I am standing backstage, third in line to perform. I peek through the curtains. The venue is huge, it’s televised and the stage is full of props. There is smoke, fire, stairs, etc. all the things that would contribute to a disaster in heels. A producer walks up to me and asks if I’m ready. I realize that I’m on one of those singing shows and I’m a contestant. This is an utterly horrible realization.
The next girl goes on. She has a technically perfect voice that sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard. She dances around fire torches, leaps onto the stairs and swirls through the blinding smoke. She does all of this in 4” stilettos.
I notice I am in a skin tight, super short dress and platform boots. I grab the rail of the stairs and try to breathe. The dress is too tight. The shoes are too tall. The bra is doing a very uncomfortable magical feat. I really have to pee.
How did I get here? My first instinct is to run or hobble away. There are dozens of producers and Nazi hair and make-up people, between me and the back door. I’m not getting out that way. I look at the stage. I can’t remember getting this far in the competition. Did I sing? Can I sing? Maybe I can do this. I mimic some vocal exercises. I don’t have a song to perform on the stage from hell. I try to think of lyrics to anything. The only song I can remember is Hotel California. I try to sing. My voice cracks and squeaks.
Mirrors on the ceiling, the pink Champaign on ice, and she said “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device.”
“Don’t worry. It will be over soon.” Someone says.
I spin around and Adam Levine, “The Sexiest Man Alive” is standing there in a faded ripped up t-shirt and leather pants.
He looks like he feels genuinely sorry for me and pats my shoulder. “If you can get through this, America will vote you off tonight and it will all be over.”
Huh? What do you know? I want to yell. You aren’t even sexy. Men should take up space. They should have a presence that makes those around them feel secure!
“Uh, thanks,” is all I manage to get out as he walks away.
This isn’t the right stage for me but I’m out of options. I fluff my hair, smooth my dress and rearrange my boobs. The stage goes dark. They call my name. Sorry America, I think as I step into the smoke.
And still those voices are calling from far away, Wake you up in the middle of the night, Just to hear them say.
I jerk awake. I’m covered in sweat. The sheet is wrapped around my chest and I can’t breathe. My heart is pounding. I turn on the light. I rub my eyes and try to focus. It was worse than zombie, serial killer, or land-shark nightmares. I feel so grateful for the lonely, quiet night and my old down comforter. Things could be worse. I could be on The Voice.
My dog stands beside the bed looking genuinely concerned. I realize that I was singing in my sleep. I hope this doesn’t become a habit.