Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Just Call Me Madonna

Okay so I am doing this a little bit backwards, but I want to tell everyone about the coolest experience I had on my vacation which happened to be on the very last night on the cruise. Yes, this deserves an entire post in itself. After I update y'all on my adventure as Madonna, that's right, the queen of pop, I'll come back and tell you about the wedding and the rest of our vacation!!!

So the story begins on Friday night after dinner. I convinced everyone that we NEEDED to go sing karaoke at least one night while on the boat. By we needed, I clearly meant I needed. We headed to the karaoke lounge after dinner and I signed up to sing Shaina Twain's Man I Feel Like a Woman and little did JP know that I also signed him up to sing Garth Brook's Friends in Low Places. He was just talking to dad and Buddy when they called him up to sing and he was very confused. Luckily, he was a good sport about it and sang away, drink in hand.

Kind of dark, we'll blame it on poor lighting

He loves me even though I do things like this to him :)
Naturally during my "performance," I was putting on a show with little dance moves and plenty of confidence despite by below average singing voice. I'll admit that I can carry a tune, but I am light years away from signing any record contract :)

After my song, the Karaoke host, Kim, asked me if I would be his Madonna in the following night's show because his original Madonna quit. I was a little confused at first, but immediately said OK. He explained to me that I would get to be on the big stage with backup dancers and all singing Like a Virgin. What I was going to be doing didn't really sink in until he handed me my packet with rehearsal instructions, song lyrics and an mp3 player with 2 versions of Like a Virgin, one with and one without the words. Apparently the second night of the cruise is when the auditions for this show were, so everyone else performing (there were 10 of us total) had several days to practice and I had 1.

On Saturday morning, I woke up and headed up to the cruise ship track with my mp3 player and lyrics sheet ready to learn the words. Had it been a karaoke version I would have been fine, but I actually had to memorize the words! After about 25 laps around the track (2.5 miles of power walking, it's hard to read and run), I pretty much had the words memorized. I still needed work for sure. We had a rehearsal that day around noon to get our order, practice our song on stage with the lights, see where we would be walking around and try on our costumes. This was a legitimate production. It was in the ship's big theater where the nightly shows were held with 1,000 plus seats. Earlier on the cruise, I had told my mom that I wanted to be on the stage, but it's safe to say that I never guessed that I would be singing on it.

After rehearsal, I was a bit nervous since I messed up on my lyrics in practice and I didn't want to be "that girl on stage who forgot her words." I was pretty much singing Madonna all day and I know that JP was getting annoyed. He still listened to me practice and told me how good I was, oh the things you'll do for love :) I didn't eat much at dinner that night since I was pretty nervous/eager for the show. The best part is that I'm pretty sure my family was even more nervous for me! I know that they think I'm crazy for getting up there and doing it, but I don't mind being on stage/the center of attention. I guess theatre, cheerleading and broadcast journalism made me comfortable in front of cameras and large crowds.

Needless to say, the show went great! I sang and rocked some of my moves. My back up dancers may have stolen the show though. They look hilarious in tiny cut off shorts dancing all around me. The crowd loved it which gave me more confidence. After the first half of the song, I was able to losen up and move around the stage some more! The cruise gave us a free DVD of our show, so hopefully I'll be able to upload the portion of me onto YouTube for everyone to see! Here are some pictures that Emily snuck while I was on stage.

Check out my backup dancers in those super short shorts!!!

Such a great experience!

I was able to get into it during the second half of the song once my nerves died down a bit

Taking a bow
After the show we were able to go out in the lobby and take pictures with all of our fans :) It's safe to say I had the BIGGEST fan club thanks to my family and the Billingsleys!!! They showed me lots of love when I was on stage too! I could hear them screaming and it made me feel great!

Definitely my loudest fan. Thanks for cheering me on Roo!

Still trying to figure out if he should be embarrassed or proud...we'll go with proud

Best Mommy and Daddy ever!

They were so nervous for me, but it was good to know how much they cared. I have some pretty awesome big little brothers

Matty Lewis! He was also my partner in crime on karaoke night where we sang Michael Buble's Everything. He totally showed me up. I don't know why they didn't ask him to be Madonna :)

My Mr. Buddy and Ms. Robin, my other parents really! I love you guys and had a BLAST on the cruise. It wouldn't have been the same without y'all there.

My "body guard" or really he was my assigned dancer, also one of my sweet back up dancers in the shorty shorts!
All in all it was a fantastic experience that I honestly never expected to come my way. It felt good to be on the stage, in my element :) I was definitely nervous though since I am far from being a singer, but feel like I did a pretty good job considering most people on the boat wouldn't have done what I did!

Here's a picture of the Cast: singers and dancers. This was given to us free by Carnival!
Next up will be about Philip and Alison's wedding. Such an amazing time :)
Until next time...

With love and God bless,
Amy, JP and Maggie

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