This year marks my 2nd year in the competition. Basically, once you are a finalist, they send you 10 tickets to sell, if you can, at $12 each (as opposed to $16 at the door). The more tickets you sell, the later you perform in your catagory, which is apparently a coveted thing. If you are last to perform, you stick in the judges minds. But you are judged by your fellow finalists (in another catagory), sitting up front to watch all 10 or so contestants. Captive audience. And really, I know MY attention span is shit, but I’m not THAT absent-minded that I can’t remember who performed 2 singers before the fool who sang “Bed of Roses” by Bon Jovi…to HIS MOM. (That’s a true story from last year, btw.)
I ended up only selling a handful of tickets last year – 2 to my parents (who are back in NJ, can’t make it to the show, but who are RAD and will support whatever I do), 2 to a couple friends of mine, 1 to Eric, and 1 to our roommate at the time (who ended up bailing). This put me about halfway through the rotation in my catagory (Top 40). I ended up winning in my catagory. So, is placement in the rotation really that important? Who knows.
Note: Sadly, I did not win the grand final last year – that honor went to the winner in the R&B catagory. This year I am a finalist in the R&B catagory. Maybe I’ll be able to pull it off this year.
I found it very difficult, especially with everyone struggling for cash, to ask people, “Hey, do you want to spend $12 to drive an hour and a half up to Harrah’s Rincon and watch people sing karaoke for 5 hours?” Granted it’s a fun little day-trip to a CASINO. You are not held hostage in the REO Speedwagon Showroom; you can gamble, eat, drink, etc. But it is a long day. And it’s far. My main arguement was: Who the hell am I to think that I am so muthafuckin’ cool that people would want to pay to see what they see me do at Gilly’s pretty much every weekend?
Just to put it in perspective – I am going to see No Doubt/Panic! At The Disco in concert tonight. I paid $10 per ticket (before the crazy Ticketbastard fees). Should I really expect that my friends would pay more to see me than they would to see Gwen Stefani and Co.? (or Brendon Urie/Spencer Smith, for that matter?)
I think not. I’m the shiznazzle, but not THAT much of the shiznazzle.
However, at this point, I have just about all 10 of my tickets sold or “spoken for” (claimed, but no money collected yet). I asked Star Media, the organizers of the contest, to send me 10 more. Friends and acquaintences from the bar have approached me about the contest – they want to go. They want to cheer me on as I sing for karaoke glory. One of the bartenders want to organize a carpool/caravan so that we can all head up to the casino together and have a little Gilly’s cheering section.
Granted, nothing is set in stone until money is in hand. Things happen. People forget what they say under the influence. Plans change. So am I going to be mad if it’s just 2 or 3 peeps in the crowd cheering me on? Not in the least. I’m still going to sing my heart out. That’s what I do. I’m in it to win it. I want to make myself proud. I want my family and friends to be proud.
It’s fun for me. It’s karaoke – it’s supposed to be fun. I had a blast last year, and I plan on doing the same this year.
Should you feel so inclined to come out and support me, hear some GREAT singers and just have a fun, entertaining day, you can also go here to purchase tickets online. Scroll down almost all the way, and you’ll see where you can buy tickets for the San Diego Finals at Harrah’s Rincon. Be sure to credit “Meredith in the R&B Catagory” for your ticket(s) – just in case the whole “when you sing” theory actually works.
Oh, as a side note (that I actually previously mentioned): I made a pledge to my friend Erin, who does fundraising for MS, that any money I may win in this competition will be donated to MS. All the more incentive and reason for me to go up there and kick some ass, right?