We're the ones your mother warned your about...No, seriously. We are.

So You wanna be a Rock Superstar..

We have received you submission and would like to call you in for an audition.
Saturday, June 19, 2004
Time: 9AM to 11AM
label name & address deleted by Claris
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Phone: also deleted by Claris (Only call during audition hours)

Prepare as if you are doing a show at Staples. Have song ready (CD player available) and dress accordingly.


Huh? I checked my outgoing mail, & I did indeed send this address my contact information and my online portfolio...for their website.

Hrm. Obviously, someone wasn't paying attention. Now, I had two options.

1. 'Fess up, admit that I am in fact not looking for fame & fortune, and probably never hear from these people again, because let's face it, lots of people apply for the contract gigs on craigslist.

2. Show up & sing. The benefits of this being that a) what else was I doing on Saturday morning & b) while I'm not looking for the fame, I sure as fuck wouldn't turn down the fortune part. I mean, I'm a fairly mercenary sort of girl. (within reason, of course) For the right amount of money, I'll sing Marilyn Manson lyrics backwards for CDs to reveal Lucifer's primrose path of debauchery to kindergardeners.

Right. Those of you who know me can pretty much guess which one I picked. Plus, how often does one get to audition to be a rock star? Not to mention it takes care of what I was going to write about for the update, so really? This is all about me thinking of you - my dedicated readers. (yes, all three of you.)

Saturday morning rolls around, & I, well, I rolled out of bed. I was shooting to be there around 10, since there's no way in hell I'm anywhere at 9 on a Saturday morning unless I'm getting paid to be there, or you're a really good friend that's providing me with food to get me to show up. *grin*

Hrm. What does one wear when pretending to play the Staples center? Well, if you're me, you wear jeans and a black v-neck sweater, because if there's one thing I ain't, it's a Britney or Christina. First off, I couldn't pull that off in my wildest dreams, and second, there's still some pudge to my wudge, and the result would just be, well, scary. For everyone. So! Jeans and a black sweater it is. If nothing else, I've had several of my guy friends inform me that this sweater "makes your rack look fantastic & I thank you for wearing it" - so, hey, that's gotta count for something. *shrug*

If you're driving anywhere in LA before noon on a weekend you're pretty much guaranteed no traffic, so I had no problem getting there. It was getting in that proved a challenge. Three doors to the building, none of them opened. I don't get it. Is this like a Choose Your Own Adventure of some sort? If you get in Door #1, you get to have years of solid respectable albums such as Sheryl Crow or Eric Clapton. If you choose Door #2, you get to be a Flash-In-The-Pan two album wonder like Fiona Apple ('cause really, where'd she go?) If you get in Door #3, you've won instant success and fortune that will be immediately taken away as you become the laughingstock of the industry once someone reveals you as nothing but Milli Vanilli, the Sequel.

Or, you know, I could just walk all the way around and find the security gate so that they can open it for me. Hi, my name is Claris, and I'm a fucking goober! I'm here all week, folks - shows at 9 & 11,try the veal.

Once I managed to navigate into the damn building, I followed directions down the hallway and realized something very quickly - this was no hole in the wall dealio here. We shall pause here for a short side note. If you know this part already, feel free to skip it.

Most musicians now have two labels - the one that actually handles them and develops their CD, and another larger corporate label that acts as their distributor. For instance, Jon Bon Jovi has his own label, but while he might recruit the talent for it, someone such as BMG or Sony takes care of the mass marketing & distribution of the actual product.

Now I had never heard of this label, but based on the records on the walls, they probably had a damn good idea of what they were about. I could see everything from Dishwalla to the Guns & Roses Use Your Illusion albums, to Boys II Men, to Paula Abdul, and NIN.

It was silent as a tomb. Saturday morning, after all, who's there? No one. I was greeted by a guy with glasses and a clipboard who had me write my name and contact info, check off whether or not I had a demo, & then asked me to wait. I stood in the hallway for about three minutes, my brain going, "Shit, this is like, real. I need to stop having brilliant ideas..." and then I got called in.

You know how you see music videos, & they show studios that are set up like living rooms with couches and carpets & the like? Personally, I always rather figured that they were done like that for the purposes of creating a video set, but it would seem that no no - they exist for real. Two guys shook my hands an took seats on the couch, offering me the use of the CD player if I wanted it. I declined, since well, it's pretty much just me myself & I, and then prefaced with, "So, I should just start then?"

Which I did. I sing fairly well, so that part wasn't what I was worried about. I was more thinking about the suppressing the shaking in my right leg since yes, even I get nervous. For those of you wondering, I chose to sing "Feelin' Love" by Paula Cole since OzLady had liked it so much when I sang kareoke at her birthday. For the lyrics, go here....

I finished without humiliating myself in any blatantly obvious fashion that I could find, and they were nice enough to inform me that I "have a fantastic voice", then they doubled checked my contact info & I left.

And that's it. That's how one auditions for a record label. Or one way of doing it, I guess. Ten minutes is what you get, and then you're done. I wasn't going into this expecting fame & fortune, so it's not as though I pined away in grief or disappointment, but for people with aspirations...that's gotta hurt the first time, that's all I've got to say about it.

What, you might ask, does one do after auditioning for a record label? Well, personally, I went to my job for four hours, because side trips into the Land of Delusions of Grandeur is all well fine & good, but at the end of the day, pulling in time and a half is what pays the bills.

~ Claris
June 19, 2004

June 29, 2004 - No, I did not get a callback from the record company. As I said above, there's still pudge to my wudge & no matter how good my voice may have been, people in LA like their product ready-made. However, I'm finding a way to deal with the crushing disappointment. *grin*

Can I walk the walk, or was I a total waste of their time? I figured I'd let you guys decide for yourselves, so I got out the mike for my computer... just turn down the speakers if you're at work, 'cause these are some slightly explicit lyrics, kids. What I sang...

~ Claris' Archive