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Day of the audition.

Robin & Gina waiting to hug me after I walked out of my audition.

experienced that feeling at one time or another. I have battled with my own fears for years, whether warranted or not, and it has caused me great anxiety. It has only been lately that I have had to have a heart to heart with myself and ask, “what is going to happen if … happens?” Then I have to reassure myself, no one is going to get hurt, I’m not hurting anyone, I’m not going to die, and my list goes on. The internal struggles of the mind can be a bit of a slug fest.

I am sharing this with you because it correlates to my every growing bucket list. Some of the things on my bucket list open me up to this fear I experience. One of the things I always wanted to do was audition for American Idol. I never got around to doing it and then life just seemed to take over. The cut-off was 28, and I was no longer 28 when I revisited this hope of mine. Fast forward quite a few years later a new show has come along, The Voice. There is no age limit, it’s about your voice and that’s it. I put it on my bucket list. On February 17,2016 I walked into a studio in Los Angeles, California to audition for The Voice. Yikes.

I want to back up a bit, I have been working on songs for a couple of months in preparation for the audition. I went back and fourth as to what genre of music I was going to go with. I had to come up with 3-5 cover songs that were well known songs from the past 5 years. There were very specific instructions including a 7 page application that I had to fill out. That alone could have scared me enough to walk away but somehow I persevered.

As the date got closer and closer I could feel the anxiety building within me. I did not tell anyone, except for my husband and two of my girlfriends, who were waiting with my husband after I walked out of my audition.

The day of my audition I woke up early and I felt a sense of peace. I knew today was they day I was going into do something that caused me great anxiety, because of my massive fear of performing in front of people. This has been something I have been trying to overcome for years. I had not sang publicly in two and a half years until this very day, and for the Voice no less! My goal in this whole process from the beginning was to get myself to walk in that room and do the best I could from a place of confidence. I had told my husband a few weeks prior to the audition that if I had not been working on these songs and was not prepared, then it would be a totally different story for me. But I was indeed going in prepared, so all I could do was walk in and do what I set out to do.

As I waited with many other anxious artists, I knew that I just needed to breathe and relax. No matter what happens I’m gonna be okay, I reassured myself. There was nothing to fear. My husband wasn’t going to be mad at me, my friends weren’t going to desert me, even if casting rejected me, I’m going to be okay. One by one I could hear girls going in and belting out their songs and sounding amazing. One by one they would walk out and say “I didn’t make it”. I was shocked because when I tell you these girls and guys were talented, I’m not exaggerating. Finally after about an hour, but it seriously felt like an eternity, I heard my name called, “Kimberly Dawn”. Several people wished me luck and I walked in. I can’t lie when I say I felt a little shaky, but I knew this was what I needed to do.

I walked over to a little stage area where there was a mic. They asked me my name and then asked me to look at the video camera that was going to be taping me and to sing to that video camera. They played my first song, Black Cadillac by Carrie Underwood. My heart was racing, and I could feel my voice get a little shaky. All I could think about was, focus and don’t let the nervousness distract you. Half way through they stopped me and asked me what my second song was. I told them,Run To You by Lady Antebellum. Again I only sang half the song. They thanked me for coming in, but that I was not going to moving forward. Big sigh…

My supportive husband.

walked out of there feeling good. I honestly did not feel disappointed in myself or even my performance. I knew that for me to continue to grow as a musician I had to step out of my comfort zone and do something that wasn’t necessarily comfortable. I also do not want to go through my life and have regrets. I don’t ever want to let fear hold me back from trying new things. I am trying to teach my children not to let fear take over where they are too scared to try something that they are passionate about. Ultimately I learned a lot about myself. Maybe my courage trumps my fear. Maybe it took that terrifying audition to show me this. Whatever it was, I did it, I survived and I’m just fine.


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