Last weekend was spent at home-home. As much as I used to despise that place, I find myself missing it more and more as my life begins to establish itself away from there. The majority of my time was spent in the company of my parents, which may have been like swallowing gravel years ago, but now it's more enjoyable than anything else. When we laugh together, I realize that they miss me as much as I miss them. And that's nice.

Sunday evening, I ventured to San Francisco, once again, to watch a musical, once again. Rent has found its way to the top of my "Favorite Musical" list. The cast was incredible, and the music was as touching as ever. Cathy and Sheryl had never seen it on stage, and Jessica had never before known what Rent was. I'm happy to have shown them the wonders of Larson's masterpiece.

Monday night, we threw Rafi for a loop with a Pirate-themed surprise party. His shriek - yes, shriek - upon entering was priceless, as was the picture of him covered in silly string and confetti. I ate way too much, but on occasions like those, I don't suppose calories should count.

Tuesday, unbeknownst to many of my friends, I auditioned for Rapid Transit, a Bay Area a cappella group, not because I missed a cappella but because I missed singing on a regular basis. The audition consisted of a brief warm up then listening to and learning their arrangement of George Michael's "Freedom." It was a little eerie, but fun nonetheless. I kept inadvertently incorporating AiR's version into the one I was learning, but by the end of the evening, I had my part down. They asked me to do a demonstration of the menial amount of vocal percussion I know just because I said I could if they wanted me to, and then I sang my sure-fire audition solo, "Over the Rainbow." It scored me my place in AiR, as well as many many other things, so it has become my default go-to song. It was very casual, as I learned the group was (they rehearse once a week and perform only a few times per year), and it was a nice change from the growing professionalism of my former a cappella group.

The following day, I received a phone call from the audition manager who offered me a place in the group. I quickly accepted and referred my fellow a cappellian, and accomplished vocal percussionist, Miguel. He'll be auditioning this coming Tuesday. Who knows? We may just get the chance to sing together once again.

Last night, I got off work a few hours early to make my way to Shoreline Amphitheatre to compete in the final round of Kelly-Oke. I was delayed an hour by an accident on 880, and I arrived on site with 10 minutes to spare. I was told that each of us would be singing one verse and one chorus of the Kelly Clarkson song of our choice and that we would be narrowed down to a final four based on standard methods of judging by two of Star 101.3's radio hosts AND audience response. I felt my heart sink as I thought of my friends, making their way to Shoreline an hour behind me, and realized I had no way of winning this contest because I didn't have a single soul in the audience cheering for me. The sinking feeling only lasted a minute though, as I reminded myself of how much fun it would be to sing on the Glaceau Vitamin Water stage, located right outside the main entrance, regardless of the outcome. Besides, I had just won free tickets to see Kelly Clarkson! That in itself was good enough for me.

After all of the contestants gave it their all, the final four - which clearly did not include me - were invited to come back onstage to perform part of a Kelly Clarkson song at random, chosen by the DJ. Audience response determined the placement of each of the four, and I was happy to see that the best singer of the bunch was awarded the grand prize of front row tickets and backstage passes to meet Kelly. The second and third place winners were surprised with backstage passes as well, and the fourth place winner was awarded special edition Kelly Clarkson merchandise. I won a free case of Vitamin Water - Focus flavored, Kelly's supposed favorite - and an autographed "Breakaway" CD. Upon receipt of my two tickets, I was thrilled to find Ratha and I would be sitting in the lower center section, about 15 rows away from the stage. Yeayuh!

The Addicted Tour

We were so close!

Two fans wanted to come up on stage - so Kelly let them

Singing in a swamp, I think

Today is my last day working as a Program Assistant for Center for Human Development. Overall, my experience was a great one. Though I may have been dissatisfied at times, I've come to learn, in retrospect, that everyone has to start from the bottom. And admittedly, my bottom was much better than it could have been. I spent most of today finishing up various assignments and projects, and I composed a heartfelt goodbye letter to send to the staff and board at CHD. I'm looking forward to keeping in touch and informing my soon-to-be former co-workers, as well as myself, of my progress.

I've got a lot coming my way.


Kris said...

Hey! Awesome about getting into the group, it sounds really good! Perhaps sometime when you perform I'll be back in the Bay Area.

And wow, Kelly's hair looks different, I hardly recognized her.

Anonymous said...

DUDE! That Kelly-Oke was soooooo cool! How did I not hear about it?! And I love vitamin-water...but not that Focus...ew...hahahha. Congrats and have a great time at the concert!!!