Wasn't sure what I was going to write about today. I think I'll tell a (true) story.
When my youngest was 16 years old he auditioned to be on the television show called 'Americas Got Talent'. He was accepted to move on to subsequent rounds in other cities including Las Vegas before making it through to be one of the final 48 acts appearing on live TV in Hollywood. He is a yoyoer. Never mind that most of America doesn't realize yoyoing exists on this level, I am sure I wouldn't either if I didn't live with one. The fact that he was a minor, required an adult (me) to be with him on all trips and shows. We live in a tiny town in northern Illinois and Ian had never been to Los Angeles before this. He was beyond excited. Thrilled is an understatement. I, on the other hand was a bit hesitant about the whole television thing, but going to LA for 8 days on someone else's dime was definitely good with me.
I have a weird relationship with television-I like it but hardly watched it, I hate the fake bullshit of this sort of television. If you've seen this show, you may know what I am talking about. Generally speaking, I am the opposite of him in wanting to be performing on a stage. Reams of paperwork had to be signed by both of us before each chapter of the journey and reading through a lot of it was frankly, scary. IF he had won, we basically were required to sign the following 2 years of his life over to this entity.
Being up close and personal with these days of filming the show were pretty educational. I learned a lot and realized (probably already knew, on some level) how fake and false these "live" shows were. Everything is staged. Everything is planned. Which is really fine, except that so many people watch these types of shows, believing that it is spontaneous and genuine when some performer says something simple. The upside of the entire experience for me and probably for Ian as well, was the fascinating, bizarre and incredibly friendly performers we shared our week with. We were in a group of 12. Eleven other talents to make friends with on the long days of waiting. Some days our call was 9:15 AM and he was not called until 6:45 PM...to be filmed saying one sentence that the producer had heard him say and liked and decided it should be filmed... all of which took exactly 4 and a half minutes.
So we had A LOT of time to get to know others. That was really interesting. Without this chance,would we ever have become friends with completely tattooed sword swallowers who could hang things from their eyelids? Young people who jump-roped for a living? Three young singing kids who were like 6? Magicians and jugglers and a wonderful guy who sang like Elvis? And the one who won that year - an amazing guy who sang like Frank Sinatra- was in our group! I remember an awesome story he shared with me about his life in a rural southern state...memories to last. People are just fascinating, honestly. x #500wordsaday