Journey For A Chance

A New Opportunity!

Posted on: July 23, 2010

**WARNING** This is ANOTHER long entry so hold on!**

So begins a new day in the life of Amber and it all starts off with a cup of coffee and a pack of hot cocoa mix; my own Starbucks mocha, lol. I have some great news to share and an explanation of what brought me to that great news. I didn’t want to let anyone know what I was doing just in case it didn’t work out but it seems something may become of it. Let me start from the beginning.

Tuesday, I was still a little bummed out about the whole American Idol auditions and I was recapping what stopped me from moving to the next round. I realize that I did not introduce myself or talk to the judge at all. I did nothing to show my personality; which is what they were looking for in the people auditioning. None of the people right before me spoke to the judge. None of them got through and there were a couple of good people. This is what, I believe, hindered me from moving up. They weren’t just looking for talent…they wanted a personality too. I look back and remember the people who were moving on actually talked to the judge before/after their audition. But all of this is neither here nor there…it’s over and I’m glad I took a chance and went for it.

I was really stumped on my next move to achieve this dream of mine. See…when I set my mind to something, I am impatient until I get what I want. I’ve always been that way (blame it on The Only Child Syndrome). I really started to rack my brain to figure out something. Then it dawned on me…do a google search. At work, ONE of my nicknames is Google Girl (there’s also The Resident Physician, Amber Lynn, The Time Girl, Fluffy Tuffy, and I’m sure there’s some I don’t know about). I google everything. I am a researcher and I like the facts. If someone wants to know something, and I don’t know the answer, I google it until I find the answer. That’s just how I roll.

Wednesday, I googled “Arkansas talent competitions” and searched for a good 15-20 minutes before I stumbled upon one that looked interesting. I remembered the name of it when I researched the same thing about a year ago, but I was too late last year. It’s called The Great Arkansas Talent Search (or GATS) and it is sponsored by Infrared Studios-Little Rock. They have been doing this every year since 2007. The winner of this talent search get a $3000 cash prize, a recording contract, and a professional photo shoot. I figured I would check it out and see if I was too late…again. I scrolled down and it said auditions are going on now so call to make your reservation. Well…after reading it said the auditions were Thursday from 2 pm – 7 pm. So, I immediately called and they said to come in Thursday (the next day) as soon as I could.

I tried all night to figure out a song. THEY give you 2 minutes to sing (which is much more time to show your skills than 30 seconds). I chose to sing My Redeemer Lives by Nicole Mullens. It’s an old song, but I have won a couple of competitions with it in the past so I thought it would be a good song choice. And I have vowed to sing gospel from now on. I personally think my voice was made for gospel and I do SO much better when I sing it. My passion for music and Jesus seems to be a good combo in a song. Now, I hadn’t even attempted to sing this song in about 6-7 years. So I quickly ran through it and found that I did remember all the lyrics. Shew!

Thursday, I put my black dress on with my black boots and made my hair curly (no way I was gonna duplicate the electrocuted sheep episode). I wasn’t nervous at all throughout the day. Nothing could be as nerve-racking as AI tryouts…nothing. I drove down to the recording studio by Verizon Arena (where the auditions were being held) and arrived there around 5:30 yesterday evening. I walked in and handed them my $50 registration fee and filled out a paper. There were 3 guys; the Executive Producer, the Chief Engineer, and the Executive Director. I have read the stat sheets on these guys and they all come from VERY talented backgrounds. One has a BA in music for vocal and piano performance, the other has a degree in piano performance (I heard him play…he’s REALLY good), and the last guy has 23 years of experience in the entertainment audio industry. These guys know their stuff. They were all so nice when I walked in and we got started right away.

