EDITOR’S NOTE: This continues our 2012-13 Speak Out Loud installment. On most Saturdays throughout the school year, the Denton Record-Chronicle will publish photos, opinions, features, news stories and more from high school student journalists and yearbook staffers in and around Denton. Speak Out Loud allows high school students to share their news and views with the Denton community and beyond.
Her hands were shaking. Her heart was pounding, and her legs were wobbling as she approached the stage for one of the biggest moments of her life.
She took a moment, composed herself and held her head high as she — figuratively, at least — stepped out from behind the curtain.
Jamie Morgan’s chance to show the world what she could do had arrived. The Denton High School junior was trying out for the hit television singing competition American Idol only four days after she found out about the audition.
“It was intense,” Morgan said. “I was working my butt off to prepare. And then there were a lot of people there.”
Morgan was pleased with meeting a celebrity at the auditions, which were held at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City in July.
“We did group pictures, and then I got to meet Ryan Seacrest,” she said. “Ryan was much shorter in person than I thought. He had a deeper voice, and he looked perfect.”
Not being allowed to audition with her parents around added to her nervousness, but she made it past the first test and on to the first round.
“I was nervous, and I was trying to tell myself I wasn’t nervous, even though I was,” Morgan said. “I can’t believe I made it to the first round. Not having parents there helped you focus more on your audition.”
She had to wait 11 hours to audition.
“We got there at 5 a.m.,” she said. “I was in row 17 and, finally, after waiting six or seven hours, I got to watch people perform for their auditions. There were two judges at each station, and we went to each station in a group of four. Then I got to audition. It was a long day.”
Before Morgan auditioned, she had to prepare six songs.
She chose “Arms” by Christina Perri, “Lullaby of Birdland,” a jazz standard, and “Jar of Hearts” also by Perri, among other selections.
There were four rounds, and she made it to the third.
“I made it to Round 3 of auditioning for producers,” Morgan said. “They said I had a lovely voice, but if I showed more confidence, I could have made it to the fourth round.”
Morgan was upset but figured it was a good experience overall.
“I knew there was a reason,” she said. “They told me to come back next year. I wasn’t as upset as some of the other people ... so that’s good.”
She came back home with advice for others who may want to audition.
“If you prepare and show you’re confident, it will really help when trying out,” Morgan said. “You really grow from the information and feedback.”
Morgan is very passionate about singing and is willing to try again next year.
“I might do it again next year, but now I can definitely cross this off of my bucket list,” Morgan said.
EVIE CLARK is a senior at Denton High School and a participant in the Record-Chronicle’s “Speak Out Loud” writing program for student journalists.