Sarah, my niece, came to Austin to audition for X-Factor. I went as her support. I won’t be able to see her audition, I have to stay in my seat when her group (re seating in Erwin Center) are called.
I am looking at up to 12 hours sitting, hoping it won’t be that long. We brought our own food in, which is not allowed, but we told them we are diabetic – which is true – but I have to wonder how many people use that excuse and it isn’t true. I think, though, that had I been another young person, it might have been more closely checked. Sometimes even looking 50ish probably gets you past a lot of things younger people cannot get by with. I certainly learned that when I wrongly touched Ryan on his cheek when I met him – I was told by a friend that if I had been one of the younger women in the group were were in would have gotten a security guard called, and I would have been out on my ass.
Anyway, I digress. We are in the Erwin Center on UT Campus, where basketball games are held, and where a lot of arena shows come through Austin. The arena seats about 85,000, it looks to be one-quarter full with not everybody here to audition. I guesstimate perhaps 2/3 of folks are actual candidates.
Sitting up here, we can hear some of the auditioners, and as thy walkout from behind the curtain, if they go one direction, they made it, and everyone applauds. If they go out the other way, they did not.
Unfortunately, I am bound by Sarah’s contract so I cannot reveal her results, and I am writing this way early so by the time I get to the audition, which will be one of the latter ones, and I’ll have quit writing, so won’t reveal. And when I type this up, I will copy word for word bout what I’ve written and won’t be tempted.
(And now an aside, and Sarah said it is okay, she did not make the first round – when she started singing, which really is good, she got nervous and her voice wobbled, so she was not accepted – I was sad for her, though she took it in stride – I think this was her fifth audition for one of these types shows.)
Some highlights: a lot of people who make it through the first step run out jumping and dancing and yelling – I’ve seen both the successful and the unsuccessful crying. There was one fellow, waving and smiling to various young good-looking women sitting around us (this was one in the waiting audience), and when an announcement was made that someone’s car in a disability space in a parking garage, the license number, had the key in it and was running, and this guy ran out yelling “I’ve got a new car! I’ve got a new car!”, and we all started laughing, and he was out for awhile, but someone told us he was outside smoking, and he finally came back in.
There are so many sopranos, and they all seem to be singing the same songs. I am learning to tell by sound who is where and if they made it. Sarah said a lot of the singers will sing songs by Adele or Lady GaGa or something that is presently at the top of the pop song charts, but I am not familiar with most of “today’s” singers, so they just all sound the same to me, with the same warbling. But it seems most of them make it, and I recognize that this is what the audience is looking for.
I had taken a book and a newspaper and a Sudoku puzzle book with me to pass the time, but I didn’t take out a single thing because there was so much going on to see, and when you sit in a spot with other people sitting in spots around you, you really get some nice conversations going on. I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I really did enjoy myself.
Well, Sarah is not going to quit trying, and if auditions for any of the music shows come back to Austin, and she comes to audition, I’ll be with her as company and support. American Idol has an age limit of 28, and she just turned 32, but X-Factor does not have a top age limit, and we saw at least one woman who was probably in her 60s, succeed. Altogether I had a wonderful visit with Sarah, and we talked way too long into the two nights she was with me catching up on 19 years which I had no contact with any family, and we had a really good time.
Oh yeah, yesterday I got my Voyage DVD and CD, whom she also likes, but I’ll write a review for them next week. Wonderfully, when I saw Galway Girl, I was so thrilled by it that after a year of backing off from CT, I am once again a fan (reborn???).
Carol Stepp, Austin TX
PS: We were only there for seven hours.