Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How Precious Is Life..Please Pray for Alisha!

My cousin, in her 7th month of pregnancy, has recently learned that she has 3rd stage ovarian cancer. The good news (if it can be called that) is it is mild-aggressive, the most treatable kind. Life is precious, and I'm daily in fervent prayer that God will protect the life of Alisha and her unborn baby. PLEASE DO THE SAME!

There have been some recent updates: This Sunday Alisha will be induced, and she should give birth no later than Tuesday. She can't deliver the baby via C-Section, because she is too anemic and they are concerned about the loss of blood. The doctors in Denver found that the cancer has spread to both ovaries, her uterus, and her spleen. So on Thursday, after just a few days of recovery, she will undergo surgery to have all of those parts removed. Then again with just a few days to recover, she will undergo chemotherapy. She has also had a build-up of fluid around her abdomen, which they drain periodically, as it adds to her discomfort.

Please pray for Alisha, that she will heal quickly in-between these events, that she will continue in her confidence in God, that she will not be overcome by fear, and ultimately, that God will carry her through this extremely difficult time and give her many more years of blessed life. Please pray for the doctors caring for her, and for her family who is there in Denver with her now. Please pray that they will all be blessed with a peace beyond understanding!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Rip on American Idol

This is the cardinal commandment of post-idol rejection, which I am now putting into practice. Sure, I could be one of those people who ooze bitterness and lament over the gimmick contestants that stole their golden ticket, but that's soooo last season...

Instead I'm choosing to recount the things I have to be grateful for: I'm grateful that I didn't break down in front of the judge and squeak my way through the song. I stood up straight, looked him right in the eye, snapped, and belted it out as best I can. I feel good about that. Second, I'm grateful that I was being myself, and if they weren't in the market for the Lacy-types that day, then at least I wasn't trying to be someone else. Third, and the biggest one, I'm grateful that I'm constantly surrounded by friends and family who I love and who have a mutual place in their hearts for me, who want more than a 30 second interview! I'm also grateful that I'm still a singer, and I know God has plans for this voice.

That being said, I can see things I might have done differently. Walking to the middle of the audition space instead of standing right in front of the judge, or smiling more, picking a different song...these are all little things that may have tipped the scales in my favor, I think. Who knows?

Rejection is hard, and it's tempting to think I must be a no-talent hack who should've spent more time carving out a legitimate trade. But at the end of the Day, Idol is a TV show before it's a talent competition. Sure, it would've provided a huuuge boost in my singing career, but I witnessed with my own eyes other talented singers who felt they had a good chance getting shot down yesterday. Music goes on, with or without the influence of Idol. What hurts a little is that they generate so much excitement for their own purposes. They know, as I knew somewhere in the back of my head, that of those thousands of singers yesterday, only a lucky few would make it through. Emphasis on "lucky": the whole experience felt much more like gambling than it did an audition. You could tell there were a few contestants who really knew how to catch the judges eye, by sitting on the table or throwing down their hats...and MY hat is off to them, because a lot of them did make it.

Anyway, the rest of the crowd was necessary for the show material. We stood forever on the steps to the arena, for instance, saying things like "I'm the next American Idol!" over and over. Then Ryan Seacrest showed up and we had to cheer after he said some kind of introduction. I guess some people think participation like that is fun. I'm just more of the mind that I don't want my 15 minutes of fame to be used up while standing in a huge crowd. Moreover, I'm not the kind of girl who enjoys getting up at 2am to curl my hair and glob on make-up just for the chance to be one more hopeful face beaming at the camera. Maybe I'm just getting too old...

I'm not sure if I'll audition again, probably not. I feel like it was a valuable experience, in that it proved that the unlikely chance of getting through is for the small few. It showed me that I don't necessarily want to be the "STAR" everyone gets to ogle over. I want to be a rousing musician whose songs motivate people to do the right thing, and it's always more fun if you get to do that with a group of people, instead of all by yourself. Don't get me wrong--if I had made it through, I would be clinging to that ticket for dear life. Still, I'm glad for the reminder.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

American Idol! For real...

Before 4:30 had time to hit this morning, Dan and I found ourselves being corralled between portable barricades. Like thousands of others, we stood for a while and then begrudgingly sat upon the cushy concrete...after a night of no sleep, just about any sitting surface feels pretty great. Sound fun? It was all by choice-my choice to audition for American Idol Season 9. Dan chose to accompany me, even offering to go clothes shopping so we can find the perfect outfit. He's certainly a special man! I'm confident he's the only one of his kind...sorry ladies...
The rest of the Idol herd was obviously super energized, opting to break out in their showcase song instead of lowing, and waiting for a split-second chance to flash their carefully practiced smiles and wave at the passing cameramen...everyone practices their smile right?? I'm not ashamed to say I do. I'm more than happy with how God made me, but my mouth demands a little finesse in order to produce a shimmery grin, opposed to a maniacal sneer. I think I've got the face muscles down, but there is a fine line between the two.
A group of camera-hungry gals right in front of us got a few great opportunities to show their style. One of them sang a portion of her song onto a very old cell phone held out by a local radio show host. I'm not one to critique a girl who cannot defend herself, so that's all I will say. That's how it went a lot of the morning. Some people were obviously talented, and you wondered how they would fare with the judges. Others were not so, and the same thought occurred because, like it or not, AI is a television show. They have to make their money the same as other shows, on RATINGS. A group of talented super-singers effortlessly gliding through is not nearly enough controversy to spark the general population's interest. Hence America's love/hate relationship with Simon (not that I mean to speak bad of him. I very much hope to reach the point where he may in fact sear me in the heat of his scrutiny, but will be even more delighted if it goes the other way :).

Anyhow four hours later, we were moving through our corral and up the small steps to Amway Arena. We stood in a brief line and waited our turn to quickly flash and ID, stick out our arm, and receive an armband and seat tickets. Mine was yellow, indicating I'll be taking the leap before complete strangers with the power to push me closer to my dreams, or focus me in another direction completely. Dan's was white, indicating he's the lucky one who gets to sit in the stands and agonize over my figure among the throngs as I slowly inch closer and closer to the jury.

The whole registration process took less than a minute. Now we get to wait two days, head back, and take part as the REAL fun begins.