Ok, well the cat’s out the bag. Not really like he was ever in there to begin with. This past weekend I auditioned for America’s Got Talent here in Atlanta, GA. It was actually a great process that made me realize how much closer I’m getting to my dreams, after all, a breakthrough is nothing but an elevation from one platform to another.
I found out about the auditions about two weeks ago and I really didn’t want to tell anyone. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on my own shoulders but most of all, I didn’t want to feel bad if everyone knew about it and then I didn’t make it. Now I’ve already told you that I’ve always been my own biggest critic. Anyway, somewhere along the last few days that fear went out the window. First I announced on twitter that I would be participating in the auditions and then I put it out there for everyone on the radio show last Thursday.
& then Friday arrived J
I’d been looking forward to going to the CCCollective Open Mic because I really enjoy the atmosphere and talent that’s there. It’s one of the few open mic spots I’ve come across where you really never know what you’re going to get but it’s always great. Now that’s almost impossible to find. #Nuff Said! As much as I wanted to go to the open mic, I decided that it was best for me to go out and get in line for the auditions.
I fixed some snacks, grabbed some blankets, and my folding chair and got to the audition about 11pm. My sorority sister Shakeya went with me and I can’t tell you how thankful I am that she was there with me. Sometimes you will have to do things by yourself but it feels great when you look and see someone standing beside you. There were 39 people in line in front of me. I was contestant 6060040. Though it was cold, the atmosphere was very lively. People were walking around talking to each other, playing music, and sharing jokes. Of course there was one clown amongst the bunch and we could all tell she would make it on TV for acting a fool… sure enough, she did but we’ll get to that later.
Holiday Inn was across the street which was very ironic to me. About 11 years ago when I was just starting out on my own path, my ex and I came down for my first Atlanta Pride. The meet and greet was held at that Holiday Inn. It was a great time for the both of us, one of our most memorable trips actually. Well they also hosted a poetry show at that hotel and I saw Tai Freedom Ford and CC Carter for the first time. As a young lesbian poet with milk still behind my ears, I fell in love with both ladies as they stimulated my mind with beautiful words woven into stories. I had a chance to perform two of my poems and the ladies really embraced me. I love them just as much today as I did back then.
Fast forward and here it is 2011 and I am not only living in Atlanta, GA but I’m sitting outside to audition for a major TV show. It’s amazing how life will show you when you’re on the right path. I took the 40 year journey getting here but as Celie said in The Color Purple, “I’m here”!
About 4 am I couldn’t take the cold anymore. I headed over to Holiday Inn to use the restrooms and warm up. I wasn’t prepared for the memories that would come flooding at me. As soon as I stepped in the lobby, I started having flashbacks from 10 years earlier. It was a little overwhelming. I followed the sign downstairs to the restroom and there right in front of me was the room that the poetry show was hosted in. It’s hard for me to explain how much that show helped me in my journey. It was the first place that I performed in front of an LGBT crowd. It was the first place that I saw other LGBT poets. Tai and CC were phenomenal! I stayed in the hotel for a while just reflecting, warming up, and composing myself.
Fast forward to 5:30 am and we’re finally about to go inside. My cousin Crystal came down to support. We got our wrist bands and forms and about 6am we were being ushered into the building. After we went through the security check point and registration, we were all put together in a large room. By then the atmosphere was overflowing with so much talent that my cousin looked over at me and said, “This is inspiring”, and I couldn’t agree with her more.
I left after that to freshen up and get ready. Now that’s what I told them but the truth is, I had to go find me a corner to kneel and pray in. My relationship with God is very important to me and I don’t want to do or have anything that he doesn’t intend for me. I found me a quiet corner and I got down on my knees and prayed. In that moment, it didn’t matter if I got in or not, I knew that whatever I was supposed to get from the process, I would get.
The audition went so fast, I couldn’t believe it was over. They started at 8am and I was actually in the first group of people to audition. I was third. I remember going in and as much as I wanted to be, I wasn’t nervous. Yes I was auditioning for this TV show, no I don’t look like the typical female you see on TV, and no I don’t sing or dance, I’m A POET! My 90 seconds were all I needed. After I auditioned I went back over to the large room where everyone was and I got a chance to perform again in front of everyone.
We were leaving out the building by 8:18 am. The line was 2 blocks up and another block across. The said that they would call by the end of February to let us know if we got in. I’m not going to sit here and twiddle my thumbs. It was another step in the right direction for me. I went home and promptly went to sleep where I stayed for most of the day until it was time for me to get up for my next performance.
Maybe you’ll see me on a TV in your living room soon!