That’s what I am when it comes to American Idol. I would never dare buy any of these contestants albums – my thrill comes from witnessing the live performances. I love getting goosebumps and the high notes and I love it even more when someones voice cracks mid run.
Maybe it goes back to my childhood when I used to stand on top of my parents fireplace and belt out all the great rock hits of the time. I thought I was destined for stardom. I’d turn the lights down, crank up my dad’s speaker system and dive into the theatrics. The fireplace poker made such a rockin’ microphone and at the climax of the song, I’d jump off the ledge to be face to face with the crowd (which was two empty Lazy boy recliners and a coffee table). Of course I did all this while my parents were out on errands. One day I didn’t hear the garage door open and they walked in on me during the most wicked air guitar solo ever.
“Kathy!” my mom or dad would yell. “Get down off of there and help us put the groceries away! Are you crazy? You are going to bring the house down with that racket being so loud!”
That was the whole point of my show – to bring the house down. They didn’t get it!
I didn’t lose any confidence though. Since third grade I had been in chorus with my best friend Dana and Christine. We loved going to chorus and showing off to our parents at the holiday and/or Spring Fling concerts. All the way through 6th grade I was an official member of the Cactus Wren Elementary School Choir.
And then something traumatic happened in 7th grade that would change my world (and my self esteem) forever. Honest to God – FOR-ever!
We all had to choose a song, buy the music, learn it and sing the song for the teacher. I didn’t give it a second thought. I was a music junkie, I knew every song on the radio – every melody, every lyric, every tune and the history of the performer behind it. The hardest part would be choosing the perfect song.
I chose “Sam” by Olivia Newton John. Please don’t ask why…
I went in there, handed the teacher the music and she began to tap it out on the ivories. I went through the whole song and was so happy with my performance. I knew I rocked, no doubt about it. (Yup, just like the warped American Idol wannabes who get furious when Simon calls their voice ghastly)
The next morning the chorus list was released – and my name wasn’t on it! Not only was it not on there, I was one of TWO people who auditioned who did not make it. The other girl was a mentally challenged girl. This is out of the whole 7th and 8th grade classes. Two of us dissed in public. Ouch, dude.
From that point on, there was a weird tension built up between me Dana and Christine. I had heard them sing, and they were really good. They had heard me sing too. Wouldn’t they tell me if I sucked? Apparantly not. They were so nice though. I remember one night inviting them over and they made up some excuse as to why they couldn’t come – it was because they had the Spring Fling concert. “It’s so stupid, you didn’t miss anything, Kath”, Dana would tell me.
That experience held me back from singing for the rest of my life. But it did make me even more attracted to music. I became a music fanatic, the girl who would make you a killer tape – and I used to manage bands and ultimately married a musician. To this day Patrick has yet to hear me sing! However, sometimes when he has his sound system set up and I’m all alone in the house, i will go in there scream a few bars.
Anyway, that’s where my passion for American Idol comes from. What’s your story?