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Singer - 1. Open Call

Cristiano Humberto Israel Pereira, Jr. returned to the University of Miami in January ready for his final college semester. Graduation loomed in five months, and he was uncertain what came next. He would prefer a return to his native New York City but would do whatever it took to break into the music business.

The e-mail from Dr. Pierceone of his instructors at the Frost School of Musicpresented a possibility he had not considered. It might mean relocating to Los Angeles instead of Manhattan but so what.

The professor glanced at Chipper when the student knocked on the open door. “Ah, Mr. Pereira, welcome back. I trust you enjoyed your vacation?”

“Happy New Year, Dr. Pierce. When are you going to call me Chipper?” Dr. Pierce was known for addressing everyone by their last name. Chipper did not expect a change any time soon. “Christmas break was nice. Now I’m ready to finish the semester. I’m looking forward to graduation.”

“Good, good, take a seat. What did you think of what I mentioned in my message?”

“I’m interested. I never considered entering a music competition. But if it helps me break into the business, I’m all for it.”

 

A few days later, Chipper received an e-mail from a producer at The Voice. The NBC reality show was one of the network’s most popular offerings. She invited Chipper to try out in person during auditions in Tampa the following month.

He was unsure why he wanted to keep it a secret from friends and family, but decided to confide only in his schoolmates Michael and Blaine. “So, that’s what’s going on. I was wondering if you guys wanted to drive home for a long weekend and if your dads would let me crash at your place.”

Michael was from the Tampa Bay area, gay, and had two fathers. The similarities between his Cuban-American classmate and Chipper’s best friend in Washington created a quick bond soon after they met. “For sure. My dads will be happy to see me and give you a place to sleep. I’m curious, how come you’re not staying with your father?”

“I’m… I don’t want to tell anyone yet. In case I don’t make it.” Chipper’s parents divorced when he was a kid. His mother eventually returned to her native Buenos Aires, and his father settled in Tampa following a stint in Washington.

“Of course you’ll make it.” Blaine was emphatic. “We’ve heard you sing. You’re a beast! You’ll crush it.”

Buoyed by his friends’ belief in him, Chipper felt confident walking into the audition. He had been asked to prepare three songs. Required to perform one a Capella, the second one he could accompany himself or sing to a pre-recorded track. The third one was to be held in reserve.

Nerves made him screw up a couple of early notes, but he recovered and nailed the remainder. He felt the stripped down version of “Welcome to My World” showcased his voice well. His performance owed a lot to Raul Malo’s version, having watched the YouTube video countless times.

Chipper turned and sipped from the water bottle on the stool behind him. While the show’s staff whispered, he picked up his guitar, and pulled the stool closer to the microphone. “I have pre-recorded music for this one but if it’s acceptable, I’d like to do an acoustic version instead.”

“Perfectly acceptable, Chipper. Whenever you’re ready.”

Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” allowed Chipper to display his voice in a different way. A more modern sound showed he was not limited, and the faster beat made it a crowd pleaser. It also allowed him to hit notes the first song did not. In his opinion, it worked well with just his guitar; the half-smiles on the panel encouraged him.

“That was good, Chipper.” The spokeswoman did not sound enthusiastic. “Would you mind stepping outside for a few minutes? One of us will come talk to you.”

Insecurities clawed through his contentment. He thought he had done well, but maybe they were looking for something else. He felt like a fool for allowing himself to think he was a shoo-in. Rejection had not visited often during his incipient musical career, but he was certain the time had come to return home empty handed. He knew no matter how good an artist was, it took more than talent to succeed. If this was not his break, so be it. He resigned himself to return to school and finish the semester.

“Mr. Pereira? Would you mind stepping back inside? We’d like a word with you.”

Warned few artists were asked to perform more than two numbers, Chipper was surprised when one of the panel members inquired about a third one. “I brought music for a song in Spanish. I’m bilingual, and I thought it would showcase my versatility.” Hope rose again; he prayed the gamble would pay off.

“Perfect! We’d love to hear it. Whenever you’re ready.”

Written for and recorded by Julio Iglesias, “Soy un Truhan, Soy un Señor” spoke of a rogue who could also be a gentleman. Chipper did not have the years or life experience the famous Spaniard did, but he nonetheless identified with the lyrics. Singing about life and love felt right.

The tune had a catchy refrain; it also allowed Chipper to sing notes different from the other two. He closed his eyes and allowed the melody to course through him. That feeling was why he was a musician. When he opened them, the panel was smiling. Their whispered deliberation was inaudible.

Michael and Blaine had accompanied him. When he was called, they waited for his return in the lobby. Chipper’s wide grin said it all. His friends shouted and hugged him while those still waiting stared. Chipper saw hope and fear in their eyes.

“I’m in! Next stop, Los Angeles and the Blind Auditions!”

Michael Quintana and Blaine Emerson are the intellectual property of Parker Owens. They’re used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2019 Carlos Hazday; All Rights Reserved.

Story Discussion Topic

Welcome to the discussion thread for CJ’s series. All things CJ are fair game, I simply ask you be respectful of others. I will actively participate in the discussion. Ask questions, speculate about what’s coming, or bitch about what happened. We’re now open for business!    

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Chapter Comments



45 minutes ago, Carlos Hazday said:

Wanna guess who Chipper picks?

