, the other musical comedians are, and there were a lot of them – some extremely clever and talented. I can’t wait to see the show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I heard this interesting being is a singer.
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This gal had a rolling broomstick with a horses head on one end. I understand they were comedians too.
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These guys sing television themes as trained opera singers. Can’t wait to see them perform!
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Suffice it to say it was the greatest people watching in the world – better than an international airport. Approximately seven hours after the parade in the sun I was called to audition.
Another contestant’s mother carried my harp stand into the room and I raced in with my harp. I handed the judges three copies of a one sheet I had put together to help market my story and my cause. AGT loves a great story. They read every word before looking up to address me.
I got to tell them about my dream of launching the Laughing in the Face of Cancer tour and why I was creating this offbeat musical comedy to teach serious health information.
When they told me go I started my routine. (Gonna keep the details of that to myself for now so I don’t spoil anything WHEN I get chosen). When I got to what they considered an X-rated word they stopped me and cleared the room as there were two children and their parents in the room. “Family Show” they said. However, they asked me to start again instead of asking me for more appropriate material.
When I finished my first song they asked for something else. I played a commercial. Then they wanted to hear something off the playlist that was included on the paperwork I gave them. I performed another half a song.
The little girls were brought back in the room and I got to watch them and two other acts perform. Knowing that these producers really appreciate brevity and people who move fast, I was ready to spring to my feet when the auditions were over. So I grabbed my harp, blurted out, “Ok no more songs about penis’ next time, I get it,” and started to sprint out of the room. They told me to sit down. I had been chosen to move on. I would be invited to perform in front of a producer with much more clout later in the day. They gave me some great advice on how to handle my next audition in front of the big wigs. It was sensational advice.
I was then ushered to room 518A (My best friend’s birth numbers)
with the other acts that got a call back.
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I would say they called back about 50 acts out of about 1000 but I truly don’t know. It was a fairly intimate group for the next 4 1/2 hours until I got to perform again at 10 pm.
In that room I met Carol Ann Kaufman who is a world champion whistler. She has agreed to join my Laughing in the Face of Cancer tour. She is amazing. we met a German man who plays the sound harp – a light show activated by his motions and dance.
The two opera singer guys who sing television theme songs fascinated me the most. We bonded and I am all over them to come sing silly songs as part of the Laughing in the Face of Cancer tour. They are interested too.
In that room were also a couple of really talented kids. One boy was probably 11 or 12 and he was singing and playing guitar for a group of adults with all the poise of a Justin Beiber. And there was a young girl who is rumored to be able to out sing Whitney Houston or Susan Boyle. Apparently we are all competing for 2nd place.
The African American twin singers who followed the sound of her voice to the bathroom door couldn’t shut up about her. There will be some extraordinary talent on AGT this year and I still have a shot at being one of those acts.
By the time my second audition came around I was punch drunk tired and the harp takes a lot of focus. I blew the accompaniment on my first silly song but they didn’t care so I kept going with my routine without missing a beat. Like the other set of producers they wanted to hear more. Again I played a commercial and then they requested a song from the list I had given them.
I also got a chance to pitch myself and my usefulness on social media and how critical my mission is. I felt it went very well considering my state of exhaustion at the time.
Since then I wrote a song for Simon Cowell since he is the new celebrity judge this year and one of the original creators of Britian’s Got Talent that started it all.

I was privileged to be interviewed on Bananas on Holiday about my dream of creating the Laughing in the Face of Cancer tour. It was a really fun interview.

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Check it out here: http://www.holidaybananas.com/episodes1/2016/1/20/episode-2-ketchup-kazoos-and-cancer-oh-my#

I tried and failed so many times looking for ways to get attention for and bankroll the causes I care about – homeless, domestic violence and especially getting healthful, Eden-based foods to our population. I have finally found a way to reach people with information in a doable, affordable way.

