X Factor USA Dallas Audition Day

X factor USA Audition Day
Officially the day of X Factor USA auditions. 
Me at 4:45 am. 
 It was Thursday and I was stoked about auditioning. It was officially May 25, 2011 and I was so happy it was the day of auditions. I woke up around 4 am and proceeded to get ready. I was going to dress the way that I normally dress. I decided that it was a risk, but at least I could say that I was going as myself. Although a part of me wanted to take a risk and go all out and wear a costume (and believe me, I think costumes are fun), I wasn't sure if I would be taken serious, let alone seriously at all. It's a well known fact that the last thing anyone wants to be is a punch line to a joke especially on reality television show viewed by millions of people around the world. In fact, no one wants to be known as a joke. 

I knew going into this entire ordeal, I would have to use good judgment and trust it. Although I am notorious for sometimes making rather "interesting" decisions and choosing rather "interesting" choices in life, I knew that I had to be confident and have individualism, as knowing who you are is key throughout this entire process. After all, an artist who doesn't know who they are is like someone bungee jumping and deciding after they jumped it wasn't a good idea. Perhaps, this isn't the best analogy. I know I am smart enough not to lose who I am nor ungrasp the conception of reality. I am also wise enough to never sell. out. Would I ever be one of those people? Absolutely not. Could I ever be that type of person? No way. Do I care what people think? Absolutely not, unless I care about you. Am I guilty of overthinking? Yes. 

Just like my actual song choices for my audition, I had planned ahead of time what I would wear. I would be auditioning as me. I would like to think that I have great style, fabulous sometimes. So, I decided on a ruched style cheetah print Bebe dress followed by a black short sleeve Bebe jacket and 5" inch (1/2" around) black shoes by Sam Edelman (much like the Magdalena sandal, but black) with some jewelry to compliment the ensemble. I told myself that my makeup would be a dramatic smoky eye, with a nude lip. Most of the makeup I wore is from MAC Cosmetics

After contemplating and debating, this idea worked for me. In addition to this, I decided to paint my fingernails using Black OPI nail polish, followed by this amazing purple glitter that my half sister gave me, which is by Sally Hansen. I should have just painted them black and left it at that without the glitter. The nail polish did a complete 180 and basically came off as a weird press-on-nail. It was kind of weird because it came off twice on the airplane flying into Dallas. 

I was staying in Heath, TX (as I stated previously) with my stepdad's brother Dennis and his wife Cheryl. Heath is about 40 minutes from Dallas, I do believe, however; I am not sure (possibly 30 minutes?) Once I finished straightening my hair, I went downstairs to grab some breakfast. I had a bowl of cereal with some fruit. Then, I packed up a small lunch which consisted of a veggie wrap and a pack of those mini chocolate donuts, in case I would get hungry throughout the day. I also took a Powerade Zero and a Monster energy drink. I drank the Monster energy drink earlier in the morning throughout the early afternoon. Around 6 am, I left to go wait in line. Although the auditions clearly say on the paper to wait in line at 8 am, people were there since 3 am waiting to tryout. The traffic was crazy, but the crowd was insane to the point that my uncle dropped me off several blocks away from the venue, so I had to walk up to the line.

They extended the sign up date until 12 pm on the day of auditions, so there were more people coming in. Not to mention the supporters of those auditioning and of course, the news outlets trying to dip their hands into the show. I am sure there were 50,000 people there that day including the supporters of those auditioning and news outlets, etc. More people than the actual sign ups. There were tons of people promoting things and there were also helicopters and airplanes in the air too. The lines of people were insane. They had about seven huge lines and each line was filled with thousands of people in it. Security guards separated people in sections. The section you were placed, were determined by your ticket color (they were giving out blue and red tickets) and your ticket number. Every place you went, they asked for some sort of identification. They did this for security measures. 

Although wearing high (stiletto heels to be exact) shoes made a rather modest fashion statement, they were definitely not the best idea. Especially for the entire day I actually had to sit down several times on the concrete in my dress. Then, as we started moving towards the beginning of the line, I finally took them off when walking towards the venue. Any person with OCD would go insane, as being barefoot in a public place is incredibly dirty, but to prevent this from happening to me, I basically just waited it out. Then, while in the venue, I put hand sanitizer (Winter Wonderland by Bath & Body Works to be exact) all over my feet and wiped them and my shoes off with a napkin.

After standing in the scorching hot sun for at least 10 hours, it was time to walk up the steps and into the venue. The security was checking everything and there was absolutely no food allowed in the venue. I gave away the donuts I had prior to a girl that made it known she was starving. People were actually putting their food outside. Odd that you could purchase food inside though. The lines for the food were outrageous. They were so long. I wasn't hungry, so I felt like it didn't really effect me. Perhaps that was just my nerves talking though. I took my drink with me, but didn't have food to take. They checked my purse and also did the entire clearance routine check. Then finally after many hours in the hot sun, I was in the venue (Dallas Convention Center) where I had to wait an additional 3-4 hours just to tryout. I had great rest the night before and had an energy drink, however; I was starting to get exhausted at this point. What kept me awake were my emotions fighting each other and of course, my nerves, but I did manage to fall asleep inside of the venue. I met several people inside, including a woman who showed me pictures of her four children, that lived in San Antonio. 

As time proceeded, it was time to stand in line. In line, in the venue (Dallas Convention Center). It was so long waiting in that line too. Plus hearing singers from every direction in the venue. I had to wait an additional hour just standing in the long line on the side. At this point, my feet were in pain. I was irresponsible. I have shoes that are 7-8 inches that are not this painful, but the heel is not as skinny. (I should seriously stop complaining about my feet because I sound ridiculous, hahaha) I ended up meeting new people and talking to a girl that made the top 50 of American Idol for season 8 or 9, who coincidentally sang after me. Once we made it to the beginning of the line, the security had divided us into sections. There were a total of thirty to forty booths, I would say. Possibly more. I ended up making my way over to the booth and then being asked by another person of security to stand in the shorter line, so I got to audition faster than I thought.

A lot of people were complaining about the judge, saying she was turning everyone down. At this point, my open mind started to kind of lose hope. I really thought I had no chance of making it, as some of the singers who were turned away were incredible. Something told me, an inner light that it is my time to shine and to be true to who I am, as nothing can stop me when I am in my element. All I could think about was the hypothetical - what if? What if I traveled so far just for her to tell me no? What if I traveled so far to be rejected? I realized that these thoughts were inevitable, but overthinking isn't going to change anything regardless if I make it through or not.

The time came to audition. After seeing the young girl before me get rejected, I just went into thinking that I may be rejected too. I get inside of the audition area and she (the judge) asks me about myself. I tell her my name is Sarah Afshar. I am Iranian-American. I told her that I was a business development manager and a writer, but emphasized that I have many interests and that I loved to sing. She kind of nodded, but I don't think she seemed intrigued. Mainly because she heard many people. She seemed nice though. Then, she asked me what I am going to be singing. I start out doing the beginning of Christina Aguilera's "Ain't No Other Man" and jump immediately into Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" where I proceeded to clap my hands and use my stiletto heel to stomp my right foot. I could tell she was entertained, but wasn't sure. I performed in the moment, doing what I love - singing and literally felt like I was underwater for a minute.  Then, I was asked to do another song, where I poured my soul into Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". I felt so lost into the song, I didn't care what anyone thought as I found myself lost in the words of Farrokh Bulsara (Freddie Mercury). People have told me that when one is rejected, they normally say "You are not what we are looking for" or "Sorry, it's a no" (at least, that is what people said, when I asked them what they say to them usually, after they were rejected). She never interrupted me when I sang. I had my eyes closed and felt the lyrics. At this point, I didn't know what to expect. I continued the song until the end. Afterwards, she said thank you. Then, she asked how old I was. Finally, she proceeded to let me know what she thought.

She proceeded to say "congratulations" and let me know that I was through to the next round. I officially got the golden ticket. I said "thank you" and proceeded to hug her, but she didn't allow it. I think because of so many people auditioning, she just didn't want some stranger hugging her. Shortly after, I walked down the line and exited into an entirely different direction than those that did not make it and worked my way to what was referred to as the "yes room" (which I will explain about shortly). I was in tears because I have never done anything like this before and I felt a panic attack rise. Maybe that feeling like I am underwater was a panic attack, I don't know. I didn't have anyone that I knew well there with me too, so I felt alone during the process. I was tired, however; it was relief knowing the result. What was referred to as the "yes room" was basically the place where I would go after my auditions and fill out paperwork. This room was filled with people connected to the X factor show. 

After the first audition that I did, when I left to go to the yes room, I met a rocker (he made it on the show and went relatively far also) who said "Sarah, I heard you singing from the line. You have nothing to worry about." For every audition that you pass, you go to the "yes room". I met a lot of people, especially British people, including every judge I had in this process. I think every single judge I had was British, but one.  

I wasn't reluctant to inform others what I wanted to do with music and how what I wanted to do has never been done before. I talked about influences and how I would love to work with such and such, etc. This included several people that were behind the scenes, who worked on the show too. People were impressed (or at least seemed to be) with my vision. 

X Factor USA auditions in Dallas, Texas will forever remain an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. If I were to do this again, I would. With that said, I had a wonderful time. 


Anonymous said…
That’s amazing! Well done
GiGi Eats said…
Wow what a great experience! Wish you the best on your singing journey.
Erin said…
Congratulations on getting a golden ticket, that's amazing! I would love to know what happened next, did you make it through another round!?!
JoyDellaVita said…
Ooooh, what happened next? I'm so curious!
But man, everything pre the actual audition sounds quite horrible... having to wait so long.. :(
Laura said…
This sounds like fantastic experience. Keep us posted what happens next x
Celebrate Woman said…
A wild experience that takes so much Energy and Love and Determination! Thank you for letting us "in" to this experience.
Eileen M Loya said…
Congratulations! I can only imagine how stiff the competition was, but you must have been really good to get through to the next round. I will keep checking your blog. I can't wait to know what happens next. I wish you all the best. So excited for you!
That's so cool. And neat that you got to go to the "yes" room. It's awesome that you even decided to go for the audition. I was laughing about the stiletto heels..for such a long day. LOL :)
Ruth I said…
I am pretty sure you did so great. What a great song choice to cover on your audition. I wish you the best of luck.
Anonymous said…
Well done! Congrats...hard work paid off!!!

Jay Mih
Lavern Moore said…
Auditioning can be very trying experiences and I’m glad you shared yours with us!
Bella B said…
Congrats so neat that you got to try out and stuff! cant wait to see what happens next.
Bindu Thomas said…
Congratulations on the golden ticket! Keep us posted how it goes.
Rose Ann Sales said…
Cant wait to see what's next and you got great choices with your outfit. Congrats on your golden ticket..😀
Fuzion Mag said…
Wow..! That's great you had a golden ticket! And you look so great in the audition,no wonder you've passed the first round.
Jhentea De Guzman said…
Thanks for sharing your X factor story. You look so nice,I bet you'll make till the next round.
Anonymous said…
You are a stunningly beautiful talented woman. You should try out again.
Domenic Antinucci III said…
You are a stalker. You cannot sing and you have no talent.
Anonymous said…
You are talented and gorgeous. I see the jealousy is alive and well. I bet if you tried out again you would have won the show. I love your voice.