I wanted to leave around 10, but the ladies in the room beside ours said we could follow them to Magness Arena. Colleen and Charlene were leaving close to 1. I decided we’d follow them, so we waited. According to Masha, the receptionist, many of the guests had already gone for early auditions.
Ysabela was happy to wait since she could spend time chatting with Mohammad. The funniest thing was that they were sitting in the same hotel room not five feet from each other having a Facebook conversation. That cracked me up! Before you get the wrong idea, Kemila and little brother Azume were also present, and the door was open. In between frequent smoke breaks, I told Kemila if Bela was bothering her, kick her out. Kemila responded, “She’s my daughter.”
Colleen (Charlene’s hypnotist) told me they had an extra room we could have if we needed it since we checked out at 1. I told them I’d pay for it, but Colleen said it wasn’t necessary. I told her to get her money back if we didn’t come back to La Quinta. My plan was to let Bela audition and drive straight home.
We met some really cool people on this little adventure. The open call did bring out the good, the bad and the ugly! There had to have been at least 1000 people waiting for a chance to sing.
I was following Colleen and Charlene as planned when a black Escalade pulled between us. The girls made the turn, we had traffic and lost them! OH, NO! I can get lost in a paper bag! NOOOOOOOOOOO! So I took a deep breath, made the turn and saw a pay-per-hour parking lot. The Escalade turned in, and I followed. (Are you seeing a pattern in my travels?) I took the space right beside the Escalade. Out of the vehicle came three people. I knew right away someone was there to sing. Melissa was the one auditioning. Her husband and her mother were there for moral support. We waited in line together. As we chatted, one of the security people made an announcement that we needed to make sure we didn’t have matches, lighters, knives or any other “dangerous” things. It suddenly dawned on me that I had a knife in my purse. I was not about to walk back to the car and leave my knife there. I was afraid the line would start moving, and Bela would go in without me! I turned to Melissa’s husband and asked if he would stick my knife in his pocket since he couldn’t go in with his wife. He was such a kind person! He laughed and took it. Melissa’s mom was sitting in the shade holding a sign that said, “Missy J. All the Way!”
An announcement was also made that, once in line, the wait time was from two to four hours. That proved true. Outside there were four roped off lanes with three lines in each. Identification and audition passes were checked, purses were searched and everyone was “wanded.” I had expected to accompany Bela up to the door for her audition, but I was allowed to go in with her and her group! WHOOHOO! She sang with Taylor, Julia, Angelina and a few others. Some hopefuls had made the rounds from X Factor, American Idol and The Voice. There were a lot of awesome singers, and Bela, inexperienced but hopeful, did as well as anyone else. She represented well.
There is a major confidentiality clause in the contract everyone had to sign, but I can tell you I can’t break it because I don’t know anything beyond our experience. It was absolutely positive, and Ysabela hopes to go again.
Melissa ended up in another group, and when we got back to the car, their Escalade was gone. I looked on my windshield, and there was my knife. Pretty cool people….