The Happy Harpist – that’s me, Denise Martin – has set up shop on Younow, Youtube, local comedy clubs and is coming to a stage near you. The Laughing in the Face of Cancer tour is a fun, creative and entertaining way to share my Eden-based, natural healing cancer recovery story, my Eating My Way to Heaven experience (http://eatingmywaytoheaven.com) and my years of life coaching with large audiences and have it be entertainment instead of just a dry healthy-living presentation. It is working. Laughing at ourselves and our baggage is key!

The Laughing in the Face of Cancer tour needs your help please.  May your generosity be rewarded ten fold.     gofund.me/harphealthyadvice

Additionally, we (My son Ezekiel is joining my comedy act) are auditioning for Americas’s Got Talent, as a platform from which to build the Laughing in the Face of Cancer tour an audience.

Here’s my stand-up routine from the Helium Club for a taste of my twisted sense of humor. 

The Laughing in the Face of Cancer tour needs your help please.  May your generosity be rewarded ten fold.     gofund.me/harphealthyadvice

These two videos from my act at Kelly’s Olympian have some life coaching tips in them similar to what I will be teaching in the Laughing in the Face of Cancer tour where I will share with attendees how I beat deadly cancer on my own with attitude and diet, while delighting them with musical comedy and a psychedelic sound activated light show, and group sound therapy treatment.

Come see me on Younow:

https://www.younow.com/denise.martin

Please help me build the Laughing in the Face of Cancer tour with a generous donation. Live coaching sessions on natural health are available for $100 donors as a gratitude gift.

The Laughing in the Face of Cancer tour needs your help please.  May your generosity be rewarded ten fold.     gofund.me/harphealthyadvice

Have a blessed life. All my love and gratitude…denise – Faith Creates!

 

 

 

Source: Syria – A bird in hand is safer than 2 in the bush

RefugeesOur country is said to be 75% Christian, and yet 30 of our governors, who supposedly represent their constituents, are campaigning to ensure that we turn our backs on those in critical need – fleeing the most extreme abuse. How do Christians rectify the above political cartoon (not funny) with their faith? What would Jesus tell our world leaders to do?

Religion and morality aside, accepting Syrian refugees is actually a great way to troll for terrorists. Left to their own devices they have become really creative at penetrating the countries they wish to terrorize. And apparently we aren’t tracking them well enough with the intelligence mechanisms we currently have. But when they roll into our country as refugees, they are under constant surveillance and scrutiny as we control their entry into our communities. We can investigate them til the cows come home and we have them under a microscope.

Case in point… would you rather have a deadly rattle snake in a secure container in your home or know that it is lurking around free in your yard and may find a  way to get into your house while your are sleeping or attack you when you leave? Which is the bigger threat?

Additionally, by reaching out to Syrian refugees we are building relationships with those who may have critical intelligence to share, we are not allienating another group of desparate people that might take us out if they decide to end their miserable lives, and our karma is cleaner. You can’t turn away waves of desparate people and not suffer the moral debt that comes with that Christless decision.

As for the argument that we don’t even take care of our own homeless and hungry citizens – YES! – isn’t that disgusting? They are among us and we are too complacent to reach out to them. But when we start bursting at the seems with Syrian refugees with the same urgent survival needs then we will be forced to Wake-the-Hell up and smell the urine on the sidewalks.

I fled domestic violence with a baby in my arms and felt exactly like a Syrian refugee or Haitian on a boat nearing Miami must feel. There is no going back and apparently nobody willing to help you go forward. Walk one yard in their shoes and think about trying to steer your children to safety after an attack like 911 or Paris or worse and all the while you are being treated like a criminal because your attckers are of the same skin and nationality that you are. Again, what would Jesus ask our world leaders and our governors to do?

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I made this video when Barack Obama was running for President on a platform of serving small sustainable farmers. Seven years later, even with Monsanto in the White House, it is not too late to make this bold move Mr. President. It marries perfectly with Michelle’s health-conscious campaign, and serves Monsanto’s agenda that organic and GMO seeds should not mix. Then every garden needs a lid. Check out the greenhouse that was once prominently on the south lawn of the White House and my vision for the greenhouse dome that can be living and growing on the White House lawn now.

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It really pisses me off when celebrities like Dr. Phil make stupid comments to domestic violence victims like, “Why didn’t you just leave?” I had to school a family court judge who had been on the bench for 35 years too. So let me share with you what I told each of them.

Hitting the door with a child when you live in an abusive home and have no family, car or financial resources is akin to stepping off a cliff and praying that a magical parachute shows up on your back before you splat on the ground.

I recently took another life-busting financial hit trying to raise money and awareness for a nonprofit that works with DV survivors (http://www.voicessetfree.org/) and helped me and my son get off the streets when we fled. I can’t sleep some nights thinking about the families who haven’t made it off the streets yet. But what I learned from my recent experience is that I can’t help those desperate families yet because after 11 years – I still am not stable. But somebody has to care, reach out, raise money and awareness because this pandemic is getting worse, not better.

I know a woman who shot her abuser as he was coming at her with a knife for the last time. He died, she went to prison for 12 years and her children got a life sentence without either parent. Yet today, 3 years after serving her sentence she is more stable than I am. That is not to say that killing someone in self-defense, being criminalized for it, and serving over a decade in prison is a walk in the park. I still wouldn’t trade my experience for hers, but my ride hasn’t been much easier.

I fled on a Sunday night in the rain, barefoot with no money, phone or car; a sick baby in my arms, no family and no where to go where I wouldn’t be stalked by our abuser. Thankfully, the abuser delivered my shoes and phone to the neighbors who housed us for the night.

From there we went to a counseling center where we were allowed to sleep in an office space at night and I cleaned the building in return for our stay. We bounced from couch to shelter to couch for years. Then we went from one abusive housing share to another as people took advantage of our situation, all the while claiming to be helping us.

11 years later we still don’t have a stable home, car or enough income to reinvent our lives. One of the reasons for this ongoing instability is that I refused to leave my very traumatized child in the care of strangers to go chase money. I believed (and still do) that if I didn’t raise him myself and help him deal with the deep traumas that only I knew he was carrying, that I would be visiting him in jail before he hit high school. He needed me by his side.

That decision has paid off for me. My son is an amazing young person with heart and savvy, who can look at his own dysfunctions and make great choices. We are so blessed!!!

Getting out of an abusive home and getting off the streets was just the beginning. I then had to take on a whole nest of crooked court officers that were conspiring to support the abuser because his high dollar attorney was best buds with the first judge we got in front of. It was three solid years of litigious horror. Thankfully, the other party couldn’t hide his behaviors through four grueling days of trial and became abusive in the courtroom. That coupled with the fact that I was uploading the whole trial to YouTube each day so that the judge would know he was being exposed, saved our lives. I got a landmark decision in our favor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R1k3EYsVDk

According to the states or Oregon and Washington domestic violence includes:

  • Name calling
  • Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Economic abuse
  • Threats of violence
  • Physical assault
  • Forcing sex on a partner and more

Even those who show up in the emergency room with broken bones and black eyes rarely get the support they need from law enforcement or the courts. Most often the abuser has kept the money, home and car and therefore marches into court saying they are the best parent for the child(ren) because they are financially stable. I got hammered with that point of view for years.

Thankfully, I have a high IQ and lots of courtroom experience and have the personality to argue with a sitting judge, or my son’s life would have been toast. As I sat in courtroom after courtroom for years my heart broke for survivors who didn’t speak the language and/or had no self-esteem left or never had the intellectual prowess to do what I did to save my son from a life of abuse. My point being – we are some of the very lucky ones who got out and got free! And we still have a long ways to go to get stable.

I hope to start a spirited discussion here about how we help families address this problem before we hit the tipping point of no return on family violence. Our prisons are full of people who grew up in violent homes and didn’t get the help they deserved and became victims or abusers. Abusers need help and love and support too.

In my next installment I will tell you more about our journey of surviving on the streets after fleeing and how I got cancer by eating out of the food banks – thus my dedication to greening the food banks and bankrolling programs for domestic violence survivors.

To everyone who has a loving family and a stable life – be grateful for your good fortune (I am not saying it was a lucky draw – I know you worked hard for the life you have) and reach out to a family in need. Your generosity will be rewarded by spirit!

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