They asked tons of questions to “get to know me”. I told them my story and gave them a brief description of what I have done/accomplished in music over the years. I explained to them that I’m ready to start my music career because I feel like it’s time. When they were finished with the questions they told me to go ahead and start. So I sang they way I know I can. I didn’t hold back and I gave it everything I had inside me. I occasionally glanced in their direction and they were staring at me…with eyes as big as saucers. I’m telling you people…I didn’t know I still had it in me. It’s been SO long since I just let loose like that…I forgot how great it felt. I finished My Redeemer Lives and waited for a response. It took them a minute…they were still staring. Now…I’m just going to tell you what they said. PLEASE don’t take this as me bragging…in fact, I’m uncomfortable even talking about it because it’s not about me. It’s about God. When I sing…I want people to see God through me…not JUST me. I just figure you guys will want to know their comments, so I’ll share a few. The guy with the BA in vocal performance asked me if I’ve had formal training…I said no. Jr. High, High School, and 2 years of college Choir is the only thing I ever did as far as “training” is concerned. He was shocked it seemed. They all 3 said, I quote “You are an exceptional singer”. I laughed at them because I guess I don’t think of it that way. I just said Thank you (while remaining VERY embarrassed cause I’m not good with compliments) and smiled. We talked a little more and the Director asked if I write my own music. I proceeded to explain I used to and just started back not too long ago. Then, he asked me to sing one of my songs. I’VE NEVER SANG ONE OF MY GOSPEL SONGS FOR ANYONE BUT JASON. I was taken back a little and I was scanning my head for one that was almost finished. I came up with “Favored”. It’s pop with a little black gospel mixed into it. I told him the verses weren’t really completed and he told me to just sing part of the chorus. I was really scared at this point because no one else had ever heard my music and I was sure it probably stunk in comparison to what they’ve heard. After I finished they all said they REALLY liked it (I started to breathe again). The Producer then said “Of course, you ARE moving on…no doubt about that”. I think I overdid the Thank You’s after he made that statement. He said, “I can’t wait to hear you sing again in the next round”. And they all said no matter if I “win” this talent search or not they see me recording. They hand out scholarships to the runners-up for studio time which is really cool. I also found out that the winners get a chance to showcase their work in front of BIG record companies. Last year’s winner showcased for Virgin Records…THAT’S HUGE PEOPLE! And the runners-up also get to showcase in some cases.

Now for the kicker. I NEED AN AUDIENCE! The 2nd round is in early September and I have to bring supporters with me to cheer me on (they said audience response is part of the process – along with judges opinions). I don’t know when, where, or how as of yet but I will find out and let everyone know! Pretty sure it’s gonna be in the LR area.

I’m SO excited and I’m SO glad you guys are still interested in my journey (even after the American Idol thing). I think this is going to be so much better for me because I will be able to do my own music while remaining local…for the time being. Say a prayer for me!

6 Responses to "A New Opportunity!"

I was actually laughing out loud at my desk at some parts reading this Amber! I will admit I also have tears in my eyes for you.. I am so very happy for you. You are touching so many lives by just doing this blog. I will be praying for you. Again, I am so proud and happy for you!!!

What church are you and Jason at? I am trying to find one I can call home..

We go to Faith Church (a ministry of the Assemblies of God) in Conway. It’s off Middle Rd. It may be a little ways for you to drive if you live in Cabot, but I know of a GREAT church in Cabot. ChangePoint with Pastor Brian King…they meet at Cabot Middle School South off Kerr Station on Sunday mornings. Jason’s brother, Josh, is the Children’s Pastor there and I know most of the other staff. They are all great people! I hope that helps a little!

Yes.. Thank you!

Well, that judge was bonkers to turn you away. We all know you would blow the other contestants out of the water. You have such a beautiful and awe inspiring voice and a beautiful spirit to go along with it. God knows the future and what’s best for all of us. I’m sure he has a better plan for you and your musical career, much than you would ever have gotten from American Idol. I admire you for trying and for having such a wonderful attitude about not getting chosen. Their loss!!!!! luv u!

Praise the Lord for His faithfulness:)

I am so excited for you, and so awed to stand back and see what God has in store for you. He gave you the beautiful talent that you have, and He will make a way for you to use it for His honor and glory. He is the Author and the Finisher; He will complete the work that He has started in you. I can hardly wait to see where this leads!

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