Yes, I know. I start alot of posts with that, it seems. But here's the condensed version: It sucked, sorry.
Lately, I keep hearing people talking about me. And it's not in the usual negative manner, either. No, this time, they're actually speaking well of me, which is a refreshing change of pace. But the whole reason they're talking about me is kinda unnerving, and I hope this post explains why.
"You got robbed," I heard from one kid at random while I was at Sheetz.After me saying "thanks" a few times, the conversation ended. It's a conversation I've repeated alot in the last few weeks, too. Other contestants, their families, a few other folks who were there; they all think it should have been me to go on to New York with Mike Willz. And to be perfectly honest, Mike and I talked about it, and we both thought it was one person until that night. When we found out it was two, we both sighed in relief, knowing that the likelyhood was that he and I would be going.
"What?!?" I didn't know him at all, and for him to say that to me off the cuff startled me a bit.
"The karaoke contest!"
"Oh, yeah..." I was trying to figure out how this kid, who certainly didn't look old enough to drink, would even remotely know that I was involved in it.
"Dude, I work up there. Almost everyone up there says that it should have been you."
"Yeah, I've been hearing that alot lately..."
And there's the thing: I talked to Mike. I got to know him a bit. We've even talked about co-hosting a show at the Rowland sometime in the future. Point is, we became friends. And it's like that with alot of musicians in our area. We're all friends, or we all have mutual friends. We do shows together.
Contests like that, while fun, are ultimately, for the poorer among us, just quick cash and prizes for our talents. Most area musicians don't even do them (some see it as the bar leagues to their local 'big leagues', itself the bar circuit). Me? Well, working at the Avenue running a karaoke show has made it more or less part of my entertainment job as a whole, so to me, it's just another night at the office.
But my office is a stage. Rock on!
The competition angle isn't what we're really in it for. We all win, place, or show, but it's always someone different among us. That night, it was Autumn and Mike, not me. I've cashed out a couple of times before, and won quite a few fun ones, so it's no big deal. Wasn't a cash prize involved unless you made the nationals, anyway, and then the competition is just too tight to make it worth it.
I've known Autumn forever. Her whole family is musical, so it's no surprise. Her mom and aunt are themselves wonderful singers, her dad an accomplished sound engineer (and probably musician as well) in his own right, so the genes are there for her talent. Mike, I'd just met some weeks before when I qualified, but he's certainly a highly talented guy, definitely in the upper echelon of our own karaoke circuit. To talk to, he's a very easy going guy, someone I'd certainly hang out with.
To us, it's not about who got robbed, or what judges, who'd never judged a karaoke contest before in their lives, don't know their ass from a hole in the ground. We had fun doing it, and entertained a whole shitload of people in the process. That's what we're really in it for in the end: we do what we do to entertain people, to make them smile and have fun.
Besides: I got the Buck-It gig. Sounds like it's chock-full-o'-WIN to me, not to mention the steady paydays to come from it. Screw $2000 for a national prize. I'll have that in a few weeks with these guys, and then lather, rinse, repeat...