If you made it to the end of my last blog you would have have read where the photo at the top was from. If you ever watched Canadian idol you may have recognized the familiar number placement.
I said it was a story for another time, so here goes…
Back in 2007 I decided to audition for Canadian Idol, can’t for the life of me remember why now. I wasn’t doing much performing at the time as I was still very much training and racing as a competitive athlete. But off I went to the auditions. I remember waiting in a big long line at Dundas square and running into someone I had gone to high school with, who’d also been in the musical theatre program at Wexford School for the Arts.
I stood in line with a girl who’d grown up in the same neighbourhood as me and I think my parents at one point even brought us tea. The way the auditions work is before you even get to be seen by the ‘celebrity judges’, you go through a series of other producers.
I made it through the two rounds of producers, where you sang in another room with 5 or so other auditioners. One of those groups had a girl who was from the east coast, and she new how to play the spoons. I thank her today as it’s one of my favourite instruments to strike up when there is nothing else around…it’s a real hoot to pull em out and get down and dirty with them.
I don’t really remember what I sang. I know one of the songs was Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin’’. A song which I had also performed in high school on stage where I got to push a bunch of men around as I told them in song to keep walking.
By the time I got to the celebrity judges, I had been given suggestions as to what to sing. I had also been given a list of songs that I could choose from as obviously the show was only licensed the air certain covers.
Off I trekked to one of the sound stages along the Lakeshore…one I’d been to many times with my dad and the various films he’d worked on there.
I remember the judges coming in and giving some silly talk about how you shouldn’t pick your nose as the camera was always around and potentially on you.
As we were funnelled one by one into the audition room, we got to meet with Ben Mulroney their explanation. He was the host of the show and as someone else hilariously put it ‘ looked like he was born in a microwave’. He was orange, bright orange.
We all waited and waited till it was our turn to go in. I entered the room to be greeted by the judges. I sang my song and the first thing they told me was I would never be a singer. They said I may end up in musical theatre or acting, but never would I be a singer. Hahahhhahaha….little did they know.
I proceeded to ask questions. ‘What do you mean exactly…can I not get more training…people can improve gain direction etc.’ As I kept pressing them on all of the sudden Zack proceeded to yell at me in his usual fashion. He said ‘What don’t you understand, you will never be a singer.’ I looked them down for all of 5 seconds and then took one deep breath. I calm and collected said to him ‘why are you yelling at me?’ He took one long pause staring at me and in complete discomfort as I had pushed him out of his comfort zone and called him on his ridiculous behaviour. It didn’t last long, but I was proud of myself for not putting up with the bullshit of it all. He proceeded with something like ‘…That’s just what I do.’ Need I mention his Canadian tuxedo that day…I never stooped low enough to comment and make fun of that 😉 As I walked out the room I remember hearing Sass (the only female judge) ‘Oh it’s too bad I liked her’.
Ben asked me a few questions as I left and I remembering at some point shoving my finger up my nose as in our pep talk Zack had specifically mentioned not to do it. I left feeling pretty awful and even though I didn’t care about their opinions, and new their comments were simply to provoke as nobody makes it to the ‘celebrity judges’ unless they are terrible and provide good entertainment, or are good. I clearly have never been a terrible singer or performer, so I was comforted by the fact that they were trying to create ‘good’ reality tv.
Anyways I guess it may be silly to say, but they were wrong. I am a singer, always have been, always will be, and nobody can take that away. I encourage anybody who likes to sing, whether you are ‘good’ or not, whether you have good pitch, are loud or soft, to sing out loud and sing out proud. Singing is a basic form of human expression. We all need it. Do it in the shower, when you walk down the street, when you’re at work, at a concert or simply as you clean your house. Never stop doing it. Always note how it makes you feel, and NEVER be ashamed at the sounds that come from within.