Tuesday, February 02, 2010

My America's Got Talent Adventure Part V

On October 6, 2009, I received my invitation to audition for Season V of AGT. Because so many people around me acted so weird and unbelieving and over the top one way or the other, I only told my friend, Joanne Klein, a woman I met here on the Island and someone I consider family. She understood about people's reactions and so we kept it quiet. She offered to drive us to Houston where the first email said the auditions would be held. They weren't held in Houston. Something made them change the audition location.

Wednesday, I awoke to find I had no hot water and couldn't shower. I had to boil 2 half filled pots of water and fill them with cold water enuf to leave it hot but not scalding. It felt like it was a bad day. Someone had broken the washer and I was unable to do laundry.

They called last Wednesday afternoon to ask me if I was coming up to Dallas. I had decided not to go back in October because of the crappy job I had working at Bundys with a horrible manager. I decided not to do it because it was too expensive and money was tight as usual. I decided not to do it because it was insane to spend all that money, drive 8 hours each way to Dallas for a 90 second shot at a TV show. But I told Mandy who called that I would be there before I could catch myself.

Luis and Cheryl were with me. I was at Quicksilver Cafe and my friend, Phil, the owner was also there. I couldn't believe I'd said yes. I just had a feeling that I was supposed to say yes and do it this year. It defied logic. It was all based on a feeling. Mandy asked me to pick a day - Saturday or Sunday. I picked Sunday because I figured it was the easiest and maybe as many people wouldn't show on Sunday.

Luis mentioned that he couldn't go because he was filling in for Gerald that Sunday. I'd have to do it alone. I was disappointed, but, not shaken. I knew Luis was disappointed but he always remained positive and encouraging and really great about it even tho he could not go.

I called Joanne to check and see if she could still take me to Dallas. She said oh, yea...she could. She asked if it would be okay for her kids to go and I said that it was. Immediately all my priorities changed.

I caught a ride with Luis home to the RV and took a nap and did my usual Wednesday things. I was overwhelmed. I tried to do laundry, but someone where I live had broken the washer. I couldn't do laundry. I couldn't plan what to wear. It was a cold and nasty day. I was frustrated and went to sleep.

Thursday, I awoke and still felt clean from my boiling water bath Wednesday. It was cold and I was not going to take a bath on such a cold day without hot water. Thursday I decided on my song. The washer was still broken. I had a pile of dirty clothes on my deck. OC came home fixed my hot water Hallelujah. Friday, I had hot water in the morning. It felt good to take a hot shower that day. I went about my usual business. Joanne was busy all those days so we didn't make much contact.

She's a marvel to me and I greatly admire her. She's about 15 years younger than me, but we are alike tempermentally. She has a million things going and is super intelligent. That and she's raising 2 great kids I think of as a niece and nephew.

The washer was still broken so I still didn't know what I was going to wear. I felt like I should be doing more, but couldn't think what I should be doing. I didn't practice. I knew this song backwards, forwards, and upside down.

Saturday, I went to the yellow t-shirt shop on Cotter and decided to buy a Port A t-shirt so that I could "represent". I felt pride in representing our little town and proud that I was the first to do this in Port A. I also picked up a head scarf of jolly rogers and after I bought it realized it was over-kill, but knew I'd wear it later. Joanne picked me up and we went and did laundry at the WishyWashy. Well, it's called the Washtub, but I call it the WishyWashy. After that as done, I was able to decide that I would keep it simple. Black t-shirt, jean skirt, boots, leather jacket. After a half hour, she picked me up and I found Emily couldn't go to do complications in her attendence because of her having the flu earlier in the school year. I was bummed. By 5pm ish, we were on Hwy 36 headed to CC to take Emily to her dad's. After we dropped her off, we decided we were hungry. We found a Chinese Fast Food joint, ordered drive-thru, and off we were to Dallas. We ate as we drove and found we were all really hungry and the food was really good.

We made it up highways familiar to Joanne and the places she grew up. We took little side trips to her previous homes, to Flatonia, Seguin, Halletsville, and took our time. The missions looked beautiful in the moonlight of Goliad. I want to go back there some day soon. We stopped and got more coffee and gas and munchies and discovered a new toll road which allowed us to bypass all of Austin. It was great. The road was ours and we made great time thanks to the toll road. We made it to West TX and had to stop. It's tradition in my life to stop at the Czech Stop and get kolaches, milk, sausage rolls, and all manner of Czech goodness. We had another burst of energy as we drove into the night towards Dallas.

We finally made it to Dallas. We found a hotel room in DeSoto and quickly unloaded only what we needed and watched the Weather Channel. We were glad there was no snow in the forecast and pretty much passed out. I awoke in the middle of the night to find someone had turned off the TV. I awoke shortly before the alarm went off and after I gave myself about 10 minutes to wake up, dyed my hair red. Garnier #56 (Sangria). It makes my hair a very dark red but not clown red. Joanne and Alex got dressed and left me to shower and get dressed. I still hadn't practiced yet.

Now it was Sunday morning. We packed, checked out, I printed out the 12 pages of paperwork I needed to get into the AGT auditions. We drove up I35 to Griffin, were lucky and found a great parking space. We walked what seemed miles to Exibit Room E of the Dallas Convention Center. We found the room. The cops were all very nice and helpful. They seemed even to be having a good time. Easy gig, I guess. We made it to our first table where they asked if I had my completed paperwork. I did. He said Excellent. They gave me a number. We were directed to another table. This was security. We were told we were not to take photos or we would be disqualified.

They inspected all bags. They waved the metallic wand over each of us. Even 9 year old Alex. We took the stairs to another floor and found Exhibit Hall E. We walked a maze and found another line. They were checking for completed paperwork which some people didn't have. I got the guys attention and said I was ready and they pulled us out and took us to a nice guy named Raul at another table. He inspected and approved our paperwork. Joanne and Alex were required to have release forms completed. We were officially in the AGT area at 10am.

We were instructed to find a place to sit and wait for my number to be called. I was number 1948. We looked around and saw a huge hall filled with about 2000 people. Dancers, martial artists, river dancers, cheerleaders, rappers, hip-hoppers, cowboys, hippies, soul singers, Indian dancers, opera singers and they all seems to be making some kind of noise. It was overwhelming. We noticed there were guitar players quietly practicing along the back wall and we decided to pull 3 chairs and lined them up against the back wall. There was a New Yorker sitting on the floor and he was calling it "the Suburbs". It was funny. Later, more people pulled chairs against the back wall as the noise began to just overtake. We got munchies and waited for HOURS. We drank coffee. We saw singers practicing loudly. Getting off to the sound of their own voices in the cavernous hall. They were calling out numbers of 50 at a time to go audition. 1600 to 1650. 1650 to 1700. 1750 to 1800. There was a very loud of Brazilian percussionists practicing loudly as martial artists danced. There young girls in just terrible, ugly costumes. There was a 3-4 year old break dancer. There was a 9 year old looking girl with her sister and her dad waiting by us. People were passing the time texting and doing things (prolly taking pix) with their laptops.

I tried to access wifi from the convention center, but they wanted $20. I decided they could kiss my butt. So, with no signal on my cell phone, and no wifi, I was totally incommunicado.

After a few hours, they told everybody with a 1900 number to go downstairs. That was me. So, we packed everything up, and followed the crowd down the escalator to the first floor again and went into another large room. We found 3 chairs in the front of the room and proceeded to wait for more HOURS.

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