Posts Tagged ‘camera’

Oprah Winfrey & Karaoke

Filed under: Updates — Hope on October 21, 2009 @ 12:35 am

A little over a week ago a close friend of mine suggested I enter Oprah Winfrey’s Karaoke contest. I thought about it a bit and figured if I was able to go onto the show and sing in front of thousands of people it could definitely help advance my singing career. When I looked into it I realized the submissions were due by this past Monday, October 19th. So I decided to take on the endeavor and I became more and more passionate about it each day. I was up late each night after work looking up lyrics to songs and finding their respective background tracks. My mind was constantly running trying to pick the perfect song. I knew I wanted it to be something fast because that’s normally what people sing karaoke and what I figured the judges would be attracted to.

My boyfriend really wanted to help me have the best submission, so he got it worked out so that we could go into a recording studio this past Sunday and get my vocals recorded professionally in order to have the best sound for the video. On Saturday I had pretty much decided I was going to do “You Only Get What You Give” by The New Radicals because I sing it pretty much every time I go to a karaoke joint. I love it so much it’s even my phone ring. But my boyfriend helped me realize that the judges would most likely want me to sing something by a female singer because in karaoke you should sound like the original artist. Sunday was the first day I actually had time to focus on my audition because of my work schedule. So I met my boyfriend around 12pm to really pick the right song and I decided on “Ain’t No Other Man” by Christina Aguilera. I listened to the song as much as I could, got the lyrics and background track and we headed to the studio. We were there all day from 3-8:30/9 and ended up getting a video we were satisfied with. We actually ended up not even using the vocal recording equipment and just the video camera because we realized it was against the rules to use any type of script, macro or automated equipment which would enable one to edit their submission. They wanted the raw video unedited. There were also other restrictions as far video size and file types. So we were at the studio for a long time trying to figure out how to get the video onto the computer, etc.

The next day, Monday, the submission had to be submitted onto the Oprah Winfrey website by 11:59pm Central time. So I got started early afternoon Monday and my friend who lent me her camera came over to help me work it properly. I implemented the files onto my computer, using imovie, cut out the one I picked and began trying to put it into the proper format to upload it onto the website. I filled out the info and submitted my file and the website said my file wasn’t the proper type, even though my computer showed me it was. I tried all I could, but the files I in the proper format either turned out too small or blurry. I called a friend who knows more about it than me, he couldn’t figure out the problem so I headed over to my boyfriend’s office to see if someone there could help. We ended up getting someone on the phone hours later and began sending him the files via the internet around 9pm. He helped us and when we finally got it in the proper and best viewable format it was about 12:15/12:30am (11:15/11:30pm central time). Our internet started acting up and every time we tried to upload the file the website crapped out. We then sent all of my info to be submitted with the video to the guy helping us so that he could try sending it in from his computer. Nothing worked…the website was too overloaded by everyone submitting at the same time. We tried until about 1:15 am and then when I got home I tried one last time but the upload page was no longer even available.

Even after leaving the office …when I thought nothing else could go wrong my subway card was used up and when I went to the MTA machine to get a new one my debit card was blocked for some odd reason. I ended up taking a cab and just having to use a credit card.

After all of that trouble I was so let down, because I truly believed I was going to have a chance. I was full of sadness and regret. But even throughout the whole day I was discouraged and full of doubt. Looking back I really wish I would have just had a better attitude despite my circumstances and tried with more hope and joy in the process, knowing that even if I couldn’t get my submission through it ultimately didn’t matter. I know that God knew this was going to happen and that He has a reason and a purpose and that He is always trying to teach me. I woke up this morning and finally made time for God, because I had pretty much shoved Him aside the past few days in my urgency to create the best audition.

I was so sad yesterday because it was like another huge reminder of the walls I seem to keep hitting when it comes to my dreams. But this morning I was reminded about what really matters . If you are interested in viewing my audition video you can go to this link:

Oprah Winfrey Karaoke Contest

What else am I going to use it for? Comments and critiques are welcome!

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!

God bless!



All Points West 2009

Filed under: Shows,Updates — Hope on August 4, 2009 @ 12:39 am

I was one of the many people to attend All Points West this weekend. It was a 3 day event at Liberty State Park. Friday’s line-up included Jay-Z, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend and others. Saturdays 3 biggest performers were Tool, My Bloody Valentine and Gogol Bordello. Chairlift was also on Saturday, I love their hit song “bruises”. I only went on Sunday, unfortunately I wasn’t feeling good, so I ended up going pretty late. But I chose to go Sunday because Coldplay was performing and they are pretty much my favorite band of all-time. Also on Sunday was MGMT, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Black Keys, Elbow, We Are Scientists, Lykke Li and more. I unfortunately missed MGMT because they played pretty much the same time as Coldplay; I was quite perturbed about that. I heard the tale end of a song of theirs. I first arrived to the concert around 8:00pm or so and was very glad to catch the last few songs of Lykke Li’s performance. She had a lot of energy. I really like her sound.

There were 3 different stages throughout the park and Lykke Li performed at the Queen of the Valley Stage. MGMT was at Bullet and Coldplay was at the Blue Comet. There were a couple very intriguing abstract set-ups randomly placed throughout the park where people could sit or stand in the middle and they were lit up once it got dark.  Another cool thing was that there were 2 incredibly long lines of string with lit up balloons attached to them which floated above our heads around the park. There were also some merch booths, food tables, etc. I was very surprised to see that H&M had a tent set up with air condition inside, in which they were giving away water bottles and had a fun photo booth where anyone could get complimentary photos. So I jumped on that wagon.

It rained most of the day on Sunday, which is another reason I wasn’t so motivated to go early, but despite the fact that it stopped raining everyone still had to tread through the muddy sludge in the grass. It was incredible how dirty everyone was. I wore my rainboots, so I was pretty protected for the most part. Some people gave up and just decided to leave their shoes off, some people even left their muddy shoes behind. I saw several people with mud splatters as high as their backs.

Coldplay of course was awesome and well worth the trip for me. I was, however, surprised at how Chris Martin seemed to be having a hard time up there. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was, his performance was still amazing and he sounded incredible, but there was just something hindering him a bit. It was like he was getting worn out very easily…of course he was running around a lot. They played all of my favorite songs, I even took a bit of video footage. Unfortunately my pictures didn’t come out very well, my camera isn’t exactly the best in town. Coldplay moved around between 3 different stages connected to the Blue Comet throughout their performance and at one point they came down into the mud and walked through it as well. There were also a few very entertaining points in Chris’s performance where he played off of his tiredness and acted like he couldn’t go on any longer, he went down to the ground a few times… it made us laugh. During the song “Yellow” these huge yellow balloons/balls came up from the stage somewhere and began floating above the crowd, it wasn’t too long before parts of those balloons turned brown from the mud.

Overall, even though I missed most of it, it was a pretty great experience. The night was very beautiful…I could feel a light breeze and see the moon so clearly. The view of Manhattan from the ferry was breathtaking.

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