Sunday, January 25, 2004

Baby's First Audition

Spring 1978. Fourth Grade.  New town. New school. No friends. From private school to purgatory.  The only redeeming quality about this place was the Annual Talent Show.

For my first audition, my dad prepared me well, "Now remember, they can't take everyone.  It doesn't mean you're not good.  You gotta have tough skin."  I walked in ready for the blow.  The auditorium was in complete chaos.  There were groups of people practicing in all different corners.  Kids were running and screaming.  Adults were chasing little ones.  The piano was being slammed and jammed.  There was a line out the door of potential participants.  I signed up and waited.  I watched every audition - from music to dance to sketch comedy.  I studied the producers and choreographers.

When they called my name, I reluctantly dragged my tiny self on stage and stood frozen, on my tippy-toes, reaching for the microphone.  My dad revved up his electric guitar offstage and when I sang my first note, the room became silent.  People stopped in their tracks.  High school participants came to the front of the stage and sat.  Babies rested.

At first I wasn't sure what was happening.  I wanted to tell them all to go back to what they were doing.  But I kept singing.  I imagine it seemed a little odd.  I was a 9 year old with an abnormally powerful voice, rocking out with Proud Mary and a couple of Bob Seger tunes!

When I finished, there was an overwhelming echo of clapping and cheering, followed by hugs and praises from strangers.  Before we left, I went to the producers and asked, "When will we find out if I made it in?"  They were so sweet, "Made it in what honey?"  Little did we know, everyone made it in!  It was a PTA thing.  It wasn't Broadway. [thanks a lot dad!]  It didn't matter.  I was doing what I loved!

For the performance, I wanted a blue shiny outfit "like on Donny & Marie."  It didn't occur to me till much later that I looked more like Donny than Marie.  But I don't care.  I loved this outfit and all its sequins. [thanks mom]

The picture above is a practice shot before we walked out the door the night of the performance. And yeah, that's my dad.

24 comments:

diannevan said...

Woo hoo!! I used to fantasize about days like that... but I lack a little thing called talent. Oh, and courage.

irun01 said...

Nice work Donny. You are awesome.

mallory4284 said...

I wish I had memories like that. I can't seem to remember much of anything about when I was little. At least nothing that detailed....Very cute entry, Freee!! Hope you had a good weekend!

viviansullinwank said...

I loved the picture Free and I can just hear you belting out Proud Mary.

robbygoe said...

I was LMAO when you stated the everone made it in. It wasn't Broadway! I had to were a sequin outfit in show choir, in HIGH SCHOOL!!! How embarrassing. When I was young I took voice lessons, I remember we had a recital, and I was terriffied at first, but ended up loving the attention . Typical Me, LOL. When did you start playing the guitar?

aims814 said...

Love the outfit! your mama did an amazing job. So sweet, you're putting your little heart into it. I'd love to hear you sing Proud Mary, or any Bob Seger tune as well!

bridgetteleigh75 said...

I think you look stylin' in that blue shiny outfit, Donnie! Er, uhhh...:::cough:::, Trish. LOL Teasin' you sweetie! I would love to hear you belt out 'Proud Mary.' I had Doug listen to some of your music today and he was very impressed. You're becoming a legend!

Love you, girl!

Bridgett

donah42 said...

LOVE the suit! Bet ya blew their minds!!

krobbie67 said...

How sweet! I didn't realize you started singing so young. Wow.

Heehee---> I remember Donny & Marie's show. I even had the dolls with the purple outfits. ---Robbie

metski715 said...

Great entry! And a cute pic. So incredible of you to be able to go out there like that as a kid. From the 7th grade on up, I always wanted to do a stand up comedy bit for the school talent show. It was a dream of mine. I just never had the courage to do it and really had no one to push me towards it. Even today I still imagine being on stage making people laugh. Maybe one day.
:)
chris

starlitemaker said...

Great post, it's always nice to hear how it all got started! Love the suit!

babyshark28 said...

looked like donny more than marie? who says! besides, I think you look better than either donny or marie :P so there. I remember all that brown during the 70's. ha ha... it's a great picture, you belting out your notes, with rosey cheeks. parents soo proud. thanks for sharing freee. really, thank you.

geminiwilder said...

Yep, that outfit sure is shiny! I'm snickering over here, thinking that in 1978 I was in 10th grade, erg....and now, I really want to hear your music! Gotta get to your website and buy some! ~Cindy

ondinemonet said...

Trish, you will never need a "roundtoit" you are making it happen...Nope no procrastination here...just awesome talent and hardwork! You are impressive. Cool outfit by the way and very cool DAD. :) Love you hon :)

itsjustusinnc said...

Oh how CUTE!!! You sang "Proud Mary?" Wow! I think I sang something like "My Country tis of Thee" for my first audition. LOL! Incidentally, who are Donnie & Marie?

Gregg

musenla said...

Oh yeah, thought I saw that outfit somewhere before, hehe. Singing is what you're born to do, Freee. Talent is hard to deny even in youth. =D

aynetal3 said...

"New Town, new school, no friends." We're thinking that took as much bravery as actually being on stage. You still are the sparkly star we see when lookin at this picture. You are wonderful Freee ... always were, always will be. Our love, Ann and all

am4th said...

It is so sweet that your Dad played his guitar along with your singing. I bet he was very proud to do it! Nice outfit and thanks for sharing the picture.

lisbnjvi said...

"I'm a little bit country and I'm a little bit rock n' roll!". I LOVED Donny & Marie, even had the dolls, and yes, that outfit does look EXACTLY like one of Donny's! I give you credit for being able to get on stage and sing to a tough crowd like that! And, you are so lucky to have a dad that encouraged you and gave you words of encouragement. And, of course, a mom, who made your outfits and stood by to offer support. You go girl!
Lisa

s0ngbird1962 said...

Freee, I know you have issues with your dad, but want to know what I think is sweet about this entry & pic? (btw:you were such a cutie, love the outfit!) Your Dad stood in the shadows letting his baby girl shine.... I know you have questioned his love for you, but one thing I'm quite sure of. On that night he must have been one proud Daddy watching you stand there in the spotlight on your own sharing your gift, a gift he also possesses, with the world.

andreakingme said...

I love this walk down memory lane! You expressed it so very well, too, and it was just like I was THERE. I'm so thrilled for that 9-year-old girl you were! Even though EVERYbody made it in, it must have been an incredible high for you during that first performance.

Dang, I miss being able to read Journals during the day!

karensull12 said...

This is such a great story. I can see the audience clapping and clapping and never wanting to let you go...

slowmotionlife said...

OMG.. the Osmonds... you're really showin' your age there, darlin'. tehehe.. But I love the shiny blue outfit! And the hair!! And the little round O of a mouth, singing your heart out! Your whole life has been about music and performing... amazing... :)

deabvt said...

Good for you!! Great Story!! V.