The finals are complete! Yay!
Okay, before I get started, I need to do something real quick...
That's Reba. She's cheering for me.
WOW. Reba is so excited about me winning the Preds game Smash Hit semi-finals! She can't believe I made it to the finals that happen Friday April 12th, 2013!
Thanks, Reba, for all your support!* (please note SMALL disclaimer at end of this post)
I am so thankful for this opportunity. That's so cliché to say/write, but I really mean it. To be able to play for 19,000-something people for two whole games, and now a THIRD!
I'm VERY tempted to wear a billboard somewhere on my body with my website and contact information on it for the next game. I ain't above it.
For this last performance, I sang Dolly Parton's "Jolene," and it was a blast! It's dark, it's twisted, it's soulful-ish, it's the south, it's everything.
There was one other guy I was competing with - Mitchell Tenpenny. He was awesome. And SO cool. Oh, Competition, you try and divide us, but it ain't gonna work. People are awesome, and we singer-type need all the support we can get.
I somehow managed to get the highest amount of votes, and I will be singing one more time for this competition.
BAH, I really hope I get this.
April 12th. Friday. 2013. Tickets are cheaper right now. StubHub has 'em, Craig's List has 'em, the world is your hockey puck(oyster)! Why don't ya grab some and come vote for me? *bats eyelashes*
I leave you with a couple more pictures from the game. Yeehaw!
*Technically, Reba does not know me from Adam, nor does she know I am using this picture. TECHNICALLY, I might have just googled "woohoo!" and this picture popped up, and I just ganked it off the Internet, blah blah....
Most of the time, life runs in a pretty predictable pattern. You eat your breakfast, go out and till your land for the day, pay some bills, buy some dish soap, have a few thoughts of wishing you could buy the more expensive dish soap, eat dinner, and then go to bed, wake up, and do it all again. ...Then every once in awhile, something really crazy and interesting happens, and in about 10 seconds, your life goes from organized and predictable to messy and AWESOME!
Apparently, it was my turn to have the random-awesome moment this week! Sa-weet!
A long time ago (it felt like a year!), I submitted a video into a singing contest. It was for the Nashville Predators' "Smash Hit" singing competition. They held live auditions in downtown Nashville. I had missed them and saw something about it on the news that evening. They then said videos were also being accepted. That night, about an hour before the deadline, I sent in a video and forgot all about it.
Fast forward to this past Friday night. I get this email:
You have been selected to compete in our Smash Hit vocal competition. I wanted to check with you to see if you were available Monday the 25th for a 5pm sound check and 8:30 performance during the second intermission at our game.
Once I know your availability, I'll send you the details for the day."
What?! What did I sign up for again? Is this a scam? I was confused. After a couple more emails, I realized what was going on, and it started to sink in.
(Although, for one competitive-singing-tv-show-that-shall-remain-nameless, I made it to the top 15, but I wound up rolling my eyes at a comment the judges made about my performance, a moment which was focused on in the episode, and then "suddenly" I was cut. Oops... teehee.)
Now, on to the night of the game/competition. Long story short, we got up on the "band stage" at 2nd intermission, each sang our one song, and afterwards the people at the game texted in who their favorite was. Then after about 5 minutes, voting stopped and they announced the winner.
Somehow, I managed to win this particular singing contest and advance to the semi-finals.
...Which will be held NEXT TUESDAY, APRIL 2ND.
Did you see that? I'll type it again, just in case.
NEXT TUESDAY, APRIL 2ND.
And cheap tickets can be purchased here. And then you can come and vote for me. Come on, you know you wanna see me on a Jumbo Tron. A JUMBO TRON, for cryin' out loud!
If I win the semi-finals, I will advance to the final round. If I win the finals, I will get the most incredible blessings I could think of right now. Like a fully paid-for showcase in Nashville provided by William Morris Agency, as well as William Morris Agency representation, as well as studio time. Oh my good grief, knowing how difficult it is to have such great representation, and how expensive it is to have a showcase, this would be a dream come true. Especially since I have an album coming out soon!
Also, I just want to say (write)... Ryan, the guy whom I was competing against, was really awesome.
It is so hard to "accurately" JUDGE someone's music.
...Which is why I hold very loosely to things like competitions.
But I still wanna win. :P
I never said that.
I leave you with some photos and low-quality video footage of the events of last night. If you get dizzy watching them, just close your eyes. :P
I hope your holidays were glaaahrious. I hope you were able to rest and laugh and get lots of hugs. I had the privilege of playing for a good many Christmas parties this year. And then I spent actual Christmas with my in-laws at a lake. It was fun. I ate some turkey. I slept a lot. I even read a book. I forgot to take pictures. Got some pretty sweet gifts. Yep. That's about it.
Wow, this blog post is really starting with a bang....
Well anyways, right after Christmas, my husband and I took a trip to Ft. Walton Beach, FL to get away and write some songs, thanks to my aunt and uncle's gorgeous beachside condo. Good lord, it was heaven.
Aw, heck. We're all friends here.
Woowee! What a treat we didn't deserve in a million years. And we wrote new songs that you can hear at my shows!
So we drove back from Florida on New Years' Eve, just in time to hang out with these n00bs:
We hung out, ate soup, drank some sherry (and by sherry, I mean I tried the sherry and then proceeded to cut it with a large amount of Mountain Dew), and then drove to downtown Nashville to "watch the music note drop."