I know! I know!

 

44 minutes ago, Carlos Hazday said:

Not that I ever would. :whistle:

Carlos? A cliffie?  More like what auto correct tries to put in every time I type cliffie, cliffside. The whole damn thing threatening to smush some poor character or other!

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1 hour ago, Kitt said:

Carlos? A cliffie?  More like what auto correct tries to put in every time I type cliffie, cliffside. The whole damn thing threatening to smush some poor character or other!

My favorite cliffhangers:

An ibex (plural ibex, ibexes or ibices) is any of several species of wild mountain goat (genus Capra), distinguished by the male's large recurved horns, which are transversely ridged in front. Ibex are found in Eurasia, North Africa, and East Africa.

 

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WOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO he's back!!!

And updates twice a week --- I get my @Carlos Hazday fix back!

Great start with both the prologue and the first chapter --- although I will say that I like the longer chapters more, this is fantastic as well.

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6 minutes ago, JayA said:

WOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO he's back!!!

And updates twice a week --- I get my @Carlos Hazday fix back!

Great start with both the prologue and the first chapter --- although I will say that I like the longer chapters more, this is fantastic as well.

LMAO I haven't been gone that long. Although the big story ended in June, I posted something in both July and August.

I figured some readers would dislike the 1k word chapters, but I've upset some before when I've switched formats. Between the first 5 books and Walls, I went from day specific events to a monthly format highlighting one or two items. Then I used the quick scene shifts that drove some people nuts and left them wanting more from each scene. There's some of that in this story, but for the most part it's one event per chapter. I hope you let me know how you end up liking it when we're done.

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1 hour ago, Carlos Hazday said:

LMAO I haven't been gone that long. Although the big story ended in June, I posted something in both July and August.

I figured some readers would dislike the 1k word chapters, but I've upset some before when I've switched formats. Between the first 5 books and Walls, I went from day specific events to a monthly format highlighting one or two items. Then I used the quick scene shifts that drove some people nuts and left them wanting more from each scene. There's some of that in this story, but for the most part it's one event per chapter. I hope you let me know how you end up liking it when we're done.

Was it longer than a week -- it was to long then....  🙂

I am keeping an open mind with the change -- and you know I will let you know when we are done.....I can't ever keep my mouth shut...LOL

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1k chapters are easier for me to get in while chasing the grandson, but they always leave me somehow unsatisfied.

But of course I already love the story trajectory.

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One of the many things I appreciate about your writing, is your ability to make things interesting even when we know what the outcome is. Based on the prologue, we know Chipper is going to end up on the show. But you managed to make getting through round one interesting and a bit suspenseful anyway. Thanks. 

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8 hours ago, JeffreyL said:

One of the many things I appreciate about your writing, is your ability to make things interesting even when we know what the outcome is. Based on the prologue, we know Chipper is going to end up on the show. But you managed to make getting through round one interesting and a bit suspenseful anyway. Thanks. 

Awww... you make me blush.

Sometimes it's good to mix things up. Like starting the story at the end. In this case, more happens after that initial TV appearance, but I'll still fill the chapters with sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll to keep it interesting. :P

 

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I am very excited about this new story and look forward to it's evolution.  You go, Chipper!

 

Still miss CJ.😔

Edited by danield
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On 9/3/2019 at 5:42 PM, Daddydavek said:

1k chapters are easier for me to get in while chasing the grandson, but they always leave me somehow unsatisfied.

But of course I already love the story trajectory.

Do twice weekly postings help?

This will be a feel-good story. Mostly.

I've always thought Chipper and CJ had the most similar personalities and I tried to show that a bit more here. Those two could be brothers as far as I see it.

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25 minutes ago, danield said:

I am very excited about this new story and look forward to it's evolution.  You go, Chipper!

 

Still miss CJ.😔

How can you miss him? We just read about him in the prologue!

He gets mentioned in the next chapter. Hope that helps. :)

 

Edited by Carlos Hazday
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8 hours ago, Defiance19 said:

I’m so looking forward to see who picks Chipper for their team.. 

Love this. 

I'm assuming most people since it's in quite a few countries. I'll refrain from describing what happens since we'll see the whole thing. But if you're not familiar with the process, I'll just say both the coaches and the contestants have a say as to what team they end up. @Wesley8890is #TeamBlake. LOL

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6 minutes ago, Bft said:

Looking forward to more chapters 

Semi-weekly for three months. We have a few more coming.

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I wonder why the spokeswoman didn't sound enthusiastic after Chipper's first two songs, but she obviously changed her tune (pardon the pun!) after his third. I hope that Michael and Blaine had a cake, or maybe a bottle of bubbly, hidden at home to help him celebrate passing his first hurdle! 🍾

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7 hours ago, travlbug said:

I wonder why the spokeswoman didn't sound enthusiastic after Chipper's first two songs, but she obviously changed her tune (pardon the pun!) after his third. I hope that Michael and Blaine had a cake, or maybe a bottle of bubbly, hidden at home to help him celebrate passing his first hurdle! 🍾

You and your suspicious mind! LOL

I can come up with half-a-dozen reasons but they don't seem relevant. I'm not so interested in what others think as in how Chipper deals with whatever comes up.

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