X Factor USA Audition 2012: Austin, TX Experience

So, for the first time, I decided to audition for a television talent/singing show. I received a notification in my email that the prelirminary auditions for the X Factor were going on in March, and since Austin, TX isn’t too far from where I live, I decided to give the auditions a try. Two days before the audition, registration started. I registered on the first day and was really surprised because there was no line and hardly any people were actually registering. So, when the day of the audition came, I was a bit surprised (but kind of not surprised) that there were a ton of people auditioning. The auditions took place at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. Oh, yeah, when I registered they gave me and my mom, who I dragged along to the audition with me so that I wouldn’t be alone, a ticket for where we would be sitting in the auditorium. Because they did this, there was no need to arrive any earlier than 7 a.m. at the audition place because we already had our seats.

My mom and I arrived outside the Frank Erwin Center at 6:30 a.m. and most of the people auditioning had already arrived. They put us into about 7 or 8, maybe more or less, “pods” which were rectangular and spacious areas separated by gates and “caution” tape. It was about two hours until something finally happened and somebody informed us that they were going to be filming for the opening of the show. The first thing they wanted us to do was ignore the cameras that would be going around and act like we were getting ready for the audition. The next thing they had us do was dance around a lot while some d.j. played music. Personally, I thought this dancing was pretty stupid and so did most of the people there because by the third or fourth song, nobody was dancing no matter how much they were encouraged. So, after this, we took about a 30 minute break and just stood around some more. The next thing that went on was a guy with a microphone  going around to four random people and asking them to sing. After that we took another break, then we started filming the part where everyone says “I have the X Factor” and “Austin, TX has the X Factor” and we did those many times over. After that, another break, and then finally, at about 11:30 a.m., they started letting people into the auditorium.

My mom and I were seated in a front section, so I thought I would be auditioning very soon, but  that was not the case. In front of us, on the basketball court, were 23 black booths with 3 curtains (the back not having a curtain because that is where people entered to audition). However, most of those booths were never used. Only five or six booths, and at times only two, were active. Some had 2 judges/producers/I don’t know what in them, while others had only 1 judge/producer/I don’t know what. Although we were seated in the auditorium around 11:30, and although I was in a front section, about seven other sections w ent before my section and I did not audition until 2:30-3:00 p.m. Most of the people before me that were getting a golden ticket (a.k.a. being able to proceed to the second audition and maybe the third, because I think there are three auditions before you can actually be on t.v. and meet the judges) were the people that sang really loudly. Some of them were very talented, but some of them only got put through because they were loud (because they were going flat and sharp a lot). All the loud ones were singing r&b or pop music.

When I auditioned, of course I was nervous, but mostly, because my head was hurting very badly, I just wanted the audition to be over with. I entered a booth with one “judge”, who I had to look down upon because he was sitting so near to the floor, and he was very awkward, so it was very hard to not be awkward in return. He asked me my name, where I was from, and what I would be singing. When I told him I would be singing “Come to Me/Fantine’s Death from Les Miserables, he didn’t seem to know what song that was. So, I sang for about 30 seconds, was kind of shaky on the high notes, but still pulled them off, then he stopped me. He then said, “uh…do you have another song to sing?” And so I sang “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man after Midnight) by Abba, and did not do nearly as well on that song as I did on the Les Miserables song. He let me sing this one for about 30 seconds too. He stopped me after the chorus and said, “Keep at it, but it’s going to be a ‘no.'” I thanked him and walked out of the booth. I actually didn’t really expect to make it to the second round of the auditions because of my song choice and voice type. I have been more classically trained than pop-style trained  and have done more “stage-style” singing than pop-style singing.

In my opinion, the audition was a big waste of my time because I missed a day of classes to audition, when I could have gone to school and not gotten a zero on a quiz I missed, even though it was only minor grade. I would say that unless you are in serious need of money or if you just seriously crave fame, don’t audition because it will probably turn out being a waste of time. It’s probably good that I didn’t make it, since I do not crave fame in the least, because there are other people that want it more than I do and are much more talented than I am. The auditions were a good experience in that I know that I never want to attend an audition like that again. If I do decide to audition for the X Factor again, I’ll just save myself the time and hassle and audition online. So, there was my experience at the 2012 X Factor Auditions in Austin, TX.

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