Apparently, this is my year for doing weird shit and writing about it for the Riverfront Times.
In March I reported on Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con while wearing Wonder Woman, Sue Storm and Pikachu costumes. In April I went through five straight nights of karaoke in honor of National Karaoke Week. In June I realized my lifelong dream of being on a game show and was dragged on my back through beer during an air-guitar competition. Earlier this month, I tried and failed to be on Wheel of Fortune.
And now I can add "auditioned for The Voice" to this impressive resume. You're awestruck, I know.
As a karaoke host, I hear from people all the time about how I should try out for any number of televised music/talent shows. "Allison, your voice is so lovely" or "You're totally weird enough to get picked," they say helpfully. But most of these programs are terrible enough to repulse even my inner attention whore. Or so I thought.
Two months ago, RFT contributing photographer Jon Gitchoff learned that The Voice auditions were coming to St. Louis. "It would be funny if you auditioned and wrote about it," he suggested. I considered for about four seconds the hell that Adam Levine's career-support device surely would put me through before I shrugged and said, "Uh, OK."
Curse you, Jon Gitchoff.
If I was going to audition for this stupid show, I was determined to do it right, dammit. Other than job interviews, I hadn't tried out for anything since my high school's flag-twirling team in '94, and I wasn't really sure if my voice or attitude were up to the challenge that awaited me. I'd already decided that I would hit a few karaoke bars several times a week to build up my vocal chords, but how else could I prepare for the misery that The Voice audition process surely would provide? I needed motivation. I needed preparation. I needed...a stage mom.
Enter Greg Crittenden, vocalist for Arthur & the Librarian and Speedboats.
Crittenden is one of those performers who can smile while singing, has a magnificent voice and isn't afraid of getting goofy onstage. He has also had to overcome some fear and awkwardness to become the showman he is now, so I knew he was the perfect person to guide me on this ridiculous journey. I bribed Crittenden to join me in my karaoke shenanigans, share his observations and offer tips that would knock Christina Aguilera's obnoxious hair extensions off. His big takeaway: I had no stage presence. After each of my karaoke bar performances, our conversations went something like this:
Crittenden: "Your voice is fine, but you've got to move around a little and make some eye contact." Me: "But I am moving!" Crittenden: "Raising your left hand occasionally doesn't count as moving, dork. You look bored and angry. Try walking around while you sing or something. Try pointing at someone." Me: "Do you want me to pass out?" Crittenden: "Only if it will make CeeLo remember you."
Continue for injuries, eyeliner and audition results.