Wednesday, July 30, 2008

American Idol Auditions

My twin sister Meg and my older sister Ashley and I went to try out for American Idol. Meg and I thought it would be fun, but we honestly thought that my sister Ashley was a shoe-in to make it thru. So we wanted to support her.

Ashley auditioned for American Idol in San Francisco last year, so she had been thru the process once before. Here's how it went:

On Sunday morning Meg, Ash and I lined up at the Energy Solutions Arena (can I just say that I've ALWAYS hated that name and I still do. It's not catchy, it's not concise, it's not fun...I don't like it) at 4:30 AM. We waited in line until 7:45 AM and then we got wrist bands and reserved seats for the Tuesday morning auditions.

We went to bed at 3:00 AM on Saturday night/Sunday morning, so being in line by 5:00 AM was quite the challenge (we just couldn't sleep. We were all too excited, kind of like the feeling you get when you try to sleep on Christmas Eve, though we weren't going to get presents when we got up, we were going to sit in line). Anyway, the story goes on...

Yesterday morning, Tuesday July 29, 2008, we went to the Arena at 8:00, they filed us into the building, we sat in our reserved seats, and then Ryan Seacrest came out. He doesn't go to all of the audition cities, but he came here. It was fun to see him. I think he is probably the best host there has ever been, on any show. I am not necessarily a huge fan of his personally, but as a host I think he's fabulous. From 8:00-9:30 we did a whole bunch of camera shots. Ryan would say, "This is American Idol" and we'd all scream, the camera would pan around, then we'd do that exact same thing 5 times and then we'd move on to his next line, then we'd scream, then we'd do it again 5 more times...and so on and so forth. It was fun, but it got old after a while. I sure am glad that Ashley brought coloring books!

After that we started to audition. There were 3 "Utah Idols" that got to audition in front of everyone first. These 3 people had done different competitions in Utah to be the first to audition and they had won those competitions, so I really thought all 3 of them would make it thru to the next round (there are 3 rounds of judges before you see Paula, Randy, and Simon, and you don't see Paula, Randy and Simon until November, if you make it past the first 3 rounds). But only one of the 3 "Utah Idols" made it thru. I thought they were all AMAZING, so to see that only one of them made it thru helped us realize that we had a very slim chance of making it thru. So the next 100 people go and only 1 person got a "golden ticket" to move to the next round. The odds at best from that point on were 1/70 to get a "golden ticket". Meg, Ash and I were up in front of the judges about 2 hours into the auditions. We went to a table that only had one judge sitting there (you obviously want two or three judges to watch you because your odds of at least one of them liking you are much greater, but the other 2 people who were supposed to be sitting there had gone on break, so we only had one judge). She stared at my chest the whole time. No joke. No eye contact, no looking around, nothing. It's VERY hard to sing to someone who isn't looking at you, but to have a WOMAN staring at my chest the whole time I sang was extremely awkward. Meg went after me (and I thought she ROCKED her audition) and then Ash (who was perfect, as always). The lady told all three of us after we had auditioned that we all had amazing voices, that we should keep singing, but that none of us had the "IT" factor they were looking for. She said they want girls this season who will make everyone forget about Kelly Clarkson, Jordan Sparks, Kerri Underwood, and all of the other female American Idols from the past.

After you walk away from the table someone walks up to you, cuts off your wristband in front of the thousands of people in the stadium, and then you walk across the stadium floor to the "non-winner" exit. (I thought "non-winner" was so lame...honestly people, we are adults. You cut off our wrist bands and make us do the walk-of-shame, so let's call the exit what it is, the "loser" exit).

Now, let me just end by saying I had a blast doing this. I am extremely exhausted. The lack of sleep has caught up to me. But I think it was very fun, very random, and very daring of us to audition. Why not? When else will we get a chance like this? I had a fun experience with my sisters, did something not everyone will get a chance to do, and had a blast doing it. I honestly knew my chances of moving on were slim, but I am glad I tried. I am glad that I didn't suck during my audition (I was so scared my nerves would get to me) and that I left feeling like I had done my best and that I was pretty dang cool for giving it a shot. But, if you ask me if I would do it again I will definitely have to say NO. Good times were had but I would never put myself thru that much sleep deprivation and cattle-call-like crowds again.

It'll be interesting to see who DOES make it thru though. I wonder what they'll have to say about Salt Lake City...

Oh, one last thing...sorry this is turning out to be so long...Desert Star called me while I was in line waiting to audition and they asked me to come in and audition for "Scary Poppins" which is the show they will be performing in September and October. So I went and auditioned last night (exhausting having 2 auditions in one day, but why not get them both over with?!) and I felt very good about my audition. Who knows when I will hear from them, but whether or not I make it I know that I did my best and now it's up to the directors to see who exactly they are looking for. I'll keep you posted!

Meg and Ash waiting outside of the Energy Solutions Arena on the morning of July 29, 2008 (wasn't it so nice of me to make them face the sun?!) Oh, and can I add how dang cool I think Meg is? Who can pull off that '80's punk look? She definitely can. She really is so dang cool:Me & Meg sitting in our fabulous seats in the Arena. Ryan Seacrest was doing his little schpeel at the time, but he is so short I couldn't get a good picture of him...Here's a picture of the floor of the arena. We all had to sing at tables right next to each was VERY noisy and it was very hard for the judges to hear'd think they'd have a better way of doing things...(sorry about this horrible quality picture. I used my phone and it was very bright in there. But you can see the black curtains down on the floor. The curtains "separated" the tables):

And finally, here's the poster for the Desert Star Playhouse show I auditioned for on the very same day:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ibapah 2008

Jesse's family reunion is held every year in a tiny little town called Ibapah. Here is a picture of the welcome sign:

No, I am not joking, that is it. Notice that it is in the middle of a big ol' empty field. Well, that's what Ibapah is. A big desert. Population of approximately 100 people. Now, my first year there I didn't have the greatest time. It was over 100 degrees every day, I didn't know many people (Jesse and I had been married for a little over 6 months, so I wasn't very close with his siblings and parents(yet)). I am not an avid dirt biker *note the sarcasm* and thus I sat in a chair in the blazing sun for 3 days. My Harry Potter book's binding melted as I read joke, I still have it as proof. It completely fell apart. I was trying to look like I was having a good time, but I honestly wasn't.

The next year I had to go to Girl's Camp, so I was off the hook. Jesse could tell I was a little too excited about the fact that they over-lapped and was hurt. He does love Ibapah so very much.

The next year it was a bit better. I knew more people, it wasn't as hot as usual, and I found ways to entertain myself while Jesse was off riding dirt bikes.

Last year was even better. I love Jesse's family. I am truly a Hubbard now (or so I feel) so I fit right in (though I still didn't jump in that scary, still-standing pond...which Jesse will tell you is not a still-standing pond. He will tell you there is a current in there, but I'm telling you people, there is not. There is a little film on the top of the water that you have to break when you enter. I like to call it "Pond Skin".) I enjoyed the raffle, the roasting of marshmallows, the conversations, and just had a great time.

But this year, I must say that I loved it. I loved every moment of it. I enjoyed the ride out (I watched "Just Friends" while we drove, which is one of my very favorite movies). I enjoyed our stop in Wendover, Nevada for Arby's. I enjoyed the additional hour-long drive thru the desert past Wendover. I enjoyed driving up, and seeing that they had stopped letting the cows into the pasture that we sleep in, so there was a lot of green grass, hardly any cow dung, and plenty of shady trees. I enjoyed setting up my tent, roasting marshmallows (always my favorite part of camping. I love how satisfying s'mores are! They can take care of any craving.) I loved Saturday morning when we made breakfast. This was the first year that I didn't forget anything of great importance so I didn't have to ask to borrow any of my mother-in-law's things (she's always so nice to lend me forks, milk, ice, whatever it is that I so stupidly forgot). I LOVED the Saturday morning games. We had so much fun. And, my favorite part of the whole experience is the fact that I SHOCKED Jesse. I love to shock Jesse. It's probably my favorite thing to do at the present time. I love to show him that after 5 1/2 years of marriage I can surprise him.

So, there is this MASSIVE tree that has a rope for you to jump out of. This tree is probably 20 feet tall (at least). And I am definitely afraid of heights. I truly am. And I don't trust me and ropes jumping out of trees. But I decided to just walk up to it, climb up that shaky little later, and then jump out of the tree. The problem is, when I got up there I chickened out. But Jesse had seen me at this point so he started to grin, and tell me he couldn't believe I was up there. Then a crowd of people gathered around (probably 30 people) and they were all waiting. I am frozen up there, thinking of how my 8-year-old niece had just done this exact thing earlier in the morning and had the guts to go thru with it, so how could I chicken out? Jesse proceeded to climb up the ladder, help me grip the rope and get in a good position to jump and then I I am...with my horrified expression and my double chin...
Now look at Jesse's facial expression! That is priceless. He really couldn't believe I was jumping off. I love that...I love to be cool like that...hahahah...I am so just kidding! How cool can I actually be when I have to have my husband climb up the tree to give me a pep talk? Man, I just need to grow up...

The main reason why this year was fun is because my twin sister Meg and her husband Quenten came with us! Now, some of you might think: "This was a Hubbard reunion and Meg and Q are Jennings, not Hubbards..." Well, that's another story for another time, but Meg and Q are Hubbards. They definitely are. They come to all of the Birthday parties, Mother's Day celebrations, Father's Day celebrations, and they even come to the Hubbard's house on Christmas morning with us. So, it seemed right that they come to Ibapah. And they did! Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with Jesse at Ibapah, but his idea of having a good time out there and my idea of having a good time out there are completely different. I like to read, chat, eat, and play games. He likes to dirt bike, go target shooting, and jump into that dirty pond I spoke of earlier. So having Meg there was a great time. We love to do the same things and we definitely love to chat...and Q and Jesse love the same things as well, so we split up for certain parts of the day and then the 4 of us hung out during other parts.

Anyway, the point of me bringing them up was to put this picture on my blog. I love it so very much! This is Meg and Jesse as they are going down the zip-line which ends with you dropping into that dirty little pond...

Please note Jesse's facial expression priceless is that?! He can't believe Meg is doing this with him either. He is just learning of Meg's obsession with water. That is one of our MAJOR differences. Meg will do anything she can to get wet. And I will do anything I can to stay dry. She is always hot. I am always cold. And therefore she is always trying to cool off and I am always trying to stay warm.

And finally, a picture of Quenten playing Frisbee golf, or "frolf" as I like to call it, with Jesse...

Sorry if this was a boring blog for any of my fellow bloggers, but I had to say that I finally truly enjoyed myself at Ibapah and am looking forward to next year. I never thought I'd get to that point, but I have!!!! Yea! And I will post again later with some pictures of Meg and her new best friend Copper...