Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It Was...Interesting

Jay does not insist that I do much for him; as far as husbands are concerned, he is pretty low maintenance. He likes his food to be hot, and that is really about it as far as his "must have" list. (Yes, I know I am blessed in this, and of course it makes me want to do all sorts of things to make him happy since he is so easy to please!)

So, imagine my surprise last week when I received an email from the producer of X-Factor (Simon Cowell's American Idol-like singing competition) confirming my audition in Los Angeles for Sunday. I thought it must be a mistake, because I would never, EVER sign up to audition for that show or any other reality circus that would require me to be on television, subject myself to riddicule and, most importantly, keep me away from my family who I leave often enough for medical reasons.

Then I scrolled down and read the entire thread. Apparently, Jay received a general notice of auditions some time back and took it upon himself to contact the producers to let them know that his wife has "a beautiful voice" but that, due to her cancer treatments, she could not stand to wait in the kind of lines required to obtain an audition. The producer then wrote back to Jay assuring him that he could get me a special, confirmed audition due to my condition that would minimize my wait time substantially and allow me to sit most of the time. Once this was in place, Jay decided to let me know that I would be auditioning, in three days' time.

After I scraped my jaw off the floor, I immediately launched into the million reasons I had no desire to do this. For one, I may sing fine in church, but I am no American Idol (nor do I wish to be). I don't perform or dance when I sing--I pray! When I don't pray a song, I don't sing it particularly well. Jay agreed that I sing best when praying and rather than excusing me from this farce he instead went to work assisting me in selecting songs that would allow me to show the judges who I am--a Christian genre singer.

Knowing that a Christian singer of any caliber would most likely not have the "X Factor" they are looking to share with a very secular, often musically offensive public, I refused to do it. I could see no point: I didn't want to audition, I didn't want to compete, I didn't want to be rejected, and I didn't even want to win a recording contract to be a pop star--not that I could have ever seen it going that way. Nonetheless, what else could this be but a complete waste of time?

But Jay looked at me, smiled sweetly, and said, "Please? I really want you to give this a try. For me."

What could I do?! Nothing, I tell you. I was doomed.

So, off we went on Sunday to the LA Sports Arena where I joined 15,000 hopefuls being herded and sorted like cattle. I tried to be cheerful and not grumble, because if I was going to do it to please him what would be the point in being grumpy about it? But I did let him know--sweetly, of course--that he owed me big time and that he had better not leave me alone for even a minute!

And you know what? I'm glad I went. It was really an experience like no other. I saw every type of human, and, sadly, what many of them would do to get on camera. I don't understand that desire at all, so I watched in a completely detached way the antics, outfits, and plotting that went on around me. I was partly amused but mostly horrified at what reality television has done to our society. I asked Jay, as we watched the scene around us with our jaws half open, if he thought God might be regretting his promise to never send another flood. Because, looking around at what the human race has become, it seemed like it might be a good time for another one.

Thankfully, there were a handful of normal, actually talented people there too. I got to talk to some of them who just wanted a platform to launch a legitimate singing career. This was in stark contrast to the man dressed like Michael Jackson and the girl group wearing blue wigs and satin pants.

Needless to say, I got to say "I told you so" to Jay when the judge told me, immediately with his body language and soon thereafter with his words, that I am most definitely not what they are looking for. Hmmm, who could have predicted that? Oh, that's right, I could have!

The best part of the experience for me was seeing how truly disappointed Jay was that they didn't see in me what he sees. That confidence and support of me was worth the entire day, so how could I regret it?

So what if I don't have America's X Factor? I have Jay's, and that is all I need!


Tina said...

They obviously don't know what they are talking about or know true passion for beautiful music. Your singing brings me to tears because of its beauty and what you bring to the song. You bring life to the song and make it more than words and notes; you elevate it beyond this earth. I am really looking forward to hearing it in a few weeks too! I'm bringing plenty of tissues.

Anonymous said...

Jay is a sweetheart! And you know what? He's right. Your voice has a beautiful sweetness when you sing, and you have a very welcoming presence when leading the music. You have taught me a thing or two about cantoring, that's for sure! -AO

Annie Bizzi said...

You, my dear, have more amazing and albeit interesting experiences in your life than most 90 year olds...

Jay had such sweet intentions--he's always up to bat for you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that experience...I loved it and particularly what you got out of it. :)

Anonymous said...

Im going to try once more to leave a comment. The firt attempt failed
I hope you don't mind, Suzanne, but I have read your words and gazed at your lovely pictures on several occasions and find myself transfixed and moved by your strength, wisdom and utter courage. You have inspired and challenged me to love God more and trust Him more. Thank you for allowing me to share in your amazing journey. I am praying for you, Paula Lopiccolo

Anonymous said...


Gypmar said...

What a wonderful story! Three cheers for Jay's belief in his outstanding wife and four for your willingness to audition for his sake.

You have always had such a lovely voice...I wish I'd had the opportunity to hear it in a church setting :)

Allaire said...

The voice of an angel is what you possess my dear! And I am so proud of you! I walk that audition path weekly and wonder why...Love to you and way to go Jay! I am with you! She has the X factor and a million other talents too! Priceless!