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The Chance of a Lifetime

Friday, January 10, 2014

By Ellen Greenberg

In 2013 I took many chances; the best was the one of a lifetime. Not everyone was behind me on this decision at this time in my life—I was fighting a horrible cold and had just started a new job, and so my voice was pretty hoarse. However, with my go-getter attitude I thought if I don’t take this chance I would be doing ACHA and myself a disservice. I practiced, rehearsed, changed my song two weeks before, figured out the 90 seconds allotted, and with help, picked out my outfit the night before.

At 6 a.m. on November 17 my alarm went off, though I was already awake. I felt like a five-year-old getting ready for her birthday party and putting on the paper crown. Feeling like a princess—knowing something incredible is about to happen and that it will be like no other day before or after. I crept downstairs, made my tea concoction, and began to get ready. Everything was packed and organized, so with a new mug of tea in hand I was in the car, singing my heart out as if my life depended on it. I got winked at on the road as I sat in some Sunday morning traffic, weaving and changing lanes with confidence. As I got closer, my nerves began to kick in again.

At exactly 9:30 a.m. I walked over to the entrance and got my sticker. I stood in line outside in the cold for two hours. It started to rain on us. Yet, I didn’t care. I was standing outside the entrance to the “America’s Got Talent” auditions. I held my breath for hours, getting moved from room to room. My excitement came and went as I heard and observed other acts. I had to remind myself why I was there, because I thought I would leave. I was finally in an area where I could start to fix hair, makeup, and eventually another space where I could walk away and tune up and practice.

Five hours after arriving I got to the end of the waiting rooms. I was now the only person in the waiting room. I walked into a small room, placed my bags and coat in the corner and took my X on the floor. I acted like I audition for “America’s Got Talent” every day. I could not believe how comfortable I felt. I had my ACHA pin attached to my dress, which had a plunging neck and back line. I mentioned my health before my 90 seconds began. I told the judge that I had been evaluated for a heart transplant two years ago. I answered the usual “What are you singing today?” questions, opened my mouth and gave it all I had. I had an out-of-body experience. I could see myself singing and hear myself the way others could hear me; it was unreal, just fantastic.

When finished, I collected my things, thanked the judge and left to a packed waiting room applauding me. I got choked up and thanked them all with a little curtsy. I was also surprised because I had only been inside for a total of two minutes, tops. How did all these people get there so fast? Unaware of where the exit was, I then asked, “Where do I go now?” A young man waiting to audition answered, “To stardom!” Way to choke a girl up again! It was then I knew I had prepared and done everything right and to the absolute best of my ability. I went for me and to represent all of us as a community. In that moment I knew I had delivered, no matter what happened or happens from there on out.

I now wait to see if I get an email in early spring regarding a callback. I am scared so much about how badly I want this. I am, however, thrilled with how my big chance of 90 seconds went. All that mental and vocal preparation was over in 90 seconds time. I faced the pressure, handled it and treated it graciously and with care so I would not forget a second of a moment. Therefore, if I do not get a callback, I will be fine—no one can take my pride and achievement away from me. No matter what happens, friends, I can say I auditioned for “America’s Got Talent” an hour away from my house in NYC.


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The contents of this blog are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your physicians with your questions and concerns.

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