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.
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.
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.
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.
This gal had a rolling broomstick with a horses head on one end. I understand they were comedians too.
These guys sing television themes as trained opera singers. Can’t wait to see them perform!
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.
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.