Friday, July 18, 2008

Celebrity Report

Well, I was waiting until the video was available, but pending some technical difficulties, I have decided to write my little report of the Scera Celebrity event for those who were unable to attend but are still interested to know what happened. The video will be posted forthwith, but for now, I will give the report. Here goes:

So, after receiving my confirmation emails, I arrived in plenty of time to see what things were going to be like. It was a little... confusing, mostly because we didn't have a dress rehearsal or practice with the band beforehand, so we were pretty much performing on the fly (which is fine, I'm familiar enough with the song I chose, and the band was quite good). The 15 performers all went backstage about fifteen minutes to starting time where we at last received some instructions (performing order, directions on using microphones properly to maximize sound, rules, ugly t-shirt distribution, etc.). I was assigned number 5, and was actually pretty surprised to see the difference between performers. They ranged from 12 to mid-(late-?)50s, but probably more than half were under 18, which I think is a hard thing for a competition like this because how do you judge fairly? Also there were only three boys. We were briefed on the guest judges (local "celebrities" of sorts, though you would never know them by name, and in fact they never showed themselves except up in their booth) and told us three people would be announced to move onto the semi-finals next month.

So the competition started. There was some Kelly Clarkson sung by girls way too young for those songs, a lot of repetitive, average country, some pretentious performances of late-90s songs, some very karaoke throwbacks to the 80s, and one or two classics. When my turn came, I walked out and did my thing. My song choice was the classic "Bridge Over Troubled Water", and it went pretty well, not my best ever, but I was satisfied and the band were really complimentary throughout and after. I would sing with those guys anytime, they were funny and pretty good musicians.

Such a cheeser on stage.

It begins...

Starting to get into it...

My personal favorite photo of the night, courtesty of Matt:
My awesome right flip-flop-clad foot.

Awesome dutch-angle photo by Matt,
and awesome grip on the microphone cord in several places by me.

Getting into the last verse...

After the next ten performances (ranging from the amusing to the passable to the painful to the bewildering), Emily Noxon, last year's winner, performed a totally and completely original and not at all in the least bit sounding like anything else country song (sarcasm...) while the guest judges deliberated, and then they presented the finalists. As I half-expected (until the performances began...), I wasn't included among the three. I guess I can't compete with a so-so wunderkinds, the relatives of a famous musical Mormon and the token PC entrants. I was surprised they didn't even pick one of the boys though. Ah well.

As an interesting side note, as promised, today I received an email containing the judges' feedback! Observe:
Drew Graham
  • Nice voice. Even though it’s a slow song don’t be afraid to show emotion.
  • Good choice of song just make sure the notes and breathing are there.
  • Feel free to move more on stage.
I actually sort of agree about my pitch in parts, if I'm being picky (though I worked on breathing), but as for emotion, I only have one thing to say, or rather, show:

If THAT is not showing emotion, I don't know what is! But as Jared said, perhaps the judges stopped listening halfway through. I know I picked a song that starts a little soft and slow, but that's because I wanted to buuuuuiiiild! Which I did. A friend who came to watch was sitting near the judges and actually said one of them was texting during my performance. ZUH?? How unprofesh!

In the end, it was fun to perform with a live band in an outdoor venue, and it's good practice. I was uncharacteristically nervous before going onstage, but it faded once the music started. The outdoor viewing of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix afterward was a swell consolation prize, though most of the singers didn't seem to stay. And I was very pleased that so many kith and kin came to watch and support me! Thanks to all who were able to make it, and to those who weren't able, for whatever reason, I don't mind. It was nice to have fans there, but I know sometimes it just doesn't work out, so no worries whatever. A bundle of joy and gladness to Lacie and Jared for the respective high-end equipment and award-worthy cinematography of the video (coming soon), and special snaps to Matt for the AMAZING photography! I never looked so good! The entire collection can be found here. I mean, over 100 pictures for a five-minute performance? Brilliant!

Next year... Elise? Jeff? Lacie? Jared?

And also, I didn't even get my ugly t-shirt! It was orange and said, "Yeah, I'm pretty much famous." What a rip! My own fault I guess, I just forgot... Or didn't care.


  1. Rude about the t-shirt. AND the judges. Texting? Ugh. Silly. I'm sure you were the best one.

  2. Well that's too bad that you didn't win. But I have it on very good authority (namely...myself) that you SHOULD have won. That counts for something, right? And at least you got to see OOTP as a consolation prize.