happy me

happy me
"I'm not pissed yet"

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My Voice vs. “The Voice” (or the Non-dition)

"Lanning has an impressive Mack truck of a voice.He's an experienced rock and studio singer-imagine an uncanny grafting of Springsteen and Joe Cocker." -- Orange County Register

"Michael has the voice I wish I had". -- Composer Frank Wildhorn

"Michael Lanning is simply one of the best singers on the planet...period." -- Dave Clemmons, of WeepingElvis.com and NYC casting director

“The most soulful white man on the planet!” 
My Trans-Siberian Orchestra Introduction for 6 years on tour with them (we helped build that railroad, the original West coasties and I, but that's another whole blog!)

These are just some of the many accolades I’ve received over the years as a vocalist.

I’m gonna tell a story that’s even hard for me to believe, but, here goes.
After the closing of my second show on Broadway “Bonnie And Clyde” in late December, 2011, I was very upset and depressed, needless to say. It was also the very first time I ever had vocal problems in performances. I was normally known as “The Chords of Steel” throughout my career and it turns out I had a virus on my vocal chords for almost two weeks and had to call out of the show 6 times. This had never happened to me before, not to mention during the show’s opening night I was at about 30%. The Stage Manager finally convinced me to take some time off of the show. By the time I was 100%, we found out we were closing in 2 weeks! BITCHEN!!

I heard about a new show being cast called “The Voice” where, apparently, it didn’t matter how old you were (unlike “American Idol”, for they like control over their talent and so they pick them young). I really thought nothing of it except that 3 different times, 3 different people implored me to audition for this new show. Sometimes I accept messages from “The Universe” that come in 3s (I know, what’s a guy living in the 3 dimensional construct we all assume is reality supposed to assume?) Anyway, I took their advice and filled out the necessary forms online to audition for the show.

Several weeks later I got an email saying that my form had been accepted. It turns out that a friend from Connecticut, Kevin Knight, was going to the audition as well and he asked that if he drove down to go, could he crash at my place? I said sure, and he came in the night before the audition. He was also kind enough to go with me to my audition to keep me company, since his wasn’t until the next day.
“The Voice” audition was being held at The Javitz Center here in NYC, almost right across from the first Apt. I lived in Midtown. We took the subway into Midtown from my place in Astoria and as we walked up around 10 am there was already a line around the block that we could see no end of, so walked to the back of the line. It literally went around a long block and back around to the front of The Javitz Center! Foolishly we couldn’t see the end of the line from where we walked up from and walked the long way around. The line crawled along for SEVEN HOURS in 39 degree weather. (it was February). When we finally checked into the center, Kevin waited in the lobby for me and we were all herded into a very large room with 600 people sitting in 6 different 100 chair areas. We waited for another hour or so while one by one, each of those 100 people got up and went to a bunch of rooms that held 10 auditioners each. When it finally came for my group’s turn we walked into one of the many rooms and one by one, a cappella, (without accompaniment) we sang for some 24 year old intern lookin’ dude, who would barely look up from his laptop. I was number 7 out of the ten and roared a rendition of “Try A Little Tenderness” by Otis Redding. Sang the absolute shit out of the song. The intern lookin’ dude NEVER looked up from his laptop and when the rest of the last 3 did their tunes, he calmly said, “You’re all free to go. We won’t be needing any of you today.” If there was one time I wish I could’ve killed someone and either gotten away with it, or at least went to jail with a smile on my face, that intern lookin’ motherfucker would be dead. I was flummoxed and in shock! It didn’t hit me until we were on the subway home that I might have wasted several hours, let alone a whole day with that bullshit!!
I have NO IDEA what The Universe was trying to tell me. Maybe nothing at all. Maybe Jackshit! I still don’t know to this day. I feel as though I’ve been on a losing streak ever since. Will that stop me?? FUCK NO!
Damn the torpedos! On with the show! (just not THAT one)
M. Lanning 11/05/14

1 comment:

  1. Michael.......that hurts!!! Be glad you were not sucked into the cesspool that is television reality shows. You wondered what the message the Universe had for you....I think, and this is from someone who doesn't know you but for your fb persona...you have talent, own it, respect it and claim it as yours! You had a taste of the gristmill that is Hollywood. It is no reflection on your talent whether or not some dink with the power to say "we don't need ya" looks up long enough to even see your face. You come across to me as such a sweet, compassionate soul...The Voice and the "Intern" are beneath you. Pam