California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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Following Your Dreams: An Experience on “The Voice”

A photo of her audition pass.

The reality show “The Voice” held auditions for their upcoming season at the Convention Center in Los Angeles Sunday August 12, where thousands of people auditioned.

I was one of the thousand hopefuls and the experience taught me a lot about the dreams of stardom and the courage and resilience of aspiring artists.

Barely awake we set off for the Los Angeles “The Voice” auditions at 5:00 a.m.

I found myself waking up four hours later for a bathroom break Starbucks seemed unusually busy for the early morning hour.

I went inside to get a cup of tea to wake up my voice and in the morning heat I got up on the bench outside and sang the song I would sing later to small crowd who reassured my confidence in my upcoming audition with applause.

Two hours later we arrived in the huge parking lot that joined the lobby of the convention center.

Two girls walking out of the convention center noticed that I was warming up to sing, came over to me and started to advise me on what I should do and how I should act in the audition.

With butterflies firmly returning to my stomach, I entered the convention center and was met with tall ceilings, vast open space and a lot of people with dreams.

My friends were made to wait in the lobby and I anxiously made my way up through security, winding hallways and dining rooms with people lined up like cattle on show.

I kept thinking to myself that I was lucky I went on Sunday when it was quiet and only 2,000 people auditioned instead of the day before when 4,000 wannabe singers had attended.

Finally the moment was drawing closer, we were being sectioned off into random groups of 10 and led up escalator to another winding hallway.

In the distance, behind the walls I could hear people singing out as loud as they could.

Jeanette, “The Voice” employee, briefed us on what we were to expect going into the audition and seeing the look on my face she decided to make polite conversation with me to calm my nerves.

“What are you singing?” Jeanette asked.

“Um. I’m not sure. Either Whitney or Lady Gaga, what would you advise I sing?”

With this she smiled and told me to sing what was in my gut and what I thought sang best.

A stocky, security-type gentleman stepped out of the room we were waiting outside of and I saw the face of sadness and disappointment on many of the faces that filed out.

I prayed that wouldn’t be me and for the first time I sized up my competition.

We couldn’t have come from more different walks of life. One girl looked like she strolled off the beach, one of the men looked like an extra from “Jersey Shore,” and I was convinced that one of the ladies in my group was going to Susan Boyle us all.

Pointing to me, Jeanette instructed me to enter the room and direct the four people behind me into the one side of a “V” and another gentleman to do the same to create a “V” shape.

Walking in I smiled as bright as I could and tried to make polite conversation with the judge who sat behind her big desk and laptop.

This woman would be responsible for making or breaking my dream, but I had an air of confidence.

Randomly selecting our names I was drawn third, the two that had gone prior had failed dismally, but I clapped and cheered them on because after all I was partaking in their dream.

I nervously stood in the center of the “V” and the judge asked what I was going to sing and I nervously replied Lady Gaga “You and I.”

I gave it my all, I belted out and I saw the judge look up from her laptop and survey me in a way she had not done with the other girls who went before me.

Slyly, she moved my papers over to a side, I ended my song and I was met with gasps and applause from my group members.

“Nailed it,” is what I thought as I returned to my chair with a slight skip in my step.

Finally all 10 of us were finished performing and the judge firmly said, “I would like to speak to Karishma, thank you everyone for trying out, you may leave.”

My palms were sweaty; I was shaking a little as I tried to imitate a confident person walking over to her table.

“Is this the best way to contact you?” The judge said pointing to my form.

I nodded enthusiastically, to which she responded, “If I want to have you come back for a call back I’ll call you by Thursday.”

Smiling, I left the room and made my way back down the hallways and stairs to my friends who had sat patiently.

I hugged them and we relished in the excitement as we headed home.

The call never came but I have not given up and I would not take back that experience for anything.

If there is something I have learned from that nerve wrecking but also thrilling and intoxicating experience, is that chasing a dream requires you to always be positive and confident in your abilities.

As we begin another school year, thousands of new and current students continue the journey towards their dreams. Just like my dream of becoming a singer, the road might be rough. It might be exasperating at times and you might feel like breaking down.

The world of education is difficult right now, but above all costs we must remain determined, positive and remember that a dream is only a step away with the right amount of hard work and willpower.

We must never give up on our dreams. Even if we don’t get a call back every time, eventually the right person will be on the other line and that dream might soon be a reality.

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Following Your Dreams: An Experience on “The Voice”