There’s no way I can fit this into a single blog, so I’ll try to write as many as I can  in the next few days.  First of all …

Yes, it’s true I was on “America’s Got Talent.”  Yes it’s true I was buzzed after about 10 seconds.  And no, I wasn’t trying to lose.

Last March I was invited to go to Seattle to compete on America’s Got Talent.  My first reaction was: “You’ve got to be kidding! No way!”

But then I started re-thinking …

3 Contestants in my game-show musical - Bela (Emily Rostykus), Gabriel (Janelle Nadeau) & Eden (Meg Mann).

I’ve been working on a musical called “In the Wings  (or What the Hell are you doing in the Waiting Room for Heaven??)” It’s about the ultimate game-show: auditions to get into Heaven.  I realized I couldn’t pass up the chance to actually experience a talent show like this first-hand, to meet competitors, to see what it’s really like.  Ego be damned – this was a chance to be in the belly of the beast.  The beast I’m writing a show about!

There were other mitigating factors, like it meant I got to go out to the Seattle area three weeks before my show with the Tacoma Symphony, so I could rehearse with the “HarpBreakers” and do some in-person PR — all of which helped sell out my March 27th show.

But actually competing on “America’s Got Talent” was priceless in terms of first-hand experience – learning about the personalities backstage, what people did to prepare, how people responded to rejection, how some people were so deeply sincere and authentic and others were trying to ‘game’ the experience; the many hours of interviews, the second-guessing about repertoire, the people who really hit their mark, and how some utterly and authentically made the audience fall in love with them – and were still rejected.  There’s no way I could possible get this kind of visceral experience except by being there.

And then there was my own personal journey … but all that is to come.  This was a rich and deep and truly iconic experience.  The rejection?  That was good too — deeply good.  But I’ll write about all that in the next few days now that I finally can.

To listen to a song from the musical, click the play button below.

This song happens at the point of the musical when casting coach, Aubrey, begins to realize she’s spent her life coaching others to win, while she, herself, is still watching from the wings.

And to read the next blog in this series click here.

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