13: What I Do, Who I Am

02 Feb

I’ve made it very well known on this blog that I’m a musicwhore.  And I mean that in the most non-slutty kind of way:)  I have a tremendous passion for all types of music, and I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember.  I was very active in choir and theatre in high school, and continued on to major in vocal music for a few years at the university level.  I quickly realized though that I wanted to sing what I wanted to sing, when I wanted to sing, which led to my leaving choral music.   Although I love all types of music, my favorite type to sing is country.  I know that country music doesn’t appeal to everyone. I think many people have an idea in their head of what country music sounds like and don’t tend to give any of the new stuff a chance. I’m a fan of contemporary country– almost poppy in its production and instrumentation– and I’m a sucker for a well-written lyric, which is easy to find in country music- especially in the ballads.

Lucky for me, after I realized that choral music wasn’t the direction I wanted to pursue, I discovered the awesome  world of karaoke.  (I even met my husband in a karaoke bar– he said it was love at first sight/note:))  I competed in numerous local contests throughout the early to mid-2000s.  I was named Oklahoma Country Idol by a local radio station.  After winning that title, I was given the opportunity to perform at a local Fourth of July festival, and perform an opening number for the country group Blackhawk.  To be honest, I don’t remember much about that experience— I had MANY a shot beforehand to calm my nerves, and I was stunned when walking out on stage, and seeing that the few thousand people I had been expecting to see in the audience were in reality, closer to 20,000.  It was an insane feeling, and all I could think about was not tripping over my own feet.

In 2002, I began competing in a national singing content called Talentquest.  It progresses through qualifiying, local and regional rounds, and the person who wins first place in each category at regionals then moves on the national level, which is held in Laughlin, NV each September.  The first year I was proud to be part of a duet team with my future sis-in-law, Kristy, and we pulled out all the stops and upset the competition to win our way to Laughlin.  It was one of my proudest moments– to see the disbelief on our opponents faces when we walked out on stage in full 1950s garb, and performed a song from the Broadway hit Guys & Dolls.  Haha! Gotcha, sucka! 🙂  We ended up placing  4th in Laughlin in the duet category, an incredible feat for two girls who had never been to nationals before.  The next year, duet categories were elimated from the competition (Boo!) and I attended Laughlin as a solo. I got fifth place that year, but went back the next year to be the first (and only, to date) person from Oklahoma to win first place.  (Sorry– that was my little “toot my own horn” moment)

I am telling all of this because this year is the 10 year anniversary of Talentquest.  And in honor of the ocassion, TQ is flying out some of the former past winners to perform on finals night this September.  *big exhale* I haven’t competed since 2005.  Not that this would be “competing”, this would be strictly “performing”.   But wow, am I excited.  I’m excited to search for months for that “perfect” outfit.  I’m excited to tan & get my hair did.  I’m excited to get to go hang out with my TQ peeps for the first time in five years.  And most of all, I’m excited to get on that stage, and sing with all I’ve got.  After all….it may not be much…but it’s who I am. It’s what I do.  It makes me happy.

So, in closing, I’m going to share a video with you from my last year competing in Laughlin.  It was taken by a friend, and it’s not the best recording ever — I’ve definitely had better performances, but  this happens to be the only one that was caught on video.  Please be kind….as you can tell, there are many on youtube who are not– hehehe….. haters:)


Posted by on February 2, 2010 in Uncategorized


10 responses to “13: What I Do, Who I Am

  1. shortmama

    February 3, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Wow that is one awesome honor girlie! Your voice is great! I wish I could sing like that!

    • Jessica

      February 4, 2010 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks, Amanda!! It’s scarier laying yourself out there like that…thanks for being kind:)

  2. Cyndi

    February 4, 2010 at 6:26 am

    How exciting that you get to perform at the finals!! And you do have an amazing voice. I don’t know that song but you sang it beautifully.

    • Jessica

      February 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm

      Logistically, it’s going to be nightmare to make it happen, but I’m hoping we can work it out. The song was “I Can Do This” by Lila McCann. I’m kind of known for picking the sad story ballads. What can I say? I’m a theatre girl at heart:)

  3. 2kids...3martinis

    February 4, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Girlfriend…I have been waiting to see a video of you singing. Thank you so much!! Finally!!!!

    You are gorgeous. Simply.gorgeous.

    I didn’t know the song, but you reminded me a bit of Faith Hill. Love your voice.

    I wanna go to Laughlin…

    You MUST keep us posted on what you will sing, wear, hair, etc. and etc. I’m so excited for you. 🙂

    • Jessica

      February 4, 2010 at 3:56 pm

      I wish I still had my video from the year prior to that one. I had all four performances, and they were much better than this one. Oh well…
      and what a compliment. I LOVE Faith Hill! She’s one of my idols.

      Oh Sweet mercy–what fun would it be to meet up in Laughlin! That’s an idea, ya know…. I only have to sing one night. The rest…. I’m totally free:)

  4. Peggy

    February 4, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Jess you are so damn cute! Great voice!!

    • Jessica

      February 4, 2010 at 6:42 pm

      Awww…thanks, Peggy!! I really appreciate that! I don’t get out to sing much these days- so your kind words mean a lot to me, and remind me of how much I miss it:)

  5. Jenny

    February 5, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Your voice is beautiful! I hope you have an amazing time!

    • Jessica

      February 12, 2010 at 8:18 am

      Thank you, Jenny!! I”m definitely ready to go…and it’s not till September. HA!


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