In the freezing rain.
And the chick on the left in the last picture wore her pajamas.
I love my friends.
So anyways, we stuffed ourselves onto Broadway like sardines, running into each others' umbrellas, and feeling the water seep through our clothes. This picture really sums it up nicely.
I kid, I kid. Well, not about the rain part. I kid about the insinuation that it wasn't fun - okay, so it wasn't the BEST time I've ever had, but if it wasn't for good company, I believe I would've been the cranky so-this-is-what-it-feels-like-to-live-in-an-ice-cube lady. Instead, I was the joyful mute, glaring at the intoxicated many who ran into me with my laser beam eyes.
Wow, Jessie, you're lame. But I digress... how cute are my little friends?!
Yay, adventures. :)
Along with making the
minuscule big bucks being a music artist, I also teach voice and piano lessons to some pretty cool folks. ...And the occasional demon zombie child... But mainly cool people.
I absolutely adore teaching. I especially love teaching voice. I get very "into" it and sometimes quite emotional. I'll give cheesy thrilling motivational speeches and make my students do vocal exercises they wouldn't want anyone in the world to hear them sing. And, hey Jack (Si from Duck Dynasty reference, anyone??), it works. And it's fun to watch them squirm wwoohahaha.
The other day, I had a few lessons, and I had to grab a couple of new piano books for one of my students. I walked into Shuff's Music in Franklin, TN, my most favorite music store. Get in, get out.
That's what she said. That was the plan.
But, nope. That wasn't going to happen. Why? Glad you asked. I'll tell you.
I walked back to the music book room, a very echoey, wood-floor room, and there was a lone high school kid trying out a trumpet for what sounded like the first time. "Awww," I thought at first. "That's so sweet."
My "awww"s turned to "WTF" after about 10 minutes, when he continued to toot that thing loudly and obnoxiously, as well as stand in the very spot from which I needed to grab my music. I wasn't quite sure what to do. So, I did what anyone would do. I pulled out my video camera so y'all could get you a piece of this action.
I finally quit being nice and nudged my way to my books.
As I was leaving, a store clerk came by to check on the trumpeteer (kinda like a rocketeer, but way, way lamer). He proceeded to ask if he could try out a saxophone. "I've never played one before, but I wanna try it," he said.
I ran out as fast as I could. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So I get to my lesson. And my sweet and gorgeous student Lucy greets me at the door with Setzer, the coolest cat in the history of cats.
Did I mention that her dad is THE Pedal Doctor? He's a guitar gear genius, and pedal-maker to the stars! And the lead guitar player in my band. :) But I digress...
So take note of little Lucy's fingers in this picture...
Now take a look at 'em...
This little smarty figured out that if she could just memorize WHERE to put her hands on the piano, and write all the note names on her fingers, then the piano was much easier to play. I can't say I haven't thought this very same thing.
And did I
name-drop mention that BONO has played the piano I teach Lucy on? Yeah. STUPID!! (That means cool in this instance, Mom.)
I think my favorite part about teaching music, though, is just being around kids. I love their smiles and their enthusiasm and their - who am I kidding - I love their COMPLIMENTS! Ever feeling down about yourself? Go find yourself a kid. Don't kidnap the thing or anything, but just go find one and talk to 'em. They think grown ups are super stars! But be sure to stick around the 5-9 age group. By 11 or so, they pretty much hate your guts.
My last student was a sweet, sweet girl whom I had just met. She was a bit shy at first, but by the end, she was squealing and laughing and drawing pictures of she and I frolicking in flower fields.
I think it's safe to say that I am
full of it the child whisperer.
I feel quite lucky.
Like any good starving artist, I have been trying to play as many shows as I can. This includes the ever-interesting "Open Mic Nights." As one can imagine, open mic nights are GREAT people-watching. It's kinda like the DMV of the music industry, if you get my drift.... I kidnapped my husband last night, and we drove down to the historic Bluebird Café in Nashville. I've decided that's why God made marriage. So people don't have to go to awkward Open Mic Nights alone. Among other things.
I knew it was going to be a bit crazy, as the Bluebird is quite the tourist attraction, and it's probably tinier than any other bar or restaurant ever, in the history of ever. But alas, this is what people do if they wanna be a singer/songwriter, so I better get in line.
We walked up to the unassuming line with a smile on our faces. We were ready to OWN this thang.
But as a few hours passed, standing in line in the cold, our attitudes got a little cold, too. We tried to entertain ourselves, and as the line grew, it worked for a little while.
But we quickly got cranky. Like, super cranky. I'm not posting pictures of that.
We finally got inside. Yessssss. We signed in, got a hot chocolate and prepared for a long night. They then called out by random drawing, who was playing when. By the time they got to #30, they said, "The following people MAY be able to play 1 song tonight, but it's not guaranteed: JESSIE SMITH...."
"AW H*LL NAW," I yelled. "YOU GONNA LET ME PLAY, SON!"
Just kidding. I didn't say that. I just made this face.
I was fading FAST. Then, the announcer guy said, "If you want, you can take a number and come back next week and have the opportunity to play in the first hour, because this is a big pain my @$$." (That was a loose translation.)
So we took our number and happily got outta dodge.
Maybe next time we will ACTUALLY get to